A non-profit organization called Voltage Park has acquired 24,000 Nvidia H100 chips for $500 million, reports Reuters.
An AI cloud computing organization, Voltage Park is funded by billionaire Jed McCaleb and plans to lease computing capacity for artificial intelligence projects.
According to CEO Eric Park, the non-profit will offer long and short-term low-cost AI computing services. "It's our belief that basically the current ecosystem for machine learning is broken."
"Not enough people understand how much the compute shortage is affecting AI innovators," said Park. "ML teams and AI founders have to wait months or pay exorbitant sums to access the latest hardware to their models. We hope to redress this imbalance and accelerate cutting-edge work in AI."
Voltage Park offers GPUs for as little as $1.89 an hour per GPU (though does not share details about the type of commitment needed for that price point). On-demand customers can lease between one and eight GPUs, while those looking to lease up to 248 GPUs need a short-term lease, and numbers up to 4,088 would need a year-long lease.
Compared to Amazon Web Services' (AWS) on-demand offering through its P5 nodes which have eight H100s, the price is fractional. AWS charges $98.32 an hour for that offering, compared with the $15.12 that Voltage Park would, based on this pricing system, offer.
The company will host AI clusters in Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Some of the Nvidia chips are already available, while it expects to fully deploy by February 2024.
Jed McCaleb, the financier of the project, built his billions through the founding of three cryptocurrency companies: Mt. Gox, Ripple, and Stellar. Ripple's cryptocurrency was called XRP, and the founders received 20 billion XRP which was worth $80bn at its peak.
Any profit from Voltage Park goes directly to its parent organization, the non-profit Navigation Fund. McCaleb is not directly involved with the operation of either organization.
The company's website links to FLOP Auction, a site that offers 'access to 23,000 Nvidia H100s' operated by Voltage Park via an auction process rather than traditional sales contracts.
FLOP Auction says its compute clusters are deployed across data centers in Washington, Texas, Virginia, and Utah, and has 30MW of power under contract.