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Consumer NVIDIA GPUs cannot be used in datacenters henceforth

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. (Source: NVIDIA)
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. (Source: NVIDIA)
Recent changes to NVIDIA's EULA prohibits datacenter deployment of their consumer grade GeForce GPUs apart from those used for blockchain processing. This being seen as a move to curb deployment of cost-effective GeForce GPUs for half-precision Deep Neural Network processing.
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NVIDIA has made some changes to its End-User License Agreement (EULA), which effectively restricts the use of consumer grade GeForce GPUs in datacenters for AI and Deep Learning applications. Henceforth datacenters, especially those engaged in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning applications, will be required to switch to the Quadro or Tesla offerings.

NVIDIA GPUs are well known for their half-precision strength and deep neural net (DNN) processing, which made deploying GeForce GPUs a cost-effective option for datacenters. The new move could put datacenters that have already deployed GeForce GPUs in a lurch. It is understandable, though. NVIDIA has spent a lot of resources in developing its DNN processing technology in professional GPUs and if datacenters don't use them, it could have a significant impact on its profits. At the same time, the prices of GeForce GPUs cannot be increased considering the risk of losing competitive advantage. Therefore, forcing datacenters to use the Quadros and Teslas is the only way to increase their adoption without affecting the GeForce lineup.

While NVIDIA considers any non-personal use as datacenter use, a reprieve is that blockchain processing datacenters are exempted from this EULA change. This is could be probably because NVIDIA is not interested in optimizing GPUs for mining right now. Datacenters that violate this rule could attract lawsuits from the company. It remains to be seen how datacenters adapt to this change and whether publicly funded datacenters in universities and research institutions also come under its purview.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1395 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 01 > Consumer NVIDIA GPUs cannot be used in datacenters henceforth
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-01- 3 (Update: 2018-01- 3)