Editor's Letter Insights

NVIDIA, Data Centers, and, Yes, AI

Written by Sam Wallace

This month I am proud to say we are publishing what Tommy Tyler is calling his last article, “Build Your Own Infrared Signal Recorder.” Tommy has written for Circuit Cellar since 2012. When he sent me this piece, he informed me that, now at 92 years old, he has decided to hang it up. Thank you, Tommy, for over a decade of quality contributions.

In late May, NVIDIA forecasted a huge leap in revenue—$7 billion, with $11 billion in sales (64% more than last year during the same period)—leading to a 24% jump in shares and signaling a rapidly changing tech sector, thanks in large part to the explosion in artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

July 2023 – Issue #396
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What’s of interest to me here are some of the comments from Jensen Huang, NVIDIA’s founder and CEO, who said the world’s data centers will need to be updated to handle the transformations to come with AI technology. “The world’s $1 trillion data center is nearly populated entirely by [central processing units] today,” Huang said, “Over the last four years, call it $1 trillion worth of infrastructure installed, and it’s all completely based on CPUs and dumb NICs.”

Apologies to our readers who work on NICs. I’m not usually too interested in the headline-grabbing rhetoric of billionaire firebrands, but Huang’s comments are in this instance an important alert to a growing problem that the technology sector will need to address. Namely, AI is putting an increasingly large demand on data centers, which already account for about 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and which consume 3% of the world’s global electricity supply. A data center makeover is certainly in order.

It happens that this month’s Tech the Future column, submitted by Vito Savino with ABB Power Conversion, covers “overcoming power obstacles in data centers.” Vito has written for Circuit Cellar previously (“The Future of Data Centers: It’s Time to Rethink Data Center Architecture,” Circuit Cellar 389, December 2022), and in both articles he makes compelling suggestions for approaches to reimagining data centers to better suit a world of rapidly growing energy demands.

Also in this issue, Jeff Bachiochi creates an application to measure and display barometric pressure using a MEMS barometer, Brian Beard describes his Digital Function Generator, Clinton Dundas, Alexander Ottosson, and Tony Biccum from Camosun College design the electronic system for an underwater ROV, Mike Lynes covers key players in the digital signage industry, Brian Millier builds a controller to coordinate his ductless heat pump, and Colin O’Flynn runs an Ibex RISC-V core on an FPGA. Plus, Datasheet rounds up nine MCUs with built-in RF capability. And of course, check out Tommy Tyler’s article on building an infrared signal recorder using an Arduino Nano to customize any remote control.

It was, as always, a delight to edit this month’s issue. I’ve received a handful of e-mails from readers who have questions about articles or who simply wish to share their comments with me. It’s deeply gratifying to know people are enjoying and using Circuit Cellar. Please don’t hesitate to share with me your thoughts, questions, concerns, or, as the case may be, outrage. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, thanks for reading.

Issue Table of Contents can be found here,
as articles are made available online they will be linked.

PUBLISHED IN CIRCUIT CELLAR MAGAZINE • JULY #396 – Get a PDF of the issue

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Editor-in-Chief at KCK Media Corp. | + posts

Sam Wallace - became Circuit Cellar's  Editor-In-Chief in August 2022.
His experience in writing, editing, and teaching will provide a great perspective on the selection, presentation, and clarity of editorial content. The Circuit Cellar audience will benefit from his strong academic background encompassing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with honors. His passion for learning and teaching is a great fit for Circuit Cellar's continuing mission of Inspiring the Evolution of Embedded Design.

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NVIDIA, Data Centers, and, Yes, AI

by Sam Wallace time to read: 2 min