Nvidia has just changed its GeForce licensing agreement to prevent data centers using its GeForce graphics cards for anything except for blockchain processing – making it clear that these GPUs are really meant for consumer use only.
So what’s the story here? Essentially, these GPUs are very efficient when it comes to deep learning applications – since these days half precision, rather than double precision, is where it’s at – and Nvidia doesn’t want folks using these cheaper cards rather than the likes of Tesla GPUs (which are targeted at the professional market, and weighted in cost as such).
As Wccftech.com (opens in new tab) reports, it’s likely that Nvidia has been mulling its tactics concerning the prospect of data centers being designed around using GeForce graphics cards, and the firm clearly feels this is something it needs to take action on.
Obviously Nvidia can’t just raise the prices of GeForce cards without negatively affecting the consumer market, so the other route to take is to change the GeForce EULA to prevent usage of the GPUs in data centers.
Exactly how this fresh policy will be enforced, and what happens to data centers already using these cards remains to be seen. There are also questions around definitions, such as whether deep neural net processing clusters in the likes of universities count as ‘data centers’.
But certainly, this is going to prove a real headache for some organizations out there when Nvidia’s legal department gets in touch.
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