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Major Tech Firms Unite to Develop New AI Data Center Networking Standard

In a significant move to challenge Nvidia’s dominance in the AI chip market, major tech companies including Meta, Microsoft, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Broadcom have announced the creation of a new industry standard for networking in AI data centers. The “Ultra Accelerator Link” (UALink) aims to establish an open standard for communication between artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators, which are essential for processing the vast amounts of data required for AI tasks.

Key Players and Motivation

The consortium behind UALink includes some of the biggest names in technology:

  • Meta
  • Microsoft
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
  • Broadcom
  • Google (Alphabet)
  • Cisco Systems
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
  • Intel

Importance of the New Standard

The creation of UALink is driven by a need to reduce reliance on Nvidia, which holds about 80% of the AI chip market. Nvidia’s networking business is a crucial component of its AI dominance. By developing an open standard, these tech giants aim to foster greater interoperability and competition in the AI hardware market, thereby reducing Nvidia’s market control.

Industry Implications

**1. Standardization: The UALink consortium emphasizes the importance of a standardized interface for AI and machine learning, high-performance computing (HPC), and cloud applications. This standardization is crucial for the next generation of AI data centers and implementations, enabling more seamless integration and communication between different systems.

**2. Market Dynamics: With the specifications set to be available in the third quarter of 2024, companies that join the UALink Consortium will benefit from these open standards. This move could significantly alter the competitive landscape, providing an alternative to Nvidia’s proprietary solutions and potentially driving down costs.

Industry Response

Nvidia, the current market leader, has declined to comment on this development. Similarly, Marvell Technologies, a key competitor in the networking and custom chip market, has not yet responded to the news.


The formation of the UALink Consortium represents a strategic effort by leading tech firms to diversify the AI hardware ecosystem and reduce dependency on a single supplier. By promoting an open standard for AI accelerator communication, these companies aim to enhance competition, innovation, and efficiency in AI data centers. As the specifications become available later this year, the industry will closely watch how this initiative impacts the market dynamics and Nvidia’s dominant position.



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