KT Jumps into AI Infrastructure Market – BusinessKorea

KT is moving to enter the artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure market.

KT has jumped into the artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure market, where U.S. GPU giant Nvidia has secured a 90 percent share. It has joined hands with Korean fabless startup Fadu and global GPU company AMD to strengthen its software-based cloud services and develop an AI semiconductor chip (NPU) in the second half of 2023.

KT’s plan is to create its own AI computing ecosystem that encompasses software and hardware. If realized as planned, its service will allow companies to easily borrow and use domestic technology-based AI infrastructure as much as they want without relying on expensive Nvidia GPU-based services.

KT laid out its buisness plan at a briefing session on hyper-scale AI computing (HAC) for companies that want to develop AI services in the bio, edutech, and manufacturing fields. The session was held at a hotel in Samseong-dong, Seoul, on Dec. 28.

HAC is a cloud computing-based AI infrastructure service that KT commercialized on Dec. 10. Its service allows companies to use GPUs, an essential resource for AI service development, in a virtual environment. It is a usage-based pricing model, in which a company uses GPUs as much as it wants and pays a fee in accordance with its usage. This is the first usage-based pricing model for AI infrastructure services in Korea.

“Companies’ cost will be reduced by about 50 percent to 70 percent compared to the existing method, which collects fees for a certain period of time even if GPUs are not used,” said Kim Joo-sung, executive director of the Cloud Computing and Internet Data Center (IDC) Business at KT.

KT has developed its own multi-solution to allow GPUs from different companies to run together. Until now, GPUs from different companies could not be used together as they are based on different programming language structures (frameworks). 

KT plans to expand its AI infrastructure business in four stages. Next year, it will build a large GPU farm with thousands of heterogeneous GPUs from Nvidia and AMD. In 2023, it will combine its own AI semiconductor, to be developed jointly with Fadu exclusively for KT HAC, with the GPU farm. This is to further reduce dependence on overseas GPUs. If this plan is realized, KT will be able to launch a total AI infrastructure business that encompasses hardware and software. KT plans to set up its own AI standard model in the future and launch a specialized AI solution business for industries such as autonomous driving, finance, and metaverse.

KT is also developing cooperation with the Korean government for Korea’s independence in the AI infrastructure technology sector, which is dominated by foreign companies. 

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