Apple Intelligence may be reason why OpenAI wants Microsoft to work with archrival Oracle — Azure may be feeling the pinch as iOS 18 AI-focus means far more GPUs are required

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Jun 17, 2024

Oracle, Microsoft and OpenAI are joining forces to extend the Microsoft Azure AI platform to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in a bid to meet the soaring demand for AI. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, this collaboration is likely fueled at least in part by the integration of Apple Intelligence in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia.

At its WWDC, the Cupertino-based tech giant went all-in on AI, detailing how Apple Intelligence will utilize both on-device processing and Private Cloud Compute (PCC) to manage complex data and larger foundation models. It will also provide access to ChatGPT when needed (and with user consent), resulting in a fresh wave of traffic for OpenAI to deal with.

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft and Oracle. OCI will extend Azure’s platform and enable OpenAI to continue to scale,” Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO said.

The Apple effect

ChatGPT currently provides generative AI services to more than 100 million users every month. This is a number that’s likely to rise exponentially once Apple Intelligence becomes widely available later in the year.

OCI’s purpose-built AI capabilities enable startups and enterprises to build and train models in Oracle’s distributed cloud. Oracle says for training LLMs, OCI Supercluster can scale up to 64k Nvidia Blackwell GPUs or GB200 Grace Blackwell Superchips. These are connected by ultra-low-latency RDMA cluster networking and a choice of HPC storage, offering powerful and efficient AI infrastructure.

OCI Compute virtual machines and OCI’s bare metal Nvidia GPU instances can power applications for generative AI, computer vision, natural language processing, recommendation systems, and more.

“The race to build the world’s greatest large language model is on, and it is fueling unlimited demand for Oracle’s Gen2 AI infrastructure,” said Larry Ellison, Oracle Chairman and CTO. “Leaders like OpenAI are choosing OCI because it is the world’s fastest and most cost-effective AI infrastructure.”

While Apple Intelligence will unquestionably drive demand for AI, it won’t be the sole reason for OpenAI pushing for this partnership. The new incoming raft of Copilot+ PCs will also likely be a factor. 

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