Comment Facebook parent Meta reportedly said it needed to quintuple its fleet of data center GPUs to help it compete with the short-form video app and perennial security problem TikTok.
The often-controversial tech giant needs these hardware accelerators in its servers by the end of the year to power its so-called discovery engine which will become the focus of future social media efforts, according to a note. internal consulted by Reuters and written by Meta Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.
The main thrust of the memo was a call to arms to staff on the need for Meta to, in Cox’s words, “prioritize more ruthlessly” and “operate more lean execution teams.” , badder and better” in the face of growing macroeconomic concerns and an ad company that doesn’t play well with privacy protections.
But Meta’s apparent need for truckloads of GPUs will likely serve as an assertion to Nvidia and other chip companies that some of the world’s biggest tech companies will continue to need more acceleration chips to power their most important businesses as the global economy cools.
As detailed by The Verge earlier this month, Meta plans to use its discovery engine to build a version of the Facebook app that closely resembles TikTok’s addictive video stream. Not a big surprise given that competitor copying has long been Meta’s forte.
Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce and Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, no!
GPUs have become increasingly important for so-called hyperscalers like Meta because they can process critical workloads like recommendation engines much faster than general-purpose server CPU cores. These recommendation engines are responsible for the apps and services we touch every day, from search engines and news feeds to online stores and video platforms.
With the push of Meta’s discovery engine, the mega-corporation is now signaling that it needs far more data center GPUs to make Facebook and its other apps as, if not more, compelling than TikTok.
Will it work? We don’t know, and Meta has stumbled many times in the past. We can guarantee that any future changes to its apps will, at the very least, be a lot of eye-rolls.
But Meta’s memo should be a nice gift for Nvidia in these tough economic times. After all, Nv appears to be the company’s GPU vendor of choice based on previous announcements.
That is, unless another company manages to ship an accelerator chip in volume that will quickly fit into Meta’s existing environment. It seems unlikely, but we would welcome competition, which we know comes from Intel, AMD and others. ®