April 19, 2024
Startup Showcases Future Decentralized GPU Infrastructure Network to OpenAI, Uber
AI

Startup Showcases Future Decentralized GPU Infrastructure Network to OpenAI, Uber

A project that initially began as an institutional-grade quantitative trading system for cryptocurrencies and stocks has transformed into a decentralized network aimed at sourcing GPU computing power to meet the growing demand for AI and machine learning services.

Io.net has created a test network that pools GPU computing power from various sources, including data centers, cryptocurrency miners, and decentralized storage providers. This aggregation of GPU computational power is expected to significantly reduce the cost of renting these resources, which have become increasingly expensive due to advancements in AI and machine learning.

Io.net’s CEO and co-founder, Ahmad Shadid, revealed that the project originated during a Solana hackathon in late 2022. The team was working on a quantitative trading platform that heavily relied on GPU computing power for its high-frequency operations. However, the steep costs of renting GPU computing capacity posed a significant challenge. Renting a single NVIDIA A100 GPU card, for instance, averaged around $80 per day, making it financially impractical for their needs.

A solution was found in Ray.io, an open-source library that OpenAI used to distribute ChatGPT training across a vast number of CPUs and GPUs. This library streamlined the project’s infrastructure, and its backend was developed within a short two-month timeframe. Shadid showcased Io.net’s working testnet at the AI-focused Ray Summit in September 2023, emphasizing how the project consolidates computing power into clusters to address specific AI or machine learning use cases. Shadid explained:

“Not only does this model allow io.net to provision GPU compute up to 90% cheaper than incumbent suppliers, but it allows for virtually unlimited computing power.”

The decentralized network is set to leverage Solana’s blockchain for payments in SOL and USD Coin (USDC) to machine learning engineers and miners who rent or provide computing power. Shadid clarified that when machine learning engineers pay for their clusters, the funds go directly to the miners who contributed GPU resources, with a small network fee allocated to the io.net protocol.

Io.net’s future plans include introducing a dual native token system, featuring IO and IOSD tokens. The IO coin will serve as a freely traded gateway to access the computing power, while the IOSD token will act as a stable credit token algorithmically pegged to 1 USD.

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

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