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Nvidia boss, top chip CEOs to lay out AI plans at Taiwan expo

Nvidia boss, top chip CEOs to lay out AI plans at Taiwan expo
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TAIPEI: The world’s biggest heavyweights in chipmaking and artificial intelligence will converge this week for Taiwan’s premier tech expo, with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang expected to get a rockstar reception at his keynote speech on Sunday (Jun 2).

There is outsized interest in the 2024 edition of Computex, thanks to the participation of not just Huang but the leaders of some of Nvidia’s main rivals in AI hardware, including AMD, Qualcomm and Intel.

Computex is the top annual tech showcase in Taiwan, whose advanced semiconductor industry is crucial to the production of everything from iPhones to the servers that run ChatGPT.

“This is the beginning of our company’s business because we build our wafers here, and build our systems here,” Huang told reporters last week.

Huang, who was born in Taiwan, has high celebrity status on the island, with feverish media attention and fans stopping him for autographs and selfies wherever he goes.

That is thanks in large part to Nvidia becoming the undisputed global leader in the specialised chips and hardware needed for cutting-edge AI.

A day before his speech at the National Taiwan University, Huang threw the opening pitch before a baseball game in Taipei.

And on Thursday, he dined with some of Taiwan’s tech industry leaders, including the head of Apple supplier Foxconn.

SHOWCASING THE FUTURE

Lisa Su of AMD and Qualcomm boss Cristiano Amon are also scheduled to deliver keynote speeches at Computex.

Su is expected to outline AMD’s plans to compete in cutting-edge AI, while Amon will “showcase the AI-accelerated experiences users can expect from their next-generation PCs”, according to the organisers.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and Rene Haas, head of the British chip design giant Arm, will also speak at the event.

Tech firms are betting big on AI, and Taiwanese manufacturers are central to their plans — the island produces the bulk of the world’s most advanced semiconductors, including those needed for the most powerful AI applications and research.

Suppliers such as Foxconn, traditionally focused on contract electronics for the likes of Apple, have also pivoted in recent years into producing AI hardware.

Foxconn CEO Young Liu told shareholders on Friday that the firm’s global market share for AI servers will increase to 40 percent this year.

However, Taiwan’s central position in the supply chain for semiconductors – the lifeblood of the modern economy – has become a source of concern in capitals and boardrooms around the world.

Taiwan is self-ruled, but China claims the island as its territory and has never ruled out the use of force to bring it under its control.

In recent years, the relationship between Beijing and Taipei has deteriorated and the Chinese military has staged multiple large-scale exercises around the island – including the simulation of a blockade.

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