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AI: Data Centers and GPUs in 2024-5

In the age of artificial intelligence and cloud computing, the humble data center has evolved into a powerhouse of the digital economy. Let's examine the current state of data centers and the GPUs driving the AI revolution.

The Global Data Center Landscape

Imagine a world with 11,000 beating hearts on the internet. That's roughly the number of data centers worldwide, forming a vast network that powers everything from your Netflix binge to cutting-edge AI research. However, not all data centers are created equal.

While tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft dominate headlines with their massive "hyperscale" facilities, they represent just the tip of the iceberg.

The global count includes a diverse ecosystem:

  • Enterprise data centers run by companies for their own operations

  • Colocation facilities where multiple businesses share space

  • Edge computing centers bringing processing power closer to users

  • Specialized facilities for AI, scientific research, and more

The Big Players: More Than Meets the Eye

When we think of cloud providers, a few names immediately come to mind. But their data center footprint is likely larger than you imagined:

  • Amazon (AWS): 300-500 data centers

  • Google: 200-300 data centers

  • Microsoft (Azure): 250-400 data centers

  • NVIDIA: 20-50 specialized AI and HPC facilities

These numbers include not just their headline-grabbing mega facilities, but also smaller regional centers, edge locations, and specialized research sites.

Building for the Future

The pace of data center construction is staggering. In 2024 alone, we estimate:

  • Amazon: 20-30 new data centers

  • Google: 15-25 new data centers

  • Microsoft: 25-35 new data centers

  • NVIDIA: 3-5 new specialized facilities

This rapid expansion reflects the insatiable demand for cloud services and AI computing power.

The Heart of AI: NVIDIA's H100 and H200 GPUs

At the core of many AI-focused data centers lies NVIDIA's powerhouse GPUs. The current estimate puts the number of H100 GPUs deployed for machine learning at a staggering 500,000 to 750,000 units globally.

But that's just the beginning. Looking ahead to 2024 and 2025, we're forecasting explosive growth:

  • 2024: 1.5 to 2 million new H100 and H200 GPUs deployed

  • 2025: 2.5 to 3.5 million new units, primarily the more advanced H200

This growth reflects not just the expansion of cloud AI services, but also increasing adoption in enterprise, research, and government sectors. The simultaneoud growth of energy and water supplies must also be accounted for.

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