VMware, Nvidia target businesses that want their own AI

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows VMware cloud service logo

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) - VMware Inc on Tuesday said it has developed a new set of software tools in partnership with Nvidia Corp aimed at businesses which want to develop generative artificial intelligence in their own data centers rather than the cloud.

VMware, which is close to being acquired by chip firm Broadcom Inc in a $69 billion deal, makes software that corporations use to run their privately owned data centers. For more than two decades, VMware's tools have been used by businesses to divvy up the computing power in central processor chips, which are the brains of traditional servers.

On Tuesday, the company released a new set of tools help designed to manage Nvidia chips, which dominate the market for AI systems that can read and write text in human-like ways. Companies like Microsoft Corp, for example, are offering cloud-based systems that can read through a business team's emails and chats and help generate a short update on a the team's progress.

Raghu Raghuram, VMware's chief executive, told Reuters businesses are interested in the technology for everything from helping software developers write code faster to writing legal contracts more quickly. But some VMware customers want to do that work in their own data centers when the data is sensitive.

"Imagine a common use case: I want it to read all my legal contracts so I can generate new contracts faster. Obviously, that is going to be super, super secretive - you don't want that data escaping anywhere," Raghuram said.

VMware said the new tools will be available next year. The company declined to say how it will be priced, other than saying that the cost will be based on how many Nvidia chips the customer uses the software to manage.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Jonathan Oatis)