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March 2, 2024
PI Global Investments

What AI Means For Networking Infrastructure In 2024

Of the number of trends taking place in cloud and communications infrastructure in 2024, none loom as large as AI. Specifically in the networking markets, AI will have an impact on how infrastructure is built to support AI-enabled applications.

AI has interesting characteristics that make it different from previous cloud infrastructure. In general, training large language models (LLMs) and other applications requires extremely low latency and very high bandwidth.

Generative AI (GenAI), which creates text, images, sounds, and other output from natural language queries, is driving new computing trends toward highly distributed and accelerated platforms. These new environments require a complex and powerful underlying infrastructure, one that addresses the full stack of functionality, from chips to specialized networking cards to distributed high performance computing systems.

This has raised the profile of networking as a key element of the “AI stack.” Networking leaders such of Cisco have grabbed a hold of this in marketing materials and investor conference calls. But the networking companies that have drawn the most investor interest so far have been Nvidia, which has a full stack of networking elements including its BlueField networking platform, and Arista Networks, which has extraordinary interest from investors on the basis as a key networking supplier to AI providers such as Microsoft. There are also numerous interesting private companies in this market which we’ll detail in a bit.

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