VMware’s Bitfusion acquisition could be a game-changer for GPU computing

VMware will integrate Bitfusion technology into vSphere, bolstering VMware’s strategy of supporting AI- and ML-based workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators.

VMware’s Bitfusion purchase could be a game-changer for GPU computing
Vladimir Timofeev / Getty Images

In a low-key move that went under the radar of a lot of us, last week VMware snapped up a startup called Bitfusion, which makes virtualization software for accelerated computing. It improves performance of virtual machines by offloading processing to accelerator chips, such as GPUs, FPGAs, or other custom ASICs.

Bitfusion provides sharing of GPU resources among isolated GPU compute workloads, allowing workloads to be shared across the customer’s network. This way workloads are not tied to one physical server but shared as a pool of resources, and if multiple GPUs are brought to bear, performance naturally increases.

“In many ways, Bitfusion offers for hardware acceleration what VMware offered to the compute landscape several years ago. Bitfusion also aligns well with VMware’s ‘Any Cloud, Any App, Any Device’ vision with its ability to work across AI frameworks, clouds, networks, and formats such as virtual machines and containers,” said Krish Prasad, senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware, in a blog post announcing the deal.

When the acquisition closes, VMware will integrate Bitfusion technology into vSphere. Prasad said the inclusion of Bitfusion will bolster VMware’s strategy of supporting artificial intelligence- and machine learning-based workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators.

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