Monday 22 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 8): US-based artificial intelligence (AI) chip giant Nvidia Corp, which is mulling a plan to set up a data centre in Malaysia, believes AI data centres could be a new manufacturing sector for the country.

Nvidia chief executive officer and founder Jensen Huang Jen-hsun highlighted that Malaysia could be an excellent data centre infrastructure hub for Southeast Asia.

“Traditional data centres are designed to hold data, but the new AI data centres are essentially AI factories, where raw data will be refined and transformed to valuable data.

"Malaysia is a very strong manufacturing nation, and I believe your country has a unique advantage to potentially become an excellent data centre technology hub for Nvidia in the Southeast Asia region,” he told reporters in a media round-table session during his maiden visit to Malaysia on Friday.

Citing sources, Reuters on Friday reported that Nvidia is in advanced talks with Malaysian power-to-property conglomerate YTL Corp Bhd on a data centre deal.

The potential tie-up would include collaborating on cloud infrastructure, and is likely to be anchored at YTL's data centre complex in Johor. 

When asked, Huang declined to confirm or deny the report. He, however, pointed out that Malaysia had “terrific companies”, such as YTL and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), which could be excellent partners to build data centre infrastructure.

“YTL is an extraordinary company, with incredible leadership and legacy. YTL understands data centre infrastructure. It would be our privilege to work with them.

"Having said that, I won’t be able to confirm anything today (Friday),” said the tech executive of the world's most valuable chipmaker.

YTL Power International Bhd, through its unit YTL Data Center Holdings Pte Ltd, had previously announced plans to develop a 500MW data centre park dubbed the “Green Data Center Park”, with an estimated investment of RM15 billion spanning seven years. 

The company will invest about RM1.5 billion in the first phase of the project, which will feature a data centre facility with a 72MW capacity. The project is expected to be ready by March next year.

It is worth noting that in March this year, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd’s Yes 5G, alongside Nvidia, brought Nvidia’s GeForce NOW cloud gaming service to Malaysia.

YTL Communications is 60% controlled by Bursa Malaysia-listed YTL Power, whose share price had gained 73% over the past six months.

Edited BySurin Murugiah
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