Jed McCaleb-backed nonprofit will provide easier access to AI computing capacity

Voltage Park will lease access to 24,000 clustered NVIDIA GPUs by the hour or month to help small startups and researchers model machine learning.

Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb’s nonprofit Navigation Fund is helping to tackle the AI chip shortage by offering leasable capacity large machine learning models. A new cloud was officially launched on Oct. 29 that will be accessible on an hourly, monthly or long-term basis.

An organization called Voltage Park “currently offer[s] bare-metal access for large-scale users that need peak performance” and expects to expand its service by early 2024, according to a statement on its website. It has around 24,000 NVIDIA H100 graphics processing units (GPUs) grouped into interconnected clusters. Voltage Park is a subsidiary of Navigation Fund.

The hardware is worth $500 million. Clusters will be set up in Texas, Virginia and Washington, Voltage Park CEO Eric Park told Reuters. Park joined the organization in July.

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Voltage Park is currently auctioning off contracts with lengths of one to three months on 1,560 GPUs. It said in its announcement:

“The market for cutting-edge ML compute is broken. Startups, researchers and even big AI labs are scrambling to buy or rent access to the latest chips for ML training. […] We’re on a mission to make machine learning infrastructure accessible to all.”

The Navigation Fund was founded in 2023 with plans to provide a small number of grants this year and expand its programs in early 2024. It plans to advance a number of causes in addition to “safe AI.”

Billionaire McCaleb created Mt. Gox to trade Magic: The Gathering cards, then repurposed it as a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange and sold it in 2011, three years before its collapse. He went on to become a co-founder of Ripple Labs, and after leaving Ripple on bad terms with the rest of the management, he co-founded the Stellar blockchain. He also created a space station startup in 2022 that has partnered with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

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