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NVIDIA and Vietnam: A Power Partnership in AI and Semiconductors

Daniel Kim Views  

FPT Homepage

Recently, high-ranking officials from NVIDIA, one of the hottest companies globally, have been visiting Vietnam frequently. Following NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang’s visit to Vietnam last year, Vice President Keith Strier led a high-level delegation to Vietnam last month. Vice President Strier visited Vietnam from April 22 to 26 to fulfill the artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductor-related cooperation agreement that CEO Jensen Huang made with the Vietnamese government in December of last year.

NVIDIA is setting its sights on Vietnam as a semiconductor hub in Southeast Asia, beyond just the AI chip sales market, and is actively expanding its cooperation. This aligns well with Vietnam’s desperate need to participate in the advanced semiconductor supply chain, expediting the cooperation progress.

Cooperation with Top Vietnamese IT Companies

The core of this NVIDIA delegation’s visit is to cooperate with FPT Group and CMC Group, Vietnam’s top information technology (IT) companies. First, a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement was signed with the FPT Group, and both parties agreed to invest $200 million to establish an AI factory. An AI factory is a computing infrastructure built using NVIDIA’s graphics processing unit (GPU) to process large-scale AI-related data. It will play a key role in the AI cloud services provided by the FPT Group.

Furthermore, both parties agreed to cooperate in training advanced personnel, and the FPT Group will become a service development partner with NVIDIA. The cooperation between NVIDIA and the FPT Group aims to provide AI products, GPU infrastructure, as well as technical personnel all in one place, offering AI and cloud one-stop services.

Chairman Trương Gia Bình expressed his ambition to make Vietnam a global AI hub through cooperation with NVIDIA.

The NVIDIA delegation also visited the CMC Creative Space Complex, a complex building of offices and data centers owned by CMC Group, one of Vietnam’s top IT companies. CMC Group, one of Vietnam’s top telecommunications companies with a 31-year history, has recently risen to the forefront of the Vietnamese cloud computing market through the CMC Cloud Platform.

Beginning with the introduction of its data center infrastructure, CMC Group demonstrated its ability to cooperate in technology transfer and AI technology development in Vietnam. They also showed NVIDIA its potential to be a comprehensive partner providing digital infrastructure for domestic and foreign companies, such as AI factories, cloud partners, and service providers. In response, Vice President Strier expressed his intention to work towards building a comprehensive and strategic partnership with CMC over the long term.

Vietnam Communications Agency

Establishment of R&D Centers 

The NVIDIA delegation also visited Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City to conduct site surveys for three major projects: the establishment of AI research and development (R&D) and training centers, the installation of supercomputer systems, and the relocation of some supercomputer GPU production to Vietnam. They are preparing to build a real business base in Vietnam.

Vice President Strier, in a meeting with Phan Văn Mãi, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, requested that the city consider preferential policies for tech companies to establish a corporate ecosystem. He stated that NVIDIA is forming a research team to consider relocating some production departments to Vietnam. He said, “We want to provide knowledge, experience, and passion for AI in Vietnam, not just sell GPUs. It’s too simple to just buy and sell. We want to cooperate and jointly develop AI technology.”

In response, Chairman Mãi proposed establishing a joint working group between Ho Chi Minh City and NVIDIA. Furthermore, based on the results of the joint working group, he suggested making decisions regarding what to do in investment areas such as computing infrastructure, AI infrastructure, and advanced technology park development. He emphasized, “Ho Chi Minh City will invest in these things and secure enough budget for them.”

Chairman Mãi also expressed confidence in the abundant pool of technical personnel, with three-quarters of Vietnam’s IT personnel working in Ho Chi Minh City.

In addition, Vice President Strier met with Nguyễn Chí Dũng, Minister of Planning and Investment, and Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, Minister of Information and Communications, to discuss cooperation measures between NVIDIA and Vietnam’s IT industry.

Vietnam Communications Agency

Vietnam’s Semiconductor Industry

Cooperation between Vietnam and NVIDIA began to accelerate following U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Vietnam in September last year. At that time, President Biden agreed to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in areas such as semiconductors and other scientific and technological fields. In the same month, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính visited major U.S. tech companies, including NVIDIA, to consolidate cooperation intentions.

Particularly, Chính expressed deep admiration for the development of NVIDIA, founded by Asian-American Jensen Huang. He requested cooperation and investment in areas where NVIDIA and Vietnam’s interests align. Jensen Huang also suggested cooperation when he visited Vietnam in December last year, stating that Vietnam could become NVIDIA’s second home. Cooperating with Vietnam aligns with NVIDIA’s interests amid the U.S.-China competition and the U.S. government’s strengthening of technology containment against China. Vietnam is also taking advantage of this.

However, experts predict that the pace of infrastructure improvements related to the semiconductor industry, which requires not only R&D and chip production facilities but also power and personnel infrastructure, will determine the development of Vietnam’s semiconductor industry.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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