[News] NVIDIA’s EULA Amendments Tighten Grip, Suppressing Third-Party CUDA Emulation

2024-03-11 Semiconductors editor

As per Chinese media mydrivers’ report, it has indicated that NVIDIA updated the EULA terms in the CUDA 11.6 installer, explicitly prohibiting third-party GPU companies from seamlessly integrating CUDA software. This move has reportedly stirred up discussions among the market.

NVIDIA updated the EULA agreement for CUDA 11.6, explicitly stating, “You may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any portion of the output generated using SDK elements for the purpose of translating such output artifacts to target a non-NVIDIA platform.”

This move is reportedly speculated to target third-party projects like ZLUDA, involving Intel and AMD, as well as compatibility solutions from Chinese firms like Denglin Technology and MetaX Technology.

In response, MooreThreads issued an official statement, confirming that its MUSA and MUSIFY technologies remain unaffected. MUSA and MUSIFY are not subject to NVIDIA EULA terms, ensuring developers can use them with confidence.

In fact, since 2021, NVIDIA has prohibited other hardware platforms from running CUDA software analog layers but only warned about it in the online EULA user agreement. Currently, NVIDIA has not explicitly named any parties, issuing warnings in the agreement without taking further action, although further measures cannot be ruled out in the future.

In the past, CUDA development and its ecosystem were widely regarded as NVIDIA’s moat. However, processor architect Jim Keller previously criticized CUDA on the X platform, stating, “CUDA is a swamp, not a moat,” adding, “CUDA is not beautiful. It was built by piling on one thing at a time.”

Meanwhile, according to the account rgznai100 posting on Chinese blog CSDN, NVIDIA’s actions will have a significant impact on AI chip/GPGPU companies that previously adopted CUDA-compatible solutions. NVIDIA may initially resort to legal measures, such as lawsuits, against GPGPU companies following similar paths.

Therefore, Chinese enterprises should endeavor to enhance collaboration with the open-source community to establish an open AI compilation ecosystem, reducing the risks posed by NVIDIA’s market dominance.

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(Photo credit: NVIDIA)

Please note that this article cites information from mydrivers and MooreThreads.