Aethir teams up with Well-Link Tech to expand decentralized cloud GPU network



Aethir and Well-Link Tech have partnered to bolster Aethir’s decentralized cloud GPU network to deliver better gaming experiences worldwide.

Singapore-based Aethir has created a new path with its decentralized GPU network, which takes underutilized graphics processing units and uses them for cloud rendering for games and metaverse experiences.

Aethir is focusing on decentralization — made possible through blockchain and peer-to-peer networking — as a way to speed up games and AI. One of the ways it does this is to take graphics processing units (GPUs), which are in short supply, from across a whole decentralized network of infrastructure companies and then more fully utilize them to accelerate computing tasks at hand. The company aims to save 60% on costs.

Their flagship product, Aethir Atmosphere, introduces a groundbreaking concept — a GPU-as-a-Service ecosystem for infrastructure providers while simultaneously democratizing a new Web3 cloud for enterprises.

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Aethir has joined the Nvidia Inception program.

Dan Wang, a former leader at Riot Games, is chief business officer at Aethir. In an interview with GamesBeat, he said that Riot considered cloud gaming a while ago but found at the time that it was cost prohibitive. Cloud gaming has potential to enable more people to play games, since it provides the processing power and graphics in a data center to process a game so that a player at home or on the run can play with relatively low-end hardware.

“We feel like we found product market fit, post revenue, working with some of the largest gaming studios and telecommunications companies around the world,” Wang said. “And working with We-Link Tech is very fortuitous. They are a leader in cloud gaming, especially in China.”

He added, “They met with us to get a better understanding of what we were building and how we utilized elements of blockchain technology to really kickstart this flywheel to achieve significantly lower price points, yet with the same quality of service. That’s how we ended up working with them. Not only are they partnering with us, but they’ve also invested in us to the point where they won’t need to buy more GPUs. They will exclusively use Aethir for their cloud needs.”

A fly wheel gaining momentum

Aethir's investors
Aethir’s investors

While these companies might normally be competitors, Aethir doesn’t have a presence inside China. And Well-Link Tech’s expertise is in the software-as-a-service, or virtualization layer. Aethir focuses on the infrastructure and its network where anyone can contribute underutilized resources.

“The cloud flies in the face of centralized infrastructure where they try to put everything into one data center for economies of scale efficiencies. But then what you end up having is the point of service versus the call to service being farther apart. Because you’ve centralized everything into one giant data center, it’s very different from the decentralized cloud infrastructure. We incentivize local providers to onboard and provide compute at a local level. And so essentially, in this node network, every single node that appears means that the average distance between the call to service and the point of service is shorter and shorter. So what happens is this amazing effect where the performance goes up with the growth of the network.”

He added, “When you cut the distance, the cost goes down. So we hit this really interesting effect where as the network scales and performance continues to grow, with lower millisecond ping times, higher frames per second and cost actually goes down. It’s pretty amazing to have this flywheel effect, as long as you provide the incentive model to solve this.”

That is, Aethir incentivizes the compute providers, like crypto miners, to provide their underutilized compute resources and get better return on investment for them by contributing the processing power to Aethir’s network. Rather than go buy a bunch of GPUs, Aethir gets to build out its cloud service by using GPUs that are already available in the places where it serves customers.

In addition to games, Aethir sees lot of demand materializing on the AI side, which also has an insatiable appetite for cloud infrastructure.

How it works

Aethir has raised $9 million at a $150 million valuation.
Aethir has raised $9 million at a $150 million valuation.

Addressing a pressing issue in current cloud technology, Aethir offers an infrastructure alternative that solves the cost and latency challenges associated with delivering premium GPU computational loads to latency sensitive industries.

Aethir offers an alternative infrastructure design that becomes faster and cheaper as it expands. Aethir said its infrastructure solution can deliver low-latency, GPU resources via the cloud.

Aethir creates a decentralized network of infrastructure providers and then becomes a broker for a kind of GPU marketplace. This enterprise-grade brokerage can meet the supply-and-demand requirements of some of the biggest game studios in the world. It deals with the real-time problems of gaming and AI inferencing.

Normally, cloud infrastructure is more centralized. If you’re going to supply computing to a lot of cloud gaming subscribers around the world, you create a bunch of data centers and centralize computing resources in those data centers. For enterprises, that meant a lot of CPUs and storage. But with gaming and AI, graphics processing units are the primary computing resource.

That is a rethinking of the distribution of infrastructure. Rather than concentrate resources at the edge, it mimics the edge with a network of companies that collectively can provide the right resources at the right time as demand surges. As the network gets bigger, the efficiency goes up, Wang said.

Changing regional markets

A game like SEA’s Free Fire has 180 million monthly active users. Since it dominates a lot of the infrastructure, it’s hard for rivals to move into the same region. But a rival using a decentralized GPU network could compete against the market leader’s infrastructure by aggregating GPUs from multiple providers who come in when the demand and price is right. It’s not unlike the validators who ensure correct computing results in a blockchain network.

If a company wants to get more GPUs and it can’t get them, it runs the risk of being out of luck as it needs more computing resources. But if it can tap its neighbors in the decentralized network, then there is more capacity in the market that it could purchase on the fly. And if there is a recession that means a lot of the GPUs in one company are underutilized, that company could farm them out.

China’s Well-Link Tech is also a frontrunner in real-time cloud rendering technology. By combining, they make their network stronger so that they will have more GPUs around the world that can quickly serve users.

Aethir’s decentralized GPU network, known for its advanced computing capabilities, will collaborate with Well-Link Tech, leveraging their real-time cloud rendering prowess. This partnership aims to empower Well-Link Tech’s vast user base of over 200 million users, enhancing their gaming experience and facilitating the creation of a groundbreaking cloud gaming platform tailored for triple-A titles and mixed reality (MR) developers.

This collaboration will deliver a significant leap in cloud gaming and metaverse technology. By integrating Aethir’s robust GPU computing power, Well-Link Tech aims to elevate its capacity to cater to a potential user base of over 200 million, with a particular focus on unlocking new possibilities in the metaverse through AI-generated games and middleware development for future gaming and MR content.

Well-Link Tech has cloud computing tech like real-time audio/video encoding and GPU virtualization. It sees this collaboration as a key step in advancing real-time rendering technology. The joint R&D team formed through this partnership will focus on refining rendering infrastructure for the Metaverse and gaming development platforms.

“The beauty of this is that there’s almost very little integration that’s needed. it’s already done. It’s all about setting up the local partnerships for distribution. We can pretty much launch this immediately,” Wang said. “We can basically lower the barrier of entry to getting into a new market. They can retain users better because there is lower friction associated with the overall onboarding process.”

Aethir is decentralizing the cloud for gaming and AI.
Aethir is decentralizing the cloud for gaming and AI.

Mark Rydon, CEO of Aethir, said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to partner with Well-Link Tech. Together, we’ll deliver exceptional services to global users and empower the creation and distribution of groundbreaking games and content. This collaboration is not just a step forward for both companies but a leap towards realizing the vast potential of cloud gaming and the immersive gaming experience in Web3.”

The partnership aspires to provide stable, high-performance cloud gaming experiences, reaching a global audience in the billions. With ambitions to enable millions of concurrent cloud rendering sessions, the collaboration envisions delivering seamless gameplay across various devices and regions.

Paul Thind, a veteran of gaming industry, has also joined the company as chief revenue officer.

“We’re getting a ton of interest from the industry,” Thind said in an interview. “Formulating a cloud strategy is super important at this time because the technology is there. And the user experience is just seamless and frictionless. And from there, it’s really about how do you want them to onboard.”

Aethir raised $32 million to date from Web3 investors such as Merit Circle, Hashkey, Animoca Brands, Sanctor Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC), and others.

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