By Stephen Nellis

May 14 (Reuters) – Semiconductor firm Nvidia Corp on Thursday announced a new chip that can be digitally split up to run several different programs on one physical chip, a first for the company that matches a key capability on many of Intel Corp’s chips.

The notion behind what the Santa Clara, California-based company calls its A100 chip is simple: Help the owners of data centers get every bit of computing power possible out of the physical chips they purchase by ensuring the chip never sits idle. The same principle helped power the rise of cloud computing over the past two decades and helped Intel build a massive data center business.

When software developers turn to a cloud computing provider such as or Microsoft

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