Google's Python-writing code system is going pay-as-you-go

Google is changing the payment model for Colaboratory, its Python-writing code system.

Informally known as Colab, the platform is designed for users to write and execute Python code from within your browser, and is marketed to all types of users including students, data scientists, and AI researchers.

The company boasts that zero configuration is needed and that, most importantly, users are granted free access to GPUs.

Google Colab PAYG

In a release on the TensorFlow blog, Colab product lead Chris Perry says that Colab’s free-of-charge tier “stays in its current form.” The difference is that users will now have access to buy so-called “compute units”, which are set to cost $9.99 for 100 or $49.99 for 500 (offering no bulk-buy discount).

As part of the rollout, paying customers will gain additional access to premium GPUs, which are “typically NVIDIA V100 or A100 Tensor Core.” In contrast, standard GPUs (available to both free and paying customers) are “typically NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core”.

We say “typically”, because Google says the chip type assignment is not guaranteed. Availability and your paid balance are some factors that are considered in their allocation. One thing worth noting is that premium GPUs will deplete your “compute units” quicker than standard GPUs, so will be more costly as a result.

Via TechCrunch (opens in new tab)

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