Dell’s founder and CEO has said that data center capacity will have to increase by 100x from current levels over the next 10 years.

Speaking over the week at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW 2024) and reported by AI Business, CEO Michael Dell said: “There definitely needs to be a big build-out of data center capacity for sure.”

He added: “We could need 100 times more of this in 10 years than we have today.”

Michael Dell and Moorhead
Michael Dell (right) with Moors Insights' Patrick Moorhead (left) at SXSW 2024 – SXSW

Dell attributed the increase in data center demand to the rising interest in AI services, and explained that people will learn that they can get better results from generative AI models.

He said we are only in the first or second year of “the big AI revolution” and predicted that the growth of AI will be 10x faster than the growth rate of the Internet.

“The cost of having a cognitive superpower is approaching zero,” he said, noting that society is shifting towards using machines for “cognitive power” rather than computing and coding.

Dell, whose company sells hardware that powers AI workloads, added that the shift will require a new architecture, compute, memory, network, software model, and build to support it.

Dell said bringing AI to the enterprise was “an enormous priority.”

“Customers want to bring AI to their data, not the data to their AI,” he said, explaining that 75 percent of data is stored on-prem, rather than in the cloud, because companies want their data to be only for their and their customers’ benefit.

At the end of last year, Dell Technologies planned to sell $150m of AI hardware to AI start-up, Imbue.