Microsoft is ‘Chipping’ into Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence Chip

At Microsoft’s Ignite conference in November, they announced two artificial intelligence chips that they are releasing. The first being ‘Maia 100’ which is an AI graphics processing unit optimized for Artificial Intelligence tasks and generative AI, and the second chip is a Cobalt 100 Arm chip which is aimed at general computing tasks on the Microsoft Cloud, potentially competing with Intel processors. Microsoft is following in suit to others who have released similar technologies such as Google, and Amazon, however they aren’t planning to allow companies to buy servers containing their chips, unlike Nvidia or AMD.  

What is an AI Chip? 

No, this isn’t a salty snack to enjoy, instead, special AI chips have the possibility to help meet demand when there’s a GPU shortage. They can command billions of transistors that process streams of code flying through datacenters. These chips will be placed onto custom server boards within tailor made racks that fit easily inside existing Microsoft datacenters, working with software to unlock new and transformative capabilities.  

Microsoft specifically built their chip for AI computing based on customer feedback. They are currently testing how the Maia 100 chip is in comparison to Bing’s search engine’s AI chatbot, formally known as Bing Chat, but now better known as Copilot. This technology can generate email messages, summarize documents, and answer questions with just a few words of instruction.  

The end goal of these chips, according to Rani Borkar, corporate VP of Azure Hardware Systems and Infrastructure, is to produce an Azure hardware system that offers maximum flexibility that is also optimized for power, performance, sustainability and cost. Borkar goes on to say, “Software is our core strength, but frankly, we are a systems company. At Microsoft we are co-designing and optimizing hardware and software together so that one plus one is greater than two. We have visibility into the entire stack, and silicon is just one of the ingredients.” 

Learn more about the new innovative artificial intelligence chips in this announcement released by Microsoft. With a systems approach to chips, Microsoft aims to tailor everything ‘from silicon to service’ to meet AI demand – Source  

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