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Microsoft introduces its own chips for AI

2023-11-15 18:01 by
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On Wednesday at the Microsoft Ignite conference, Microsoft announced two custom chips designed for accelerating in-house AI workloads through its Azure cloud computing service: Microsoft Azure Maia 100 AI Accelerator and the Microsoft Azure Cobalt 100 CPU.

Microsoft designed Maia specifically to run large language models like GPT 3.5 Turbo and GPT-4, which underpin its Azure OpenAI services and Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat). Maia has 105 billion transistors that are manufactured on a 5-nm TSMC process.

The Azure Cobalt CPU, named after the blue pigment, is a 128-core chip that's built on an Arm Neoverse CSS design and customized for Microsoft. It's designed to power general cloud services on Azure. Microsoft is currently testing its Cobalt CPU on workloads like Microsoft Teams and SQL server, with plans to make virtual machines available to customers next year for a variety of workloads.

Microsoft said it does not plan to sell the chips but instead will use them to power its own subscription software offerings and as part of its Azure cloud computing service.

Microsoft is part of a group that includes AMD, Arm, Intel, Meta, Nvidia, and Qualcomm that are standardizing the next generation of data formats for AI models. Microsoft is building on the collaborative and open work of the Open Compute Project (OCP) to adapt entire systems to the needs of AI.

Read more -here-


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