Microsoft Is Looking Forward To The Launch Of Its Own Custom-Built AI Chip

Microsoft is on the lookout to launch new AI chips so it can put itself at the head of the game in the world of AI. Similarly, it would provide users with a fabulous integrated solution for scale-out AI too.

The news comes to us thanks to a recent report by The Information which shed light on how the computational giant is working hard on this chip that is dubbed Athena. It’s been three years since we first heard about the project from Microsoft.

As it is, plenty of engineering samples were already provided to leading tech firms like Microsoft and OpenAI workers. Moreover, 2019 was the year when we saw Microsoft invest a staggering $1 billion in the project of OpenAI. So as you can imagine, there is a link between the two, which is the chip and the initial investment.

Meanwhile, so many other American companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google as well as other non-American entities launched their own series of customized chips for the world of AI. Their aim was to attain the best hardware solution that provides the best performance than that seen commercially.

Such processors are required for both inference and training of LLM at the moment.

And by doing this, they are copying Apple’s very successful vertically integrated stack of both hardware and software. This was deployed through billions of devices around the globe.

On most occasions, we saw tech giant Microsoft reveal attempts to follow in Apple’s footsteps across the consumer market after the failed approach with Windows RT on Arm. The latter pertains to nearly 10 years back. The only difference now is that Microsoft appeared to be more in control and not lagging behind.

We won’t be lying if we mentioned how Microsoft has really made the most of AI with great enthusiasm. The company has flaunted ChatGPT through most of its flagship goods and services including Bing, Github, and Microsoft 365. And it would be only a little time before we see that get deployed throughout the Azure stack too.

But that does not mean this new project is going to be as smooth sailing as before. The cost of the launch would include high prices for hardware that Microsoft would need to bear. And on a yearly average, that could go up to tens of billions of dollars. As it is, the firm is partnering with Nvidia to create the next-generation supercomputer.

And it’s also very much likely that the world’s huge computational giant could leverage Athena to attain the best rates and serve as a priority from Nvidia later on.

Today, the tech giant has nearly 300 workers on the Athena AI chip endeavor at the company. And the roadmap details entail multiple generations with the first one entailing TSMC’s 5nm manufacturing ordeal.

If you come to think of it, it won’t be wrong to mention how the Athena by Microsoft is its follow-up for Project Brainwave. But again, only time can tell what other changes are in store.

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