Report: Microsoft set to reveal own AI chip

Report: Microsoft set to reveal own AI chip

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

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Microsoft is preparing to unveil its own chip designed for artificial intelligence processing at its Ignite developers’ conference, according to The Information.

And the chip could lean on AMD GPU technology according to other reports. This would be a double blow to Nvidia which currently provides AI chips to Microsoft for its data centers.

The Microsoft chip is designed to be installed in data center servers and where it can be used to train and run large language models for such features OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Microsoft Ignite takes place November 14 to 17 in Seattle, Washington with an abbreviated version online on November 15 and 16.

Reportedly the AI processor chip, codenamed Athena, has been in development since 2019 and will be an alternative to Nvidia’s H100 and would therefore lessen Microsoft’s reliance on expensive Nvidia AI chips that are also increasingly unavailable because of supply chain constraints.

Other reports from earlier in 2023 suggest that Microsoft partnered with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. to develop Athena. As AMD is licensor of its GPU technology it could be a source of IP within a chip designed by Microsoft, or as both licensor and co-developer (see Arm gets a rival as AMD licenses graphics IP to Samsung).

This would make sense as AMD started licensing out its GPU technology in 2019.

It is not known what foundry is making Athena, but it is almost certain to be either Samsung or TSMC in one of their most advanced manufacturing process technologies.

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Arm gets a rival as AMD licenses graphics IP to Samsung)

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