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Microsoft to unveil its custom AI chip next week

Posted May. 18, 2024 07:48,   

Updated May. 18, 2024 07:48


Microsoft is set to unveil its custom AI chip for CPUs, joining Amazon Web Services (AWS), Intel, and Google in a fierce competition in the AI chip market.

TechCrunch, a U.S. online IT media outlet, reported on Wednesday that Microsoft will introduce its proprietary AI semiconductor, 'Cobalt 100,' at its annual developers' conference on Tuesday. This move aims to secure chips tailored for AI technology and ensure the stable operation of its cloud data center with high-performing CPU chips. First revealed in November 2023, Cobalt 100 is designed to enhance efficiency and performance in cloud services. Cobalt 100 is expected to compete with AWS's Graviton CPU AI chips and Intel's x86 chips.

With the highest share in the global cloud market, AWS introduced its own server chips in 2018 and released Graviton 4 last November. Graviton 4 offers 30% higher performance and lower energy consumption than Intel chips.

TechCrunch reported that Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's Executive vice president of the Cloud and AI group, compared Cobalt to AWS’s Graviton chips. He stated that Cobalt will offer 40% better performance than other ARM chips in the market. He added that companies like Adobe and Snowflake already use the new chips.

The global competition in CPU AI chips is expected to intensify as Microsoft joins the fray. Along with Microsoft and Amazon, Google Cloud unveiled its ARM-based CPU Axion at the annual 'Next 2024' technology conference in April. Google claims Axion offers 50% better performance and 60% better energy efficiency than Intel's x86-based CPUs. Currently, Amazon leads the global cloud market with 40%, followed by Microsoft at 20% and Google at 10%.

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