Amazon announces new AI chip for AWS amid competition with Microsoft

Amazon.com announced a new artificial intelligence chip for its cloud computing service on Tuesday, as the race with Microsoft to dominate the artificial intelligence market intensifies.

At a conference in Las Vegas, Amazon Web Services (AWS) chief executive Adam Selipsky announced Trenium 2, the second generation of a chip designed to train AI systems. Selipsky said the new version is four times faster than its predecessor while being twice as energy efficient.

The move by AWS comes just weeks after Microsoft announced its own AI chip called Maia. The Trenium 2 chip will also compete against AI chips from Alphabet’s Google, which has offered tensor processing units (TPUs) to its cloud computing customers since 2018.

Selipsky said AWS will start offering the new training chips next year. The proliferation of custom chips comes amid a race to find computing power to develop technologies such as the large language models that form the basis of services like ChatGPT.

Cloud computing companies are introducing their chips as a complement to Nvidia, the market leader in AI chips, whose products have been in short supply since last year. AWS also said Tuesday it will offer Nvidia’s latest chips on its cloud service.

Selipsky also announced Graviton4, the cloud firm’s fourth custom central processor chip on Tuesday, which he said is 30 percent faster than its predecessor. The news comes just weeks after Microsoft announced its own custom chip called Cobalt, designed to compete with Amazon’s Graviton series.

Both AWS and Microsoft are using Arm’s technology in their chips, part of an ongoing trend in cloud computing away from chips made by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. Oracle is using chips from startup Ampere Computing for its cloud service.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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