Karl Freund, Patrick Moorhead

Intel’s New Chips Focus On AI

Today, Intel launched and disclosed new technologies across its portfolio of processors, with special emphasis on enhanced AI capabilities. Unlike its many competitors, who either produce a CPU, a GPU, an FPGA or an AI-specific accelerator, Intel’s strategy is “all of the above.” The company offers customers a range of solutions, from general purpose to …

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Does NVIDIA Selene Form A Wider Moat Than CUDA?

The annual International Supercomputer Conference (ISC), held virtually this year, kicked off today. Not surprisingly, NVIDIA has already made a few announcements of note. Especially of interest to me was the announcement of Selene, NVIDIA’s in-house 1+ Exaflop AI supercomputer, which ranks as the fastest industrial system in the USA and #7 overall in the …

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A Look At Graphcore’s AI Software

Software for new processor designs is critical to enabling application deployment and optimizing performance. UK-based startup Graphcore, the unicorn provider of silicon for application acceleration, places significant emphasis on software, dedicating roughly half its engineering staff to the challenge. Graphcore’s Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) utilizes the expression of an algorithm as a directed graph, and …

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Microsoft Builds Massive Supercomputer For OpenAI, But Whose Chips Are Inside?

Microsoft has announced that the company has built a top 5 AI supercomputer for OpenAI, hosted in the Azure cloud. Microsoft invested a billion dollars in the OpenAI industry research group in 2019. The massive system is comprised of some 10,000 GPUs and over 285,000 CPU cores and will be used to advance the industry’s …

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NVIDIA Launches Ampere A100 GPU For Data Center Computing And AI

While many of us missed watching Jensen Huang on stage in his trademark leather jacket, he did not disappoint his on-line audience at the virtual GTC Keynote this week. In a session lasting over two and a half hours, the CEO and founder of NVIDIA announced new hardware to fend off a slew of potential …

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RESEARCH PAPER: The Graphcore Software Stack: Built To Scale

Software for new processor designs is critical to enabling application deployment and optimizing performance. UK-based startup Graphcore, a provider of silicon for application acceleration, places significant emphasis on software, dedicating roughly half its engineering staff to the challenge. Graphcore’s Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) utilizes the expression of an algorithm as a directed graph, and the company’s Poplar software stack …

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Putting HPC To Work To Accelerate COVID-19 Research

The US arsenal of supercomputers has officially been opened up for COVID-19 research. The White House recently announced the new COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which will allow researchers worldwide to access to the world’s most powerful HPC resources and leverage them to combat the novel coronavirus. The White House believes that these high performance computing …

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Tenstorrent Launches AI Chip With Conditional Execution

What the heck is that you ask?  So, did I; but it looks promising! I continue to be amazed at the innovations that are coming to market to accelerate deep learning workloads.  GraphCore, Habana Labs, Cerebras, Blaize, Groq, Perceive and others are now being joined by a new entrant with radically new ideas: Tenstorrent out …

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RESEARCH PAPER: AI Could Be The Next Killer App In Semiconductor Design

It goes without saying that designing complex semiconductors is an extremely challenging engineering process. While the chips themselves are small, and the individual features on the chips are tiny, as small as 7 nanometers (seven billionths of a meter), the intricacy of the design process is astronomical. You can download the paper by clicking on …

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Why Intel Is Investing In Neuromorphic Computing

Intel certainly has a lot of irons in the AI fireplace, including Xeon CPUs, Movidius computer vision chips, MobileEye chips for autonomous driving and Deep Neural Network training and inference processing technology from the newly acquired Habana Labs. With all of this going on, one might wonder why Intel is pursuing yet another approach—neuromorphic computing. …

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AMD To Power ‘El Capitan’ Super Computer From HPE’s Cray

Last fall, as Cray was being acquired by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise for $1.6B, the company announced that it had been selected by the US DOE for two more exa-scale supercomputers based on the processor-agnostic Cray Shasta architecture. The Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL) El Capitan supercomputer, costing some $600M, and planned for 2023, will be based …

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Xilinx Enters The SmartNIC Market

The CPU in today’s data center is increasingly burdened by the need to process networking jobs. According to Xilinx’s VP Marketing for Data Center Products, Donna Yasay, networking stacks can tax CPUs up to 30%, robbing them of the cycles needed to run users’ applications. Tier 1 cloud service providers have invested in custom ASICs …

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NVIDIA GTC ’20 Could Be Massive

As we approach NVIDIA’s annual GPU Technology Conference, everyone is anxious to see what CEO Jensen Huang has up his trademark black leather sleeves. I have no idea, but as usual, I have an opinion.    An intro to GTC GTC is NVIDIA’s partners’ big annual opportunity to show off and explain how they leverage …

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NVIDIA Data Center Growth Returns

NVIDIA reported renewed growth overall last week. Its Data Center segment (where most of the AI hardware is reported) grew 43% to a record $968M in the last quarter, and gaming rose 56% to $1.49 billion. The stock market appreciated the news, sending NVIDIA up over 6%, and many analysts revised their price targets higher. …

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An Update On Intel And Habana Labs

Last week, I reported that Intel plans to switch its AI acceleration from Nervana technology to Habana Labs, which it acquired in December. Since Intel had planned to bring out both the inference and the training versions of Nervana’s second generation, this came as quite a surprise to many in the industry. I just got an update from …

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Intel Lays Out Strategy For AI: It’s Habana

Last month, Intel announced that it would acquire Israeli AI chip startup Habana Labs for $2B. At the time, I opined that this probably spelled the end for chips from the 2016 Nervana acquisition. Intel planned to bring out both the inference and the training versions of Nervana’s second attempt to out-perform NVIDIA by the end of …

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RESEARCH PAPER: Qualcomm’s New Distributed Intelligence Platform

Qualcomm has been innovating artificial intelligence (AI) features for years in their Snapdragon products, and the next generation Snapdragon 865 & 765 5G Mobile Platform, due in 2020, are designed to take AI performance to the next level and enable distributed intelligence over 5G wireless. AI is becoming ubiquitous on smartphones, and although many consumers …

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Intel Acquires Habana Labs For $2 Billion

In a strategic move in its datacenter AI plans, Intel has announced that it will acquire Israeli chip startup Habana Labs for $2 billion. Intel had reaffirmed its plans to deliver its Nervana chips as recently as last month, but the acquisition of Habana likely signals that early lighthouse accounts preferred the startup’s approach over …

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