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Tech large Microsoft doubles down on AI with custom-built Maia processing chip

Tech large Microsoft doubles down on AI with custom-built Maia processing chip


The Maia AI Accelerator will do the heavy AI lifting in Microsoft’s Azure cloud knowledge centres, and might be used for coaching new machine-learning language fashions.

This can be a job so power intensive that Microsoft additionally introduced a particular new “sidekick” cooling system that can sit subsequent to the racks of Maia chips in knowledge centres all over the world, cooling them like a radiator cools a automotive’s engine, officers mentioned.

The brand new Cobalt CPU might be based mostly on the identical chip know-how in many of the world’s cell phones, and can permit Microsoft to run its basic function computing workloads with better power effectivity, the officers mentioned, presumably so the freed-up electrical energy may be diverted to the power-hungry AI workloads.

Whereas the chips had been designed and examined by Microsoft, they’re being manufactured by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Firm (TSMC), the world’s largest chipmaker, officers mentioned.

Microsoft’s Azure is the world’s second-largest public knowledge centre, behind Amazon Net Companies and forward of Google Cloud. Google additionally designs its personal AI chips, and has been utilizing its personal Tensor Processing Unit chip to carry out AI duties in its knowledge centres since 2015.

Not like Google, although, Microsoft has an enormous base of enterprise customers and shoppers working all the things from Home windows 11 to Microsoft 365, to whom it hopes to promote the AI companies working in its Azure knowledge centres.

At this yr’s Ignite convention, Microsoft is anticipated to make greater than 100 bulletins about new software program, and most will contain including Copilot (or another “AI adjoining” software program) to current apps and companies, officers mentioned.

That’s a giant name, contemplating Microsoft doesn’t technically personal the AI software program that powers Copilot. It’s owned by OpenAI, maker of the ChatGPT language mannequin that ignited the AI craze in November 2022.

Microsoft’s Maia chip might be used to coach AI fashions within the cloud. 

Microsoft has invested a minimum of $US11 billion ($16.9 billion) in OpenAI, which runs ChatGPT in Microsoft’s Azure knowledge centres (certainly, OpenAI is already testing ChatGPT 3.5 Turbo on the brand new Maia chips, Microsoft officers mentioned). However for all the cash Microsoft has put into the AI software program maker, Microsoft owns solely 49 per cent of OpenAI’s inventory.

That hasn’t stopped Microsoft inserting Copilot into its huge money-spinning apps. Home windows 11 has already been retrofitted with Copilot, as has Microsoft’s safety platform and the Microsoft 365 suite of enterprise productiveness apps.

Even Microsoft Phrase now comes with Copilot, to assist customers overcome author’s block by suggesting methods to start out a doc.

Author’s block, it seems, is a large difficulty for Phrase customers. Earlier than Copilot was added, 50 per cent of newly opened Phrase paperwork had been closed once more with out the person writing a single phrase, one Microsoft official mentioned.

The corporate didn’t but have sufficient knowledge to say how a lot that dire statistic had been improved by AI, the official mentioned.

One factor has very clearly been improved by AI, although. Since Mr Nadella introduced on the World Financial Discussion board in January that every one Microsoft merchandise could be fitted with AI software program, the corporate’s share value has risen by 54 per cent.

John Davidson is attending Ignite in Seattle as a visitor of Microsoft.



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Written by bourbiza mohamed

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