Intel Corp. today unveiled its first-ever AI chip. The product was developed at its Haifa development center in collaboration with the C2DG group in Israel, which is responsible for developing the cores of Intel processors.
In announcing the new chip, Intel pointed out that it has invested in several Israeli AI startups, including Habana Labs, which has raised $75 million, and NeuroBlade, which raised $23 million, thus hinting that those companies had some input in the chip.
Called Nervana NNP-I or Springhill by Intel, the first AI product is designed for inference tasks performed by large data centers. Facebook has already announced it has begun using the product. Intel observes that some of the largest technology companies are involved in the hardware side of artificial intelligence today, including Intel, NVidia, Qualcomm, Google, and numerous startups, including several Israeli companies.
The new AI chip is a hardware accelerator card targeted at large workloads and inference as part of complex AI applications.
Intel VP and general manager AI products group Naveen Rao said, "To get to a future state of ‘AI everywhere,’ we’ll need to address the crush of data being generated and ensure enterprises are empowered to make efficient use of their data, processing it where it’s collected when it makes sense and making smarter use of their upstream resources. Data centers and the cloud need to have access to performant and scalable general purpose computing and specialized acceleration for complex AI applications. In this future vision of AI everywhere, a holistic approach is needed- from hardware to software to applications."
Based on 10nm Ice Lake cores, the new Intel chip is special in being able to handle large workloads at low power. It is capable of handling as many as 3,600 images per second while consuming only 10 Watt. The product was unveiled today (Tuesday) at the Hot Chips 2019 Conference held in Silicon Valley.
Intel has pointed out that the new hardware chip will help Intel Xeon processors used by large enterprises. “Intel Xeon processors are used by many companies for complicated computational tasks. The more complicated the calculations involved in AI, the more solutions are needed to join Intel Xeon in accelerating the calculation task,” Intel explains.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 20, 2019
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