Intel working with Facebook on AI chip coming later this year

Published: January 08, 2019 10:42:15 | Updated: January 10, 2019 17:23:49

The Intel logo is shown at E3, the world's largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles, California, US onJune 12, 2018 — Reuters file

US-based tech giant Intel said that it is working with Facebook to finish a new artificial intelligence chip in the second half of this year.

The chips are Intel’s gambit to retain hold of a fast-growing segment of the artificial intelligence computing market but will face competition from similar chips from Nvidia Corp and’s Amazon Web Services unit, according to a Reuters report Tuesday.

The new chip will help with what researchers call inference, which is the process of taking an artificial intelligence algorithm and putting it to use, for example by tagging friends in photos automatically.

Intel’s processors currently dominate the market for machine learning inference, which analysts at Morningstar believe will be worth $11.8 billion by 2021. In September, Nvidia launched its own inference chip to compete with Intel.

In November, Amazon also said it had created an inference chip. Amazon’s chip is not a direct threat to Intel and Nvidia’s business because it will not be selling the chips. Amazon will sell services to its cloud customers that run atop the chips starting next year. If Amazon relies on its own chips, it could deprive both Nvidia and Intel of a major customer.

Also at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, Intel said that Dell Technologies will feature Intel’s next generation of processors in its XPS line of laptops. The so-called 10-nanometre chips have been plagued by delays.

But Navin Shenoy, Intel’s data centre chief, reiterated that the new chips will be available in laptops by the 2019 holiday shopping season and in data centres by early next year.



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