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Investors chuck money at Cerebras Systems

by on15 November 2021

Fastest AI chip in Hades

Investors seem rather keen to chuck money at Cerebras Systems as the start-up claims to make the fastest AI processor on the planet.

This week investors poured another $250 million into Cerebras Systems. The reason is that AI projects lean on GPUs which have about 54 billion transistors. Cerebras Systems' chip, the WSE-2, includes 2.6 trillion transistors that the startup says make it the "fastest AI processor on Earth."

It uses WSE-2 stands for Wafer Scale Engine 2, a nod to the unique architecture on which the startup has based the processor.

The typical approach to chip production is carving as many as several dozen processors into a silicon wafer and then separating them. The startup carves a single large processor into the silicon wafer that isn't broken up into smaller units.

So the 2.6 trillion transistors in the WSE-2 are organised into 850,000 cores.

Cerebras Systems says that its WSE-2 has 123 times more cores and 1,000 times more on-chip memory than the closest GPU.

To match the performance provided by a WSE-2 chip, a company would have to deploy dozens or hundreds of traditional GPU servers.  With the WSE-2, data doesn't have to travel between two different servers but only from one section of the chip to another, which represents a much shorter distance. The shorter distance reduces processing delays. Cerebras Systems says that the result is an increase in the speed at which neural networks can run.

Last modified on 15 November 2021
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