Published in AI

Largest AI chip ever built

by on20 August 2019

1.2 trillion transistors

New artificial intelligence company Cerebras Systems is unveiling the largest semiconductor chip ever built.

The Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine has 1.2 trillion transistors, the necessary on-off electronic switches that are the building blocks of silicon chips. Intel’s first 4004 processor in 1971 had 2,300 transistors, and a recent AMD processor has 32 billion transistors.

The firm says a single chip can drive complex artificial intelligence (AI) systems in everything from driverless cars to surveillance software.

But Cerebras' new chip has 400,000 cores, all linked to each other by high-bandwidth connections. The firm suggests this gives it an advantage at handling complex machine learning challenges with less lag and lower power requirements than combinations of the other options.

Cerebras claims the Wafer Scale Engine will reduce the time it takes to process some complex data from months to minutes.

Its founder and chief executive Andrew Feldman said the company had "overcome decades-old technical challenges" that had limited chip size.

"Reducing training time removes a major bottleneck to industry-wide progress", he said.

Cerebras has started shipping the hardware to a small number of customers.

It has not yet revealed how much the chips cost.


Last modified on 20 August 2019
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