The race among semiconductor makers to gain an edge in the booming market for specialised Artificial intelligence processors has just given rise to the world’s biggest computer chip.
A Californian-based start-up has unveiled the world’s largest computer chip. The Wafer Scale Engine, designed by Cerebras Systems, is slightly bigger than a standard iPad.
The firm says a single chip can drive complex artificial intelligence (AI) systems in everything from driverless cars to surveillance software.
The most powerful desktop CPUs (central processing units) have about 30 processor cores – each able to handle their own set of calculations simultaneously.
GPUs (graphics processing units) tend to have more cores, albeit less powerful ones.
The most powerful GPUs, including speech recognition, image processing and pattern matching, have as many as 5,000 cores.
But Cerebras’ new chip has 400,000 cores, all linked to each other by high-bandwidth connections.
The firm claims the Wafer Scale Engine will reduce the time it takes to process some complex data from months to minutes.
Cerebras has started shipping the hardware to a small number of customers.
It has not yet revealed how much the chips cost.