Microsoft introduced two own AI chips for Azure to compete with NVIDIA

At the annual Ignite 2023 event, Microsoft introduced its own Azure Maia and Azure Cobalt chips. These chips will be used to improve the artificial intelligence infrastructure on the Azure platform.

Azure Ai Chips

The first one is an AI accelerator called Azure Maia. It is created using a 5-nanometer process technology and contains 105 billion transistors, which is 30% less than in the AMD MI300X chip (153 billion). Microsoft plans to use it for artificial intelligence tasks, including training language models and partnering with OpenAI.

The company is currently testing the capabilities of this chip for various applications, including the Bing chatbot and GitHub assistant Copilot, as well as the GPT-3.5-Turbo model.

Azure Cobalt is a 128-core processor based on the Arm Neovease platform designed to support Azure services. It is already being tested in pair with Microsoft products such as Microsoft Teams and SQL Server. There are plans to use it in a variety of workloads in the future, where it promises significant performance gains over the Arm-based servers Microsoft currently uses for Azure.

NVIDIA is currently the leader in AI accelerators, but Microsoft plans to compete with it. It's worth noting that NVIDIA H100 GPUs are currently selling for over $40,000 on eBay. NVIDIA recently announced a new accelerator - the H200 with 141 GB of HBM3e memory, which should be available in the second quarter of 2024.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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