Faced with the high cost of delivering artificial intelligence services, Microsoft has announced a duo of custom-designed computing chips. The tech giant said it does not plan to sell the chips but instead will use them to power its own subscription software offerings and as part of its Azure cloud computing service.
At its Ignite developer conference in Seattle, Microsoft introduced a new chip, called Maia, to speed up AI computing tasks and provide a foundation for its $30-a-month "Copilot" service for business software users, as well as for developers who want to make custom AI services.
The Maia chip was designed to run large language models, a type of AI software that underpins Microsoft's Azure OpenAI service and is a product of Microsoft's collaboration with ChatGPT creator OpenAI.
AI services is expected to be 10 times greater than for traditional services such as search engines.
Microsoft executives have said they plan to tackle those costs by routing nearly all of the company's extensive efforts to put AI in its products through a common set of foundational AI models. The Maia chip, they said, is optimized for that work.
Microsoft also said that next year it will offer its Azure customers cloud services that run on the newest flagship chips from Nvidia and AMD. Microsoft said it is testing GPT 4 - OpenAI's most advanced model - on AMD's chips.
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