Throughout 2020, a wave of AI hardware startups will launch their companies and products. Cerebras started this wave with its wafer-scale engine last September. This week, Intel announced its AI chips from Nervana, Groq (founded by the inventors of Google TPU) announced its quadrillion ops per second TSP, and Graphcore announced that its chip is available on Microsoft Azure and Dell servers. Last week, a startup named “Blaize,” previously named “Thinci,” emerged from stealth, having already reached key milestones in four areas: innovative hardware, a comprehensive software stack, a staff of over 325 employees, and most importantly, 15 pilot projects underway in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Architectural innovation forms the core of every AI HW startup. Simply adding more multiply/accumulate registers or on-die memory will be inadequate for most high-performance applications. Blaize’s team built a general-purpose graph processor which can natively process graph-based applications, including, but not limited to the Deep Neural Networks which lie at the heart of most modern AI work. While the company claims this architecture can deliver massive gains in efficiency, we will need to await production-ready silicon next year to evaluate how well it performs against other engines that are coming to market.
To support for AI technology and development, Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation (MDI) has established AI World Society (AIWS) to invite participation and collaboration with think tanks, universities, non-profits, firms, as well as start-up companies that share its commitment to the constructive and development of AI.
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