Chip startup Cerebras launches new AI processor – ETCIO

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Artificial intelligence startup Cerebras Systems announced a new version of its dinner-plate-sized chips on Wednesday, claiming the hardware will offer twice the performance for the same price as its predecessor.


Santa Clara, California-based Cerebras‘ AI chips compete with the advanced hardware produced by Nvidia that help OpenAI develop the underlying software that powers apps such as ChatGPT. Instead of stitching together thousands of chips to build and run AI applications, Cerebras has bet that its roughly foot-wide chip can outperform Nvidia’s clusters of chips.


“So the largest chip that we made was our first generation. People said we couldn’t make it,” Cerebras CEO Andrew Feldman said to reporters on Tuesday. “Eighteen months later we did it in seven nanometer. Eighteen months (after that), we’ve announced a five-nanometer part. This is the largest part by more than three and a half trillion transistors.”


Power consumption is a critical problem for AI processing. Cerebras’ third-generation chip uses the same amount of energy to achieve superior performance, when power costs to build and run AI applications have soared. Cerebras does not sell the chips by themselves, but says the systems constructed around them are a more efficient method of building AI applications, a process called training.


The new Wafer-Scale Engine 3 (WSE-3) has 4 trillion transistors capable of performing 125 petaflops of computing. It was built on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co‘s 5nm manufacturing process.

Feldman said Cerebras is cash flow positive


Cerebras also said on Wednesday that it planned to sell its WSE-3 systems together with Qualcomm AI 100 Ultra chips to help run artificial intelligence applications, a process known as inference.

  • Published On Mar 14, 2024 at 10:26 AM IST

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