Amazon launches machine learning chip, taking on Nvidia, Intel
Amazon.com on Wednesday launched a microchip aimed at so-called machine learning, entering a market that both Intel Corp and Nvidia Corp are counting on to boost their earnings in the coming years.Amazon is one of the largest buyers of chips from Intel and Nvidia, whose semiconductors help power Amazon’s booming cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services. But Amazon has started to design its own chips.
Amazon’s so-called “Inferentia” chip announced on Wednesday will help with what researchers call inference, which is the process of taking an artificial intelligence algorithm and putting it to use, for example by scanning incoming audio and translating that into text-based requests.
The Amazon chip is not a direct threat to Intel and Nvidia’s business because it will not be selling the chips. Amazon will sell services to its cloud customers that run atop the chips starting next year. If Amazon relies on its own chips, it could deprive both Nvidia and Intel of a major customer.