AWS ditches Nvidia for in-house 'Inferentia' silicon

Alexa queries and facial recognition data will now be processed by Amazon's own chips

An Amazon Eco Dot being pressed by a user

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will ditch Nvidia chips responsible for the processing of Alexa queries and will instead use its own in-house silicon, the company confirmed on Friday.

The cloud giant will also be shifting data processing for its cloud-based facial recognition system, 'Rekognition', over to these in-house chips, according to Reuters.

Alexa queries, issued through Amazon's Echo line of smart speakers, are sent through the company's data centres where they undergo several stages of processing before coming back to users with an answer, including translating the processed text into audible speech.

The company said that the "majority" of this processing will now be handled using Amazon's own "Inferentia" computing chips. These were first launched in 2018 as Amazon's first custom silicon-designed chips for accelerating deep learning workloads.

Amazon has said that the shift to Inferentia for Alexa processing had resulted in a 25% latency boost and 30% lower cost. The firm hopes the same will happen with its Rekognition system, which has also started to adopt the Inferentia chip.

The cloud giant didn't specify which company previously handled Rekognition processing, but the service has come under some scrutiny from civil rights groups for its involvement with law enforcement. Police were temporarily banned from using it earlier in the year, following the Black Lives Matter protests.

Nvidia and Intel are two of the biggest providers of computing chips, often for data centres, with companies like Amazon and Microsoft included in their clientele. However, a number of firms have begun to move away from vendors and are bringing the technology in-house. For example, Apple has recently moved away from Intel chips in favour of the A14 Bionic processors, which will be used going forward.

Featured Resources

Four cyber security essentials that your board of directors wants to know

The insights to help you deliver what they need

Download now

Data: A resource much too valuable to leave unprotected

Protect your data to protect your company

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

Recommended

Workday's Accounting Center helps businesses manage financial data
chief financial officer (CFO)

Workday's Accounting Center helps businesses manage financial data

30 Oct 2020
MarqVision detects counterfeit products with deep learning and AI
intellectual property

MarqVision detects counterfeit products with deep learning and AI

18 Sep 2020
The IT Pro Podcast: Attack of the AI hackers
artificial intelligence (AI)

The IT Pro Podcast: Attack of the AI hackers

14 Aug 2020
MIT develops AI tech to edit outdated Wikipedia articles
artificial intelligence (AI)

MIT develops AI tech to edit outdated Wikipedia articles

13 Feb 2020

Most Popular

46 million Animal Jam accounts leaked after comms software breach
Security

46 million Animal Jam accounts leaked after comms software breach

13 Nov 2020
macOS Big Sur is bricking some older MacBooks
operating systems

macOS Big Sur is bricking some older MacBooks

16 Nov 2020
Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G review: A tragically brilliant Mate
Mobile Phones

Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G review: A tragically brilliant Mate

26 Nov 2020