IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

IBM unveils the world’s first quad-core AI accelerator chip

The chip can be scaled for commercial use in hybrid-cloud environments

IBM logo on a brown background

IBM has unveiled the world’s first quad-core artificial intelligence (AI) accelerator chip, built using seven-nanometer (7nm) MOSFET technology.

The company says it has optimized the novel chip for low-precision workloads with support for many AI models.

"In a new paper presented at the 2021 International Solid-State Circuits Virtual Conference (ISSCC), our team details the world’s first energy-efficient AI chip at the vanguard of low precision training and inference built with 7nm technology," said IBM researchers Ankur Agrawal and Kailash Gopalakrishnan. 

"Through its novel design, the AI hardware accelerator chip supports a variety of model types while achieving leading edge power efficiency on all of them."

AI accelerators are specialized hardware designed to enhance AI applications’ performance, including deep learning, machine learning, and neural networks. They use in-memory computing or low-precision arithmetic, resulting in faster execution of large and complex AI algorithms

IBM claims its new AI accelerator chip is the first to include an ultra-low precision hybrid 8-bit floating-point (HFP8) format for training deep learning models in a silicon technology node (7 nm EUV-based chip). The chip can also self-maximize its performance by slowing down during high-power computation phases, thanks to an integrated power-management feature.  

Related Resource

Six reasons to accelerate remote asset monitoring with AI

How to optimise resources, increase productivity, and grow profit margins with AI

Why you should accelerate remote access monitoring with AI - whitepaper from IBMDownload now

Furthermore, IBM said its AI chip “routinely achieved more than 80% utilization for training and more than 60% utilization for inference” as compared to mainstream GPU utilizations, which are typically below 30%.

According to IBM, the chip technology can be scaled and deployed commercially to support large-scale deep learning models in the cloud.

“Our new AI core and chip can be used for many new cloud to edge applications across multiple industries. For instance, they can be used for cloud training of large-scale deep learning models in vision, speech and natural language processing using 8-bit formats (vs. the 16- and 32-bit formats currently used in the industry),” said IBM.

“They can also be used for cloud inference applications, such as for speech to text AI services, text to speech AI services, NLP services, financial transaction fraud detection and broader deployment of AI models in financial services.”

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

IT Pro News In Review: UK 4 day week, ransomware payment rise, IBM cut ties with Russia
Business operations

IT Pro News In Review: UK 4 day week, ransomware payment rise, IBM cut ties with Russia

10 Jun 2022
IBM bolsters cyber security offerings with Randori acquisition
mergers and acquisitions

IBM bolsters cyber security offerings with Randori acquisition

7 Jun 2022
Recommendations for managing AI risks
Whitepaper

Recommendations for managing AI risks

25 Apr 2022
Recommendations for managing AI risks
Whitepaper

Recommendations for managing AI risks

25 Apr 2022

Most Popular

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline
Security

Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline

30 Jun 2022
FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
data protection

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores

29 Jun 2022