Artificial intelligence chips are specialized silicon chips designed specifically to perform AI tasks. The advent of AI has changed the semiconductor industry. With the growing demand for smart homes, development of smart cities, and the advent of quantum computing, the demand for AI chips is increasing across the globe. Moreover, the increasing volume of data has necessitated the need for more efficient systems for handling mathematical and computational problems.
The AI chips market is currently dominated by NVIDIA. But, another major player Intel is gearing up to give a tough competition to NVIDIA by introducing a family of AI processors. Intel has developed one of these processors with Facebook.
The collaboration between Intel and Facebook is predicted to be a game changer for the industry, which will help Intel in making further inroads into AI. Apart from big players like Intel and NVIDIA, startups will also play a huge role in the development of sophisticated AI chips in the coming years.
Recently, Amazon has announced its AI chip - AWS Inferentia during the Re:Invent conference held in 2018. The chip is designed by an Israeli company owned by Amazon, known as Annapurna Labs. Although it has been designed for inference, the process-trained ML model can find patterns in large data and also manage power workloads.
Another example of AI chip is Intel’s Myriad 2 AI Chip, which can be used for AI and vision and imaging applications. These chips are already transforming the capabilities of devices and are also giving enhanced performance. Based on phase-change memory, IBM’s 8-Bit Analog chip is yet another innovative AI chip that brings 8-bit precision for IBM’s analog and digital chips for AI. At present, this AI chip can test a simple neural net that can detect numerals with 100% efficiency.
Google, on the other hand, introduced its AI chip – Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) in 2016, which now has been upgraded to go deeper into AI and ML and handle heavy workloads than its initial versions. The latest upgrade is expected to reduce Google’s dependency on chip makers like NVIDIA.
Qualcomm, the wireless technology giant, is also not behind the race. Being one of the leaders in chip making, it has introduced two new systems-on-chip (SoCs) and 10-nm FinFET-based chip. SoCs support smart visual applications for IoT platform, while 10-nm FinFET-based chip is designed to track automated equipment in IIoT and perform facial recognition, among many other functions.
Thus, the global AI chip market is poised to undergo some major face-lifts and remodelling. However, a dearth of skilled workforce could act as a hindrance for the market. Nevertheless, the global artificial intelligence chip market is expected to reach a valuation of around $91,185 million by 2025, growing at an impressive CAGR of 45.4% from 2018 to 2025. So, there will be lucrative opportunities for both the established chip makers and start-ups in the coming years.