The rise of AI is causing software companies like Google and Microsoft to create computer chips, according to Wired, which predicts the move could shake up the existing chip industry.
Microsoft just announced a new AI chip-making project on Sunday during a computer vision conference. A Microsoft researcher said nothing on the market was available to run the company's machine learning software they way they needed.
Established chip makers like Intel and Nvidia continue to set the pace.
Where this gets interesting is when you consider startups are entering the space, leaving legacy chip makers to fend off the upstarts and giants like Google and Microsoft.
Technologies like AI and machine learning hold great potential, but they also require a huge amount of processing power. As companies like Microsoft and Google develop AI solutions, they say chips from established vendors can't meet their needs, so they are developing solutions.
Intel bought AI chip startup Nervana last August and is developing a chip based on Nervana's technology.
For Google and Microsoft, building chips is a new area. Both companies initially made inroads in software that used chips designed and built by others. But it makes sense for Google and Microsoft, which employ some of the most talented engineers in the world, to create chip solutions instead of paying a competitor, or potential competitor.
In May, Google introduced the company's new Cloud TPU chips specially designed for machine-learning research. Collections of the TPUs, which Google calls "TPU pods," can deliver 11.5 petaflops of processing power.