Tuesday, January 2, 2024

"Intel ups the ante in the AI chip arena against Nvidia" (INTC; NVDA)

I wonder what Intel has cooking that made it's CEO feel cocky enough to say Nvidia got "extraordinarily lucky"?

From MarketWatch, December 26:

While the artificial intelligence (AI) computing market has been dominated by Nvidia Co., new challengers are invading their turf with their own AI accelerators. 2024 should prove to be epic in terms of the evolution and adoption of AI technology in the computer and technology sector. Applied Micro Devices Inc. had thrown its hat into the ring with its MI300X to challenge fellow GPU maker Nvidia.

However, a familiar brand name has also thrown its hat into the ring with the indication that its latest AI chip, Gaudi3, is superior to the sold-out Nvidia H100 chip. Semiconductor manufacturing giant Intel Co. has set its sights on the AI PC era, launching its AI chips developed for PCs, laptops, and servers. It’s specifically targeting Nvidia’s compute unified device architecture (CUDA) software platform.

Core Ultra to power the AI PC era  
At its AI Everywhere conference, Intel embraced the AI revolution and promoted the launch of the next PC ecosystem evolution around AI, coining the New Age of AI PC in 2024. CEO Gelsinger likened it to a "Centrino moment ."Centrino was the chip that helped to create wi-fi. Centrino helped to connect and drive wi-fi into coffee shops, businesses, and hotel rooms. AI PC will drive the next generation of the PC experience.

AI PC is expected to grow to 80% of the PC market by 2028. Intel is committed to shipping over 100 million processors with dedicated AI. It expects one processor to handle every segment, from graphics to AI to battery. Intel announced the launch of its Core Ultra processors to drive the AI PC era, which has an Arc GPU enabling gaming and an on-chip AI accelerator or neural processing unit (NPU) for AI tasks. The chip will use 79% less power than competitors on key metrics and up to 3X performance. Intel proclaims the Core Ultra is the largest architecture change for PCs and ultra-thin laptops in 40 years.

Data Center CPU for AI
Intel also launched the Xeon 5th generation processors for data centers, which operate at 21% average performance improvement and 42% performance improvement on AI Inference over the previous generation. AI accelerators were built into each of the processor's 64 cores. The 5th generation Xeon enables enterprises to run the latest generative AI models like GPT-J, Dolly, and Lama 2. It can fine-tune large language models (LLM) like the 1.5 billion parameter bio-GPT model in several minutes.

In the cloud, it will operate natural language processing (NLP) applications 23% faster, 50% faster 5G user plane functions in the network, and 24% faster objection classifications on the edge. Upgrades from legacy Xeon servers will experience up to 77% TCO improvement in AI workloads and up to 94% reduction in server count....