Thursday, August 22, 2019

Artificial Intelligence: The World's Largest Chip Is As Big As Your Head and Contains 1.2 Trillion Transistors

From the company:

The WSE is the largest chip ever built
  • 56x the size of the largest GPU
  • The Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine 46,225 mm2 with 1.2 Trillion transistors and 400,000 AI-optimized cores.
  • By comparison, the largest Graphics Processing Unit is 815 mm2 and has 21.1 Billion transistors.
From VentureBeat:

Cerebras Systems unveils a record 1.2 trillion transistor chip for AI
New artificial intelligence company Cerebras Systems is unveiling the largest semiconductor chip ever built.
The Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine has 1.2 trillion transistors, the basic on-off electronic switches that are the building blocks of silicon chips. Intel’s first 4004 processor in 1971 had 2,300 transistors, and a recent Advanced Micro Devices processor has 32 billion transistors.

Most chips are actually a collection of chips created on top of a 12-inch silicon wafer and are processed in a chip factory in a batch. But the Cerebras Systems chip is a single chip interconnected on a single wafer. The interconnections are designed to keep it all functioning at high speeds so the trillion transistors all work together as one.

In this way, the Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine is the largest processor ever built, and it has been specifically designed to process artificial intelligence applications. The company is talking about the design this week at the Hot Chips conference at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Samsung has actually built a flash memory chip, the eUFS, with 2 trillion transistors. But the Cerebras chip is built for processing, and it boasts 400,000 cores on 42,225 square millimeters. It is 56.7 times larger than the largest Nvidia graphics processing unit, which measures 815 square millimeters and 21.1 billion transistors....

And at TechCrunch: 

See also:
May 2018 
"Artificial intelligence chips are a hot market." (NVDA; GOOG)
In March 2017 our thinking on NVIDIA was:
"We focus on the stock, not the company. The company should be fine for at least the next couple years until the artificial intelligence biz catches up to NVIDIA and either takes a different approach or a really different approach and goes quantum computer."
Here's one of the competitors.
From Barron's Tech Trader Daily, May 14
Cerebras: The AI of Cheetahs and Hyenas...MORE
August 2018
Ahead of NVIDIA Earnings: The Last of the "Easy" Comparisons (NVDA)

Beating that Q3 2017 EPS, 90 cents, by double i.e. $1.80 or more, is doable but AI and data centers will have to pick up the slack from the Q1 and Q2 cryptocurrency bump that started declining with Bitmain and other miners use of ASICs rather than GPU's.

Going forward the trend toward specialist proprietary chips, see Tesla's development of their own chips etc, etc will leave NVIDIA with a couple holes in the potential addressable markets they will want to fill.

Additionally, the smaller pups, some still in stealth, are nipping at the big dog's heels, making it more expensive for NVIDIA to maintain their edge in architecture....
August 2018
Artificial Intelligence Chips: Past, Present and Future

September 2018 

June 2019 
"New Artificial Intelligence Chips Lean Toward the Edge" (NVDA) 
Just confirming some priors here (with a small victory dance)

June 2019
Chips: NVIDIA Begins To Embrace the Move Toward More Specialized Chips (NVDA; INTC; AMD; GOOG; XLNX)
See I told you I wasn't crazy. Something we've been babbling about for a couple years.
Some links below.
From MIT's Technology Review:....