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Google launches Trillium chip, improving AI data center performance fivefold

What you need to know more about

  • As technology continues to evolve, Alphabet remains at the forefront of innovation, driving progress in AI research and infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of the digital landscape.
  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, underscored the remarkable growth in demand for machine learning computers, which has surged by a factor of 1 million over the last six years, with approximately a tenfold increase each year.

On May 14, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, unveiled Trillium, the latest addition to its artificial intelligence data center chip family. Trillium promises to deliver nearly five times the performance of its predecessor, marking a significant advancement in AI processing capabilities. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, underscored the remarkable growth in demand for machine learning computers, which has surged by a factor of 1 million over the last six years, with approximately a tenfold increase each year. Pichai expressed confidence in Google’s readiness for this pivotal moment, citing the company’s decade-long dedication to pioneering AI chip technology.

Google’s investment in developing cutting-edge AI hardware aligns with the expanding applications of artificial intelligence across various industries. Trillium’s enhanced speed and efficiency are poised to bolster the capabilities of data centers, enabling faster processing of complex AI algorithms and facilitating advancements in machine learning applications. As technology continues to evolve, Alphabet remains at the forefront of innovation, driving progress in AI research and infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of the digital landscape.

Alphabet’s development of custom chips for AI data centers presents a notable alternative to Nvidia’s leading processors, which currently dominate the market. Through a combination of hardware and software, tightly integrated with Google’s tensor processing units (TPUs), Alphabet has successfully secured a significant market share. While Nvidia commands approximately 80% of the AI data center chip market, Google’s TPUs account for the majority of the remaining 20%. Google’s approach involves providing access to its chips through its cloud computing platform rather than selling them directly. This strategy underscores Google’s commitment to advancing AI infrastructure and expanding its presence in the competitive chip market.

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Google announced that its sixth-generation Trillium chip is set to deliver a significant performance boost, surpassing its predecessor, the TPU v5e. According to Google, the Trillium chip will achieve 4.7 times better computing performance while also being 67% more energy-efficient than the v5e. This advancement is crucial for powering technologies that generate text and other media from large models. The company plans to make the new chip available to its cloud customers by “late 2024.”

Google’s engineers have implemented various optimizations to enhance performance, including increasing the high-bandwidth memory capacity and overall bandwidth. This addresses the challenge of meeting the substantial memory requirements of AI models, which have been a limiting factor in achieving further performance gains. These improvements underscore Google’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of AI hardware to meet the evolving demands of modern computing.

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