Intel, which is eyeing the AI chip market, bought Habana, an Israeli AI chip start-up, in mid-December, and the big money was a $2 billion, or nearly 14 billion yuan, for a three-year-old company. Attracting Intel is Habana’s AI chip, the company’s first processor, Goya, which has been sold to customers around the world, and the Gaudi AI training processor solution that Intel needs in June 2019.
But the problem is that before the acquisition of Habana, Intel’s AI solutions already had CPUs, FPGAs, Nervana and the GPU in research, and Intel was arguably the most comprehensive AI chip company, but at the cost that so many AI chips would be distracting and not conducive to focusing on promotion.
So what would Intel do? Stopping some Of aDI chips is inevitable, and Forbes has revealed that Intel will cut off Nervana’s AI chips, mainly the Nervana NNP-T series.
Nervana itself was bought by Intel itself, which it bought for $400 million in 2016, when the company was only about two years old. For AI requires high-performance memory characteristics abandoned the standard caching system, instead of software management memory system.
Following the acquisition of Nervana, Intel has also consolidated its technology over the past two years, introducing several Nervana AI chips, the latest being Nervana NNP-T and Nervana NNP-I.
The Nervana NNP-T series AI chip was launched in August last year, codenamed Spring Crest, mainly for AI training, using TSMC 16nm process production, core area of up to 680mm2, integrated 27 billion transistors, with 32GB HBM2 memory, Frequency 1.1GHz, TDP 150-250W, is competing with the NVIDIA Tesla series GPU acceleration chip.
In contrast, the Nervana NNP-I series AI chip is much smaller, it is codenamed Spring Hill, mainly for AI reasoning applications, the CPU part is Intel’s 10nm process Ice Lake core, power consumption between 10-50W, M.2 and PCIe are available in both sizes, which are much smaller and much more flexible.
As to why the Nervana NNP-T series AI chip should be discontinued, in addition to Habana’s AI chip is also a high-performance AI training, it is estimated that with The high cost of Nervana NNP-T, TSMC foundry also has a certain relationship, Intel is unlikely to hand over its own important products to others.