Microsoft announced that it is working with AMD with its expansion into the artificial intelligence (AI) chips market. The software company and owner of the popular Windows operating system says that it will be providing “financial support” to the chipmaker, while working on a homegrown Microsoft processor for AI workloads – codenamed Athena – at the same time.

According to a Bloomberg report, the AI Chips partnership comes as both Microsoft and AMD have expressed a desire to offer the AI market an alternative to the current dominating force in the AI market. NVIDIA. As a quick primer, the green GPU maker is also the biggest provider of GPUs to Microsoft, with the former’s H100 VM supercomputers being the driving force behind the latter’s Generative AI endeavours. Those same VMs are also responsible for the rise and development of OpenAI’s ChatGPT that has taken the world by storm by its ever-progressive natural language correspondence and interaction with users.

Microsoft Bing ChatGPT
Source: Microsoft.

As pointed out by Bloomberg as well, the move to develop AI Chips with AMD reflects a larger plan by Microsoft, as it continues to deepen its relationship with chipmakers, not just to make AI Chips, but also to embrace the Generative AI wave in its entirety.

At the time of the announcement, AMD’s shares jumped by more than 6.5%. However, when asked about its involvement with Microsoft’s Athena, the latter outright denied it, stating that AMD just isn’t involved with the development of Athena. It’s an odd thing to deny, given that the company has already spent more than US$2 billion (~RM8.9 billion) on chip development, to-date.

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“We are very excited about our opportunity in AI — this is our No. 1 strategic priority,” Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, said during an earnings call. “We are in the very early stages of the AI computing era, and the rate of adoption and growth is faster than any other technology in recent history.”

(Source: Bloomberg via Reuters)

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