Microsoft develops its custom Chip- with immense AI capabilities

November 17, 2023 | By Arnab Ghosh
Microsoft AI

The technology industry is betting big time on AI and its capabilities, for sure. Every big name including Meta, IBM and Microsoft are developing futuristic AI tools and devices. Of late, Microsoft has made headlines for developing an in-house Chip with the power of AI technologies. Microsoft has made a couple of silicon chips for use in its cloud infrastructure. These are named- Cobalt 100 and the Azure Maia 100.

It is not too hard to understand why Microsoft is taking the hardware route all of a sudden. Its custom AI chip will be handy for dealing with evolving large language models. It will make it less likely to rely on companies like Nvidia. As per the reports, the technology giant has also created customized Arm-based CPUs. These custom silicon chips be used to run its Azure data centers.

As per the sources, the Azure Cobalt CPU and Azure Maia AI chip will be launched sometime in 2024. These will help the company rely less on rival offerings like Nvidia’s H100 GPUs. The Azure Cobalt CPU has 128 cores and it will power general Azure cloud services. It is now being tested for the company’s SQL server and Teams. However, the capability of these in-house chips is not clear as Microsoft has not revealed their full system specifications.

The Maia 100 AI accelerator will run cloud AI workloads. It will deal with heavy-duty AI workloads on Azure. Microsoft has tied up with Open AI. Maia is made on a 5nm TSMC process and features 105 billion transistors. It is the first-ever server processor with a complete liquid cooling system. Maia 100 is now being assessed on GPT 3.5 Turbo, which also powers GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT.

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