Is Microsoft teaming up with AMD to develop AI chips?

Martin Brinkmann
May 5, 2023
Updated • May 5, 2023

A report by Bloomberg suggests that Microsoft is working with AMD to develop chips specifically for AI applications. The report bolsters an The Information report from April 2023. The magazine stated back then that Microsoft has been working on an AI chip, internally code named as Athena, with 300 employees.

Early prototypes of the chip are already being tested at Microsoft and OpenAI. Microsoft is cooperating with OpenAI on several fronts, including by using OpenAI's ChatGPT technology to power Bing Chat.

Microsoft is using chips by NVIDIA currently for its AI services. The switch to AI chips created inhouse would remove the dependency on NVIDIA and likely also result in production cost reductions and also optimizations.

Bloomberg's report brings AMD into the picture. AMD, which is battling it out with NVIDIA on several fronts, has been a Microsoft partner for a long time. AMD has created custom chips for Microsoft Xbox gaming systems. NVIDIA is dominating the AI chip market currently.

The new custom AI chip, produced by AMD and used by Microsoft in its data centers to power its AI services, could help AMD conquer a bit of the expanding market.

Bloomberg confirms the Athena code name of the AI chip and that the two companies are working on the AI chip together. Microsoft is providing AMD with support, which includes engineering resources according to the article.

Neither Microsoft nor AMD have commented on the rumor at the time of writing. First Athena-based chips are expected in 2024.

While there is no official confirmation of the claims, switching to AI chips designed inhouse would improve Microsoft's position in the market. It would reduce the dependency on NVIDIA and available stock, allow Microsoft to design custom chips for its applications and services, and may also bring down the price of the product.

Microsoft is not the only major tech company that has decided to create custom chips for some of its services and products. Apple is already using some of its inhouse chips in some of its products, and Google has been designing and deploying Tensor Processing Units already as well. (via Neowin)

Is Microsoft teaming up with AMD to develop AI chips?
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Is Microsoft teaming up with AMD to develop AI chips?
A report by Bloomberg suggests that Microsoft is working with AMD to develop chips specifically for AI applications and services.
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  1. Anonymous said on May 5, 2023 at 11:25 pm

    All of this foolishness, hopefully, will fall flat, like it did with Cortana. I don’t need artificial intelligence in my operating system, chip, or anywhere else.

  2. TelV said on May 5, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    I believe ChatGPT has been integrated into Amazon now and what a difference that makes detrimentally speaking. I was trying to order a foot measuring gauge yesterday at which according to the main page where they were all displayed was eligible for delivery to the Netherlands where I live. But on selecting one of them a notice appeared contradicting the original claim and stating that it couldn’t be delivered to my postal address in Amsterdam.

    So I decided on an alternative which resulted in the same message. After trying several more without success I decided to use the chat function to find out what the problem was. I’ve used it in the past without a problem, but now the chat bot responds that it can’t help me because I hadn’t ordered the item. Try as I might I couldn’t get an answer to my problem. The bot referred me to the page containing answers to questions about why a certain product can’t be delivered to an address outside Germany, but all of them refer to electrical products and the foot gauge wasn’t one of those. It’s just a flat piece of plastic with a slider on it which you use to measure your shoe size.

    I gave up in the end and ordered it from the Dutch Amazon site, but I chose the German site originally because there was some other stuff I wanted to buy which was considerably cheaper than the Dutch site.

    But it’s so irritating trying to deal with the Amazon chat bot which seeks to block your every move rather than trying to help you with your problem.

  3. John said on May 5, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    I think some are moving too fast with AI development. The eagerness to replace humans is disturbing.

    1. John G. said on May 5, 2023 at 1:11 pm

      Every single second a human is replaced. And it costs 21 years to build another one. So tell me more.

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