Qualcomm Inc is aiming beyond its strongly held position in mobile phone chips as, on Tuesday, it unveiled a new chip for making artificial intelligence work faster, a move by the chipmaker towards diversification into a fast-growing AI chip market currently dominated by Nvidia Corp and Intel Corp.
For later this year, Qualcomm, in collaboration with partners like Microsoft Corp, is in plans of beginning testing its new Cloud AI 100 chip, production of which is expected to be started in 2020 on commercial level, said the company at an event in San Francisco.
In artificial intelligence industry, inference, as researchers call it, is a process of using AI algorithm that has an inbuilt ability to handle larger data amounts in processes like translating audio formats into text-based request, and Qualcomm has especially designed its new chip for performing those inference processes.
Industry analysts are in believe that the largest part of AI chip market will be comprise of chips used for making inference process speedier.
Nvidia has released chips particularly for performing inference tasks while Intel, teaming up with Facebook, is also working on a similar type of chips, planned to be released later this year. Inference chips are also point of focus of cloud computing firms like Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud unit and Amazon Web Services of Amazon.com as both are working to make the chips of their own.
All these AI chip efforts of many of the big tech firm indicates that Qualcomm is aiming at a field which is not only crowded but the established rivals have been gaining on the lead.
But, unlike rivals, Qualcomm is entering the AI chip field with a different approach, having aims to serve the relatively smaller and simpler data centers that are growing in number around the world, which will provide the consumers with faster response time while using internet-connected apps, said Qualcomm’s president Cristiano Amon.