Intel invests $ 13 million in Untether AI, a startup that is working on a new type of chip for artificial intelligence, which promises to perform neuron-network computing with high speed. Untether — a native of Toronto, Canada — has developed a prototype device that transfers data between different parts of the chip 1,000 times faster than a conventional chip AI.
It is an impressive achievement, however, should be treated with caution, because the prototype is much more of the chip and because other factors will affect the overall performance of the final device.
Intel buys Untether for $ 13 million
One of the key problems of modern chip is to transfer data from memory to devices that perform logical operations. This is particularly problematic due to the fact that the amount of data that must be processed to chips tends to increase, for example, when it comes to applications of AI to process voice or facial recognition. Untether uses the so-called near-memory computation, reducing the physical distance between memory and processing tasks, which speeds up data transfer and reduces power consumption.
Untether develops inference chip, or the chip logic. It differs from the type of chips that are used for training of large neural networks in the data center that are difficult to design and build. Instead, the chip output is more like the chip that runs the smartphone or camera. Boom in deep learning has led to great commercial activity around these chips.
As Moore’s law, it seems, has almost reached its limit — the law that microchips improve with decreasing size of transistors on them — new approaches are needed. If you are not the only company that deals with developments in the field of in-memory computing to neural networks.
Chip design Untether may be experimental, but it is understandable why Intel wants to invest in it. In recent years, the dominant position of the company erodes the proliferation of mobile devices, which usedesign of the chips. Now the company is desperately trying not to skip a beat the AI. A few years ago, Intel bought Nervana, a startup developing chips for deep learning.