Google Shares Performance Characteristics for its Machine Learning Chip (Apr 5, 2017)
It’s time to roll out that old Alan Kay maxim again: “those who are serious about software should make their own hardware”. Google started working on its own machine learning chip, which it calls a Tensor Processing Unit or TPU, a few years back, and has now shared some performance characteristics, suggesting that it’s more efficient and faster than CPUs and GPUs on the market today for machine learning tasks. While Nvidia and others have done very well out of selling GPU lines originally designed for computer graphics to companies doing machine learning work, Google is doing impressive work here too, and open sourcing the software framework it uses for machine learning. As I’ve said before, it’s extremely hard to definitively answer the question of who’s ahead in AI and machine learning, but Google consistently churns out evidence that it’s moving fast and doing very interesting things in the space.
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