Microsoft Introduces AMD Option for Cloud Customers as Alternative to Nvidia AI Processors

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Microsoft announced plans to provide its cloud computing clients with AMD’s artificial intelligence chips, positioning them as competitors to Nvidia’s offerings. The details will be unveiled at the upcoming Build Developer Conference. Additionally, Microsoft will introduce a preview of its new Cobalt 100 custom processors at the same event.

Microsoft plans to distribute Advanced Micro Devices’ premier MI300X AI chips through its Azure cloud service, providing an alternative to the widely used but often scarce Nvidia H100 GPUs. This move aims to offer Azure customers more options in the competitive AI data center chip market, where Nvidia’s products have been challenging to secure due to their high demand.

Companies often need to combine multiple GPUs into clusters to build AI models or run applications, as a single processor cannot handle the necessary data and computations. AMD, anticipating $4 billion in AI chip revenue this year, claims its chips can efficiently train and run large AI models. 

Besides providing Nvidia’s premium AI chips, Microsoft’s cloud computing division also grants access to its exclusive Maia AI chips.

Microsoft announced that its upcoming Cobalt 100 processors, set for a preview next week, outperform other processors using Arm Holdings’ technology by 40%. Companies like Snowflake have already started utilizing these chips. 

Introduced in November, the Cobalt chips are currently being evaluated for use in powering Microsoft Teams, the company’s business communication tool, and are seen as competitors to Amazon’s in-house Graviton CPUs.

Meanwhile, Amazon reported that platforms such as Pinterest and financial technology company Robinhood Markets have begun implementing its Graviton chips.

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