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Google Opens Arm-Based Data Center Processor

Google
Google

Google has opened a new tab on Tuesday, with details of a new version of its data center artificial intelligence chips and announced an Arm-based central processor.

Google’s tensor processing units (TPUs) are one of the few viable alternatives to the advanced AI chips made by Nvidia (NVDA.O), opens new tab, though developers can only access them through Google’s Cloud Platform and not buy them directly.

The company said it has superior performance to x86 chips, and general-purpose Arm chips in the cloud. Google plans to offer the Arm-based central processing unit (CPU) called Axion via Google Cloud.

Mark Lohmeyer, Google Cloud’s vice president and general manager of compute and machine learning infrastructure said. “We’re making it easy for customers to bring their existing workloads to Arm,. Axion is built on open foundations but customers using Arm anywhere can easily adopt Axion without re-architecting or re-writing their apps.”

He said rival cloud operators such as Amazon.com and Microsoft (MSFT.O), opens new tab have built Arm CPUs as a way of differentiating the computing services they offer.

Meanwhile, Google has built other custom chips for YouTube, AI and its smartphones but had not built a CPU.

Google Cloud’s vice president explained that the Axion chip offers 30% better performance than “general-purpose Arm chips, and 50% better performance than current generation x86 chips produced by Intel (INTC.O), opens new tab and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O)

Axion is in use in several Google services such as its YouTube Ads in Google Cloud. The company plans to expand such uses and make them available to the public “later this year.” The TPU v5p is generally available via Google’s cloud on Tuesday.

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