Microsoft continues to be remarkably busy, in one day alone last week they made one hundred news announcements involving multiple layers of an AI-forward strategy, from adoption to productivity to security. Last week at Microsoft Ignite, they unveiled two custom-designed chips and integrated systems, the Microsoft Azure Maia AI Accelerator, and the Microsoft Azure Cobalt CPU.

The Microsoft Azure Maia AI Accelerator is optimized for artificial intelligence tasks and generative AI. This chip is designed to run cloud-based training and inferencing for Ai workloads such as OpenAI models, Bing, GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT. The Microsoft Azure Cobalt CPU is an arm-based processor geared towards general purpose compute workloads on the Microsoft Cloud. This cloud-native chip is optimized for performance, power efficiency and cost effectiveness.

These chips are expected to roll-out early 2024 to Microsoft’s datacenters and will be used to power Microsoft Copilot and Azure OpenAI Service.

Microsoft also announced the general availability of Azure Boost, a system that speeds up storage and networking by moving those processes off the host servers and onto purpose-built hardware and software.

These new chips are key to Microsoft living up to their mission of optimizing every layer of its technological stack, from the core silicon to the end service. To read more about these chips and a peek into some of the other news announcements from Ignite, you can visit the Official Microsoft Blog page here.

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