Claimed to be faster than any chip on the market, the first-of-its-kind easily programmable, high-performance chip is designed to address the challenges presented by the rapidly evolving AI software landscape and to provide high-performance execution of software being developed for AI, machine learning, and big data analytics. The chip, called Mozart, will accelerate a wide variety of AI and machine-learning applications, says the company.
The TSMC 16-nanometer design utilizes HBM2 memory and is sampling as a standard PCIe card. Initial results, says the company, have shown significant speed-ups across a broad set of AI applications, unlike other specialized AI chips. Examples include recommendation engines, speech and language processing, and image detection, all of which can run simultaneously.
"Mozart is an extremely complex chip, one of the few using HBM2 (high-bandwidth memory) for this type of application," says SMI's Founder, CEO and CTO Karu Sankaralingam. "It took our silicon team under a week from having the chip in-house to running applications on the device, putting us on the fast track to take our first silicon (AO) to production."
The working chip, says the company, demonstrates that a clean-slate design can deliver the performance of custom-built single-purpose processors while maintaining flexibility and programmability. The chip's software interface includes direct TensorFlow support as well as APIs for C/C++ and Python. Future generations of the chip will leverage its unique architecture to scale up and down the power spectrum from enterprise-class high-performance systems to 5-W IoT devices.