Cloud computing customers such as Amazon, Microsoft Corp and Google of Alpahbet Inc. have become among the biggest buyers of computer chips, driving booming data center sales at Intel Corp, Nvidia and others
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Amazoncom Inc said Thursday it has moved some of the computing from its Alexa voice assistant to its own custom-designed chips, in an effort to make work faster and cheaper while moving away from chips supplied by Nvidia Corp

When users of devices such as Amazon's Echo line of smart speakers ask the voice assistant a question, the request is sent to one of Amazon's data centers for several processing steps. When Amazon's computers spit out a response, this answer is in a text format which must be translated into audible speech for the voice assistant. Amazon previously handled this computation using chips from Nvidia, but now, the «majority» will be done using its own computer chip «Inferentia» First announced in 2018, the Amazon chip is custom-designed to speed up large volumes of machine learning tasks such as text-to-speech translation or image recognition

Cloud computing customers such as Amazon, Microsoft Corp and Google of Alpahbet Inc. have become among the biggest buyers of computer chips, driving booming data center sales at Intel Corp, Nvidia and others

But big tech companies are increasingly abandoning traditional silicon vendors to design their own chips Apple on Tuesday introduced its first Mac computers with its own mainframe processors., moving away from Intel chips

Amazon said switching to the Infertia chip for some of its work on Alexa resulted in latency 25% superior, which is a measure of speed, at a cost 30% inferior.

Amazon also said that «Rekognition», its cloud-based facial recognition service, started adopting their own Inferentia chips However, the company did not specify which chips the facial recognition service had previously used or what part of the work had been transferred to its own chips.

The service has come under close scrutiny by civil rights groups due to its use by law enforcement Amazon in June put a one-year moratorium on its use by police after the murder of George Floyd

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