Microsoft to Offer AMD AI Chips as Nvidia Alternative


Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced on Thursday its intention to provide its cloud computing clientele with a range of AMD artificial intelligence chips, positioning them as a competitive alternative to Nvidia’s(NASDAQ:NVDA) processors. Further details regarding this initiative will be unveiled at the upcoming Build developer conference.

At the conference, Microsoft will also unveil a preview of the new Cobalt 100 custom processors. These processors are designed to offer a 40% performance boost compared to other chips based on Arm Holdings’ technology and are already being adopted by companies like Snowflake.

Microsoft’s clusters of AMD’s flagship MI300X AI chips will be available through its Azure cloud computing service. This move aims to provide customers with an alternative to Nvidia’s H100 family of GPUs, which currently dominate the data center chip market for AI but face challenges due to high demand and limited availability.

Traditionally, companies have had to string together multiple GPUs to build AI models or run applications due to the complexity of the tasks involved. AMD’s AI chips are touted as powerful enough to handle these tasks individually, without the need for clustering.

In addition to Nvidia’s offerings and the upcoming AMD AI chips, Microsoft’s cloud computing unit also provides access to its proprietary in-house AI chips known as Maia.

The introduction of the Cobalt 100 processors signifies Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to expand its chip offerings and enhance performance across its cloud computing services. These chips are currently undergoing testing for integration into Teams, Microsoft’s business messaging platform, and are positioned to rival’s in-house Graviton CPUs.

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