Alibaba’s own AI chip to enhance cloud computing services

Alibaba’s own AI chip to enhance cloud computing services

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Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd has developed a new chip which is dedicated to perform the tasks of machine-learning and the company will utilized that chip to serve the purpose of enhancing services capabilities of its cloud computing division, said the company on Wednesday.

The chip namely Hanguang 800 is the very first AI chip developed solely by the e-commerce giant itself, which is currently using the chip within the company to perform several tasks on its web sites like automatically translating any text, searching products and making recommendation by analyzing customer’s interest.

Alibaba is in quest of next-generation technologies and enhanced computing capabilities, and heading toward that goal launching Hanguang 800 is an important milestone, which not only will boost company’s current as well as emerging businesses but will also improve energy-efficiency throughout the group, Alibaba CTO Jeff Zhang said in a statement.

Currently, Alibaba is not intending selling those chips as a separate commercial product, confirmed a company spokeswoman.

Overseas tech giants like Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc are also seeking developing AI chips of their own to improve the abilities of their own-operated data centers in performing specific AI related tasks.

The Hanguang 800 chip was developed jointly by DAMO Academy and T-Head.

DAMO Academy is a research institute launched by Alibaba in late 2017 whereas T-Head is a specialized semiconductor division of Alibaba.

Beijing is currently been promoting semiconductor industry of the country to achieve the goal of country’s lesser reliance on core technologies by other countries, and the move of Alibaba to enter into the chip sector comes in the midst of those efforts by China.

In the first quarter 2019, Alibaba, leaving its rivals far behind, was holding about 47% of the share in cloud infrastructure services market in China, according to research firm Canalys.

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I cover technology, utilities and biotechnology for Markets Morning, and I help out occasionally with other industry sectors. I've written about investment and personal finance topics for more than 20 years from a lowly copywriter to editor-in-chief, so I've done a little bit of everything. For what it's worth, I have a BA from Duke University and an MBA from Rollins College. I'm married with one daughter, and that's worth more than everything else put together.

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