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The Silicon Review Asia

Alibaba Unleashes In-house AI Chip for Cloud Computing Services

Alibaba Unleashes In-house AI Chip for Cloud Computing Services

Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd has made an announcement that it has manufactured an in-house AI-based chip called Hanguang 800, Reuters reported. The announcement was made public on Wednesday. The chip will help to enhance services for the company’s cloud computing unit.

Hanguang 800 is currently being used by the company to boost its websites in the following areas: automatic translation, personalised recommendations, and product search.

The new move comes at a time amid a push by the Chines government to promote the country’s semiconductor industry and cut down the dependence on other countries for core technologies.

According to a company spokesperson, Alibaba does not intend to sell the new chip as a standalone commercial product.

According to Jeff Zhang, CTO of Alibaba, “The launch of Hanguang 800 is an important step in our pursuit of next-generation technologies, boosting computing capabilities that will drive both our current and emerging businesses while improving energy-efficiency”.

The brainchild behind the new innovation is Alibaba’s research institute, DAMO Academy, and T-Head, specialized semiconductor unit.

Other big players such as Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc are also working to launch their own chips.

According to Canalys, a research firm, in the cloud computing space, Alibaba is further ahead than its competitors, commanding 47 percent of the cloud infrastructure services market in Q1 2019.

The new chip by Alibaba will bolster their standing in the chip-making space.

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