Oct 28, 2021: The Information’s Creator Economy Summit

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Facebook Develops New Machine Learning Chip

Photo: Art by Mike Sullivan.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft have all been hiring and spending millions of dollars to design their own computer chips from scratch, with the goal of squeezing financial savings and better performance from servers that handle and train the companies’ machine-learning models. Facebook has joined the party too, and is developing a chip that powers machine learning for tasks such as recommending content to users, according to two people familiar with the project.

Another in-house chip designed by Facebook aims to improve the quality of watching recorded and livestreamed videos for users of its apps through a process known as video transcoding, one of the people said. If successful, the efforts to develop cheaper but more powerful semiconductors could help the company reduce the carbon footprint of its ever-growing data centers in coming years while also potentially decreasing its reliance on existing chip vendors, which recently included Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom.

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