Intel says it is teaming up with Chinese AI and internet services giant Baidu on the creation of the Intel Nervana Neural Network Processor for Training (NNP-T).
The Nervana processor aims to be a new class of deep learning system hardware that Intel believes will greatly accelerate distributed training at scale.
“The collaboration involves the hardware and software designs of the new custom accelerator with one purpose – training deep learning models at lightning speed”.
Baidu is helping the project keep ‘lock-step’ with customer demands to ensure that the processor it is designing for training hardware is fit for purpose, Intel said.
Naveen Rao, Intel GM of the AI Products Group commented: “The next few years will see an explosion in the complexity of AI models and the need for massive deep learning compute at scale. Intel and Baidu are focusing their decade-long collaboration on building radical new hardware, co-designed with enabling software, that will evolve with this new reality – something we call ‘AI 2.0.’”
The announcement was made at the Baidu Create AI developer conference in Beijing, an event which also unfortunately saw the company’s CEO Robin Li Yanhong get drenched in water by a protester. It was not immediately clear what his motive was. The CEO stepped back to calmly ask “what’s your problem?”
Setbacks always lie on the road of advancing #AI, #Baidu Founder Robin Li Yanhong said at a conference in Beijing, after a man rushed to the stage to splash water on his face. #BaiduCreate2019 pic.twitter.com/cEIwDvD9IY
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) July 3, 2019
Intel has worked with Baidu for over a decade. Much of this collaboration has focused on the field of AI.
PaddlePaddle, Baidu’s open source deep learning platform, runs on Intel Xeon Scalable Processors and is designed with help from Intel to optimise its computing, power, memory and architecture.
According to market analysts IDC global spending on AI systems will reach £61 billion in 2022. It commented in its report that: “Vendors looking to take advantage of AI, deep learning and machine learning need to move quickly to gain a foothold in this emergent market.”
Gartner has also forecasted that the business value of artificial intelligence will total nearly £3 trillion ($3.9) in the year 2022. Customer experience, new revenue streams and across the board reduction in cost will be the driving force behind AI adoption, Gartner says
This potential of large profits in the technology has seen company’s like Nvidia commit to opening technology centres in the UK that will work with universities and technology centres to help create new methods of using AI and machine learning for use in UK industries.
At the EPCC, formerly the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, researchers will investigate new ways to apply AI and trans-precision calculations with regards to the modelling of complex structures.
The project at the EPCC will focus on the modelling of gas turbines through the creation of large-scale mechanical, structural and fluid dynamic simulations that can help developers build an accurate understanding of how these structures can be built and operated efficiently.