Intel has just bet big on a Canadian company hoping to design processors that can exponentially multiply the speed of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.
Untether AI, a young Toronto based company, moved to Intel’s team on Monday. The US computer giant has invested US $13 billion (New Window) in the Canadian company to benefit from its expertise in the design of processors specializing in AI.
The company caught Intel’s attention with the development of a prototype that transferred data 1000 times faster between its components than a traditional AI processor.
To achieve this, Untether AI has simply moved the storage devices – the memory – closer to the elements that perform the calculations. One of the main obstacles to the acceleration of algorithms is the slow data transfer between these two components. By reducing the distance that separates them, the engineers have almost eliminated this traffic jam.
This seemingly simple solution had not yielded the results hoped for in other experiments in the past, which is why it is not more prevalent in the industry.
The prototype designed by Untether AI, however, remains far from a marketable device. Its size is much larger than that of an ordinary processor and it would be hazardous to extrapolate from its current performance, notes the specialized magazine MIT Technology Review .