Sunday, June 16, 2024

Microsoft reveals Cobalt 100 processors and AMD AI chips

Microsoft Cobalt 100 Processor

Microsoft has disclosed that it will introduce a number of new products at the Build developer conference the following week.

In order to compete with Nvidia’s hegemonic GPUs, AMD’s artificial intelligence chips will be included in a new platform that Microsoft will provide to cloud computing clients. This idea will be covered in detail at the Build developer conference the following week.

The second-biggest supplier of cloud services is Microsoft.

During the conference, the tech giant will also unveil a sneak peek of its new proprietary Cobalt 100 CPUs. According to a Reuters news story, clusters of AMD’s MI300X AI chips will be integrated by Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, providing a substitute for Nvidia’s highly sought-after H100 GPUs, which presently dominate the data centre AI chip market.

Because AI models demand large amounts of data and processing power, training them and running applications frequently call for the utilisation of several GPUs. AMD reportedly predicted that this year would bring in $4 billion in sales from AI chips. According to AMD, the MI300X CPUs are strong instruments for handling complex AI models.

Apart from Nvidia’s premium AI processors, Microsoft’s cloud computing division already makes its proprietary AI chips, dubbed Maia, available.

Microsoft claims that the upcoming Cobalt 100 processors will outperform other Arm-based CPUs by 40%. The company’s workplace communications product, Microsoft Teams, is presently being tested to accommodate these chips, which were debuted in November of last year. They are already being used by businesses like Snowflake and are intended to rival Amazon’s proprietary Graviton CPUs.

AMD recently announced that it now powers 157 systems on the Green500 list of the world’s most efficient supercomputers and 157 supercomputers on the most recent Top500 list, representing a 29 percent growth from the previous year.

At the presentation, a sneak peek of the upcoming Cobalt 100 custom CPU. The Azure cloud computing service will be used to sell the AMD artificial intelligence chip cluster. They will give their clients options to Nvidia’s H100 graphics processing unit (GPU) series, which is in high demand and currently dominates the data center semiconductor market for artificial intelligence.

Companies typically need to combine numerous GPUs in order to run apps or construct artificial intelligence models because compute and data cannot fit inside a single chip.

The Microsoft cloud computing division offers access to its artificial intelligence processor, Maia, in addition to Nvidia’s best artificial intelligence chip.

Separately, the business announced that Microsoft’s Cobalt 100 processor, which will be on display next week, will perform 40% better than another technology-based processor from Arm Holdings.

Snowflake and other users have begun to utilise it. The Cobalt chip, which was unveiled in November, is being tested to power Teams, a messaging app for enterprises from Microsoft. It is meant to rival the internal CPU graviton that Amazon.com developed.

Microsoft created the 128-core Arm-based Cobalt 100 processor specifically for use in its Azure cloud computing service. Based on Arm’s Neoverse N2 cores and Armv9 architecture, it is the first iteration of a new line of processors from Microsoft.

Arm Neoverse CSS N2 Platform
Image credit to Serve the Home

Because of its high performance per watt design, the Cobalt 100 is a great choice for cloud workloads that demand a lot of processing power without using a lot of energy. Microsoft asserts that compared to other Arm processors on the market, the Cobalt 100 offers a 40% boost in performance.

Although it’s in preview mode right now, the Cobalt 100 should be widely accessible by the end of 2024. Some businesses have already begun utilising the new chips, including Adobe and Snowflake.

Origin and Objective

  • Created especially for Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service.
  • The first model in Microsoft’s new CPU line.

Technical Details

  • Core Architecture: 128 cores based on Armv9 architecture, or the Neoverse N2 design
  • Memory: DDR5 memory with 12 channels
  • Focus: Power-efficient cloud workloads requiring significant processing power can benefit greatly from its high performance per watt.

Achievement

Microsoft claims that it can perform 40% better than current Arm CPUs.

Accessible

  • As of May 2024, it is in the preview phase.
  • Later in 2024, general availability is anticipated.
  • Businesses like Adobe and Snowflake are examples of early adopters.

Competition

Focuses mostly on cloud computing using Amazon’s own Graviton CPUs.

Extra Points

  • For optimal design efficiency, the Cobalt 100 makes use of Arm’s Neoverse Genesis CSS (Compute Subsystem) Platform.
  • According to performance benchmarks, it may be able to match the integer performance of Intel’s Skylake-era Xeon processors while consuming less power and having a higher density.

Additional Investigation

For a more thorough knowledge of the Cobalt 100 launch’s announcement and industry significance, read Govindhtech news articles about it.

Microsoft Cobalt 100 Processor Specs

CategorySpecificationDetails
General
ManufacturerMicrosoftDesigned in-house for Azure
AvailabilityPreview (May 2024)General availability expected later in 2024
Target MarketCloud ComputingOptimized for high-performance workloads
Core Architecture
Core Count128Based on Arm’s Neoverse N2 design
Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)Armv9Latest Arm architecture for improved performance and efficiency
Memory
Memory Channels12Supports DDR5 memory for high bandwidth
Performance
Claimed Performance Improvement40%Over existing Arm processors (by Microsoft)
Potential Benchmarks (unofficial)May match Intel Skylake Xeon in integer performanceWhile offering lower power consumption and higher density
Power Efficiency
FocusHigh performance per wattDesigned to deliver high processing power with lower energy consumption
Other Features
Design PlatformArm’s Neoverse Genesis CSS (Compute Subsystem) PlatformImproves design efficiency

Take note:

The data on Cobalt 100 processors that is available to the general public is included in this table. Microsoft hasn’t yet made an official announcement about specifics like clock speed, cache capacity, or power consumption.

agarapuramesh
agarapurameshhttps://govindhtech.com
Agarapu Ramesh was founder of the Govindhtech and Computer Hardware enthusiast. He interested in writing Technews articles. Working as an Editor of Govindhtech for one Year and previously working as a Computer Assembling Technician in G Traders from 2018 in India. His Education Qualification MSc.
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