Alibaba’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Jeff Zhang has developed a new self-developed AI chip Hanguang 800 on the Alibaba Cloud-Computing, Conference, Yunqi Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, 25th September, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. said on Wednesday it has developed a new chip that has been specialized in machine-learning tasks, and which can be used for improving the quality of the services provided by the cloud computing business.
Called the Hanguang 800, its first self-developed COMPUTER-chip that is currently being used in Alibaba with the power of a product-search, auto translation, and personal recommendations in the e-commerce giant’s web sites.
“With the launch of the Hanguang 800 is a significant step forward in our quest to be the next generation of technologies, the promotion of computer use, opportunities to drive both our existing and new businesses, while improving the efficiency of energy use,” Alibaba chief technology OFFICER, Jeff Zhang, said in a statement.
Alibaba has no immediate plans to sell the chip as a stand-alone commercial product, a company spokeswoman said.
Foreign tech giants, such as the Alphabet, Inc. and Facebook Inc. are also developing their own chips, aimed at improving the performance of highly specialized AI tasks in a company-controlled data centers.
The chip was developed by DAMO Academy, a research institute of the Alibaba-which launched in the fall of 2017, and with the Head of the company, is a specialist semiconductor division.
Alibaba’s foray into the chip industry is in the midst of efforts by Beijing to promote China’s semiconductor industry and reduce the country’s dependence on imports of core technologies.
Alibaba will also be released on the first processor core, IP, in July, is based on the RISC-V-open-source-a-chip architecture. RISC-V provides businesses with an alternative to the predominant architectural style of the uk’s Arm Holdings, Inc. Arm, a unit of the japanese SoftBank Group Corp. (a) costs, licensing fees for the use of it.
In cloud computing, Alibaba towers over rivals in China, as the commander of the 47% of the market for cloud infrastructure services in the first quarter of 2019, according to research firm Canalys.
Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Edwina Gibbs