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谷歌、亚马逊周全开仗,一场亘古未有的AI芯片大战

本文转载自微信民众号新智元(ID:AI_era),编纂肖琴、克雷格。


头图来自视觉中国。

AI出现了一场顶级战役。

近来,英国每日电讯报刊文,以为人工智能引发了亚马逊和谷歌之间的芯片军备比赛,这场比赛将转变从智能家居到云盘算的统统。

这场战役有两条阵线:

  • 一条是明线,也是消耗者最轻易看到的智能家居之战;

  • 一条是暗线,在数据中心的数以千计的特地处置惩罚器之战。

跟着这两家公司加大对芯片手艺的投资,结果在很大程度上占据了英特尔和高通等老牌芯片公司的领地。

同时,亚马逊和谷歌的一举一动也影响着科技公司。苹果、Facebook和中国的阿里巴巴都在增添对芯片的投资,这一趋向可能会损坏传统的买方-供应商干系。

智能音箱大战:谷歌、亚马逊协作白热化

亚马逊第一个推出智能音箱,而且正在勤奋勉励其他公司运用其Alexa语音助理手艺,而谷歌也在勉励接纳自家的智能助理。

谷歌和亚马逊各自开辟了协作硬件——Amazon Connect Kit和Google Assistant Connect。这些套件让制作商基本上能够免费插进去Alexa或辅佐硬件,将任何装备酿成语音掌握的集线器。

亚马逊正在消弭制作商和开辟人员面对的庞杂性,经由过程Alexa和AWS让这些传统公司具有云软件或互联网平安方面的才能。

对智能硬件的争取愈来愈猛烈,谷歌和亚马逊这两家公司争取智能家居市场的战役已白热化。亚马逊在近来的拉斯维加斯消耗电子展上宣告,其Alexa相干装备的销量已凌驾1亿部。谷歌回击,称它的Assistant AI已布置到10亿台装备。

统计数据也证明这一状况。Strategy Analytics宣布的2018第四季度环球智能扬声器出货量为3850万台,整年出货量凌驾8600万台。亚马逊继承成为智能扬声器出货量的环球领导者,而且已一连几个季度完成了增进。谷歌也有强劲的增进,并与亚马逊进一步缩小差距。

谷歌、亚马逊周全开仗,一场亘古未有的AI芯片大战

芯片之战:决胜云盘算的症结因素

这两家协作敌手的第二条阵线是在幕后,在为数千家企业处置惩罚信息的大型水冷数据中心,这些企业由亚马逊和谷歌制作的互联网基础设施支撑。

这些数据中心有数以千计的特地处置惩罚器。虽然这些芯片向来都是由英特尔等公司制作的,但这类状况正在转变。

谷歌、亚马逊周全开仗,一场亘古未有的AI芯片大战

在云盘算和智能家居两大营业范畴都面对伟大风险的状况下,开辟本身的硬件,而不是依靠英特尔、高通和英伟达等大型芯片制作商,被视为节约本钱的明智之举。

2016年,谷歌依附本身的人工智能芯片,完成了跨越式生长——专为深度进修优化的张量处置惩罚器TPU。谷歌透露表现,它早已在数据营业中运用TPU,包孕打败李世乭的AlphaGo也运用了TPU。

谷歌、亚马逊周全开仗,一场亘古未有的AI芯片大战

亚马逊也紧随其后。这家零售公司一向在为其云服务部门AWS开辟人工智能芯片。2015年,亚马逊以 3.5 亿美圆的价钱收买了以色列芯片公司 Annapurna Labs。

2017年,谷歌宣布了一款新的云TPU,称研讨人员如今能够经由过程互联网连接到这些壮大的机械进修处置惩罚器,来运转庞杂且高能耗的AI研讨。这类AI研讨可能在医学打破、发明新药或掌握将来智能都市等范畴施展重要作用。

然后,在客岁12月,亚马逊证明它开辟了一款名为Inferentia的机械进修芯片,和另外一款基于Arm的云盘算芯片Graviton。

为数据中心供能,关于亚马逊在云盘算范畴的主导地位和谷歌的云盘算大志,正变得愈来愈症结。亚马逊的云市场份额约为62%,而谷歌为12%。花旗分析师预计,到2020年,云数据对亚马逊的代价将到达440亿美圆,对谷歌的代价将到达170亿美圆。

跟着谷歌和亚马逊在制造顶尖AI手艺的比赛中赓续抢先,这些芯片变得愈来愈重要。

硬件再次火了起来:AI芯片迎来汗青时机

科技巨子不再经由过程英特尔制作云芯片,而是愈来愈多地绕开它们,直接去找台积电等大型代工巨子。

一切这些行为都可能对英特尔等现有企业形成损坏性影响。IDC的分析师透露表现,只管英特尔掌握着环球数据中心芯片市场约96%的份额,但这一比例比拟客岁的98.6%已出现下落。

亚马逊和谷歌之所以能在芯片设想范畴获得云云大的奔腾,是因为其AI和机械进修的软件手艺已超出了它所运用的硬件。

硬件是死的,硬件是通用的,就连股市也在诽谤硬件公司。但突然之间,硬件再次火起来。

CB Insights的数据显现,这些巨子的这些行为以后,紧随其后的是一波AI芯片始创企业的出现——停止2018年至少有45家。

分析师们一致以为,这以后可能会出现大批投资生意业务和收买。

亚马逊在2017年向智能相机始创企业Blink投资了9000万美圆,用于消费节能芯片。上月,亚马逊公司还介入了无线芯片始创企业Willot 3000万美圆的融资。

本周,有报导称谷歌正大肆雇用南亚传统芯片制作商的芯片专家。

敌手蜂拥而至,全新家当链款式大重塑

就在谷歌和亚马逊接纳高调行为的同时,其他协作敌手也在切近亲近。

苹果也为智能手机制作了本身的芯片——好比iPhone XS上的A12仿生芯片,该芯片由苹果本身设想并与台积电协作消费。

苹果从2017年最先为iPhone X和iPhone 8消费本身的芯片。事实证明,第一款A11仿生芯片大获胜利。据称,到2020年,苹果还将逐渐镌汰在其MacBook笔记本接纳英特尔芯片的设计。

其他科技巨子也做出过相似的勤奋。阿里巴巴、百度、Facebook和微软:只如果一个重要介入者,就都在存眷这个范畴。

谷歌、亚马逊周全开仗,一场亘古未有的AI芯片大战

BAT联系关系芯片公司(不完全统计)

Facebook首席AI科学家Yann LeCun近来也在国际固态电路集会上论述了深度进修研讨的希望将怎样影响将来的硬件架构,并公然确认Facebook正在自研AI芯片,这是Facebook初次宣布官方批评,证明了其在芯片范畴的大志。

LeCun透露表现,对DL专用硬件的需求会赓续增添,动态收集、联系关系存储器构造和希罕激活等新的体系构造看法将影响将来需求的硬件体系构造范例。

“本日的盘算机芯片一般没有针对深度进修举行优化,纵然运用不太准确的盘算,深度进修也能够有用。因而,研讨人员正在实验设想一种新的体式格局来更有用地透露表现数字。”

科技公司自研芯片的决议,对全部芯片家当也构成了又一个临时应战。尤其是英伟达这类消费用于数据中心AI的图形处置惩罚器的厂商。因为大型数据中心客户脱离,英伟达正面对短时间逆境。

亚马逊和谷歌两个巨子的两个疆场,激起了全部行业协作,并转变着家当链的上下游款式。关于这两个手艺巨子来讲,这是两场战役,但关于一切玩家来讲,这是转变命运的较劲。

参考资料:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/02/13/silicon-wars-ai-has-sparked-chips-arms-race-amazon-google/

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