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Microsoft rumored to officially reveal its own AI processor at its Ignite 2023 conference

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Microsoft may be getting close to revealing its plans to make its own generative AI processors. A new report claims the reveal could happen as part of Microsoft's Ignite 2023 developer conference. The report comes from The Information (under paywall) citing an unnamed source. Details about this AI chip were not revealed.

The Ignite conference, which is for developers, IT professionals, and admins, among others, will be held in Seattle from November 14-17. Microsoft is already promoting that the conference will feature a number of major product announcements including many centering on its AI platform, especially during its keynote address which will feature its CEO Satya Nadella and other major company executives.

Microsoft currently uses NVIDIA's H100 GPUs to power its datacenters that handle its AI services like its Bing Chat AI chatbot, the Bing Image Creator art generator, and more recently its Copilot assistant service.

Microsoft and other generative AI companies have been buying a lot of NVIDIA GPUs for those dataservers over the past year, which has caused the company's revenues and stock price to go way up in 2023. However, the new report says Microsoft would not have to rely as much on NVIDIA's chips if it creates its own AI processors. That could cause NVIDIA's revenues to go back down.

In April, The Information reported that Microsoft was developing this new in-house AI chip, under the code name Athena. It added that the chip had already been in development since 2019 and had about 300 team members working on the project at the time.

In May, another unconfirmed report from Bloomberg claimed Microsoft had secured a partnership with NVIDIA's chief GPU rival AMD to help them co-develop the Athena chip. The story also claims Microsoft is providing financial support to AMD so it can make its own AI chip.

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