Microsoft unveils custom AI accelerator series, Azure Maia, and in-house CPU series, Azure Cobalt

First custom silicon shows new strategic direction for Microsoft.

David Harold

Microsoft has revealed a strategy of creating custom silicon chips for AI training and inferencing. These chips, Azure Maia and Azure Cobalt, aim to improve performance and efficiency in AI workloads. Microsoft plans to transition some of its Azure business to its own silicon, challenging Nvidia’s dominance in the training market. The company also aims to optimize its software to make the best use of its new silicon chips. This development is a win for Arm, but Microsoft’s collaboration with Nvidia and AMD will continue. Microsoft is fully committed to AI and expects its Copilot software features to boost revenue.

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