Microsoft Pairs Azure Cloud Platform, Graphcore AI Chips

Microsoft will begin providing customers of its Azure cloud platform with chips made by U.K. startup Graphcore, with the goal of speeding up the computations for artificial intelligence projects. Graphcore, founded in Bristol in 2016, has attracted several hundred million dollars in investment and the attention of many AI researchers. Microsoft invested in Graphcore last December, with the hope of making its cloud services more compelling. Graphcore’s chips have not previously been available publicly. Continue reading Microsoft Pairs Azure Cloud Platform, Graphcore AI Chips

Google Enters Budding On-Demand Supercomputing Business

Google is now offering Preemptible Virtual Machines (or VMs), a new class of computing resources that can be rented for a steep discount and shut down at any time. The only caveat is that customers must be willing to yield the computing resource on short notice. The solution is ideal for universities and companies that can’t or don’t want to buy their own expensive supercomputers. By offering this service, Google is entering an area dominated, up until now at least, by Amazon Web Services’ short-term use program, Spot Instances. Continue reading Google Enters Budding On-Demand Supercomputing Business