CEO Lisa Su touts new AI superchip, says AMD has 'incredibly powerful tech' that will emerge as a 'winner'
- AMD CEO Lisa Su said that AI is the "defining mega trend in technology" and that AMD has the chip to emerge a "winner".
Chipmaker AMD, which had seemingly been relegated to a spot very much behind the new darling of the markets, Nvidia, has just hit back hard by doing exactly what was required to make a telling comeback that would actually be noticed - it unveiled its fancy new supchip. And if all that is being said about it comes true, it will grab the spotlight from its arch rival and keep it on itself. In effect, AMD has started a battle for super chips in which it expects to come out a 'winner', according to CEO Lisa Su. She added that AI is the "defining mega trend in technology".
MI300X Chip and the power of GPU
AMD is touting the new MI300X as a wonder chip aimed at Large Language Models. The chip has one of its most-advanced GPUs (graphics processing units) for artificial intelligence level computing. Su says GPUs are "very hard to make". GPUs are required to build advanced AI programmes and companies like Sam Altman's OpenAI use these chips to power its products. The chip will serve to help data centers handle the huge surge in AI-linked traffic. Su said, "There is a tremendous amount of technology here and it is the most complex chip we have ever built with 153 billion transistors and the whole purpose is to make AI much, much more accesible."
That puts AMD in a sweet spot as is clear from Su's next comment. She said, "So, everybody who wants to use AI needs more GPUs, and we have a GPU that is incredibly powerful; very, very efficient; and we believe we will be a significant winner in the AI market."
When querried about the price, Su laughed and said, "It is not about the price but how many users we enable." Pricing of the chip, as such, remains unknown. The chip would be available in the later part of the year.
AI tech is not something new for AMD. Su says that AMD has been working on AI for many years and now, AI will be shaping the future of the company. She was speaking to Yahoo Finance Live.
At the rollout of the MI300X, Su said, "We are laser-focused on accelerating the deployment of AMD AI platforms at scale in the data centre, led by the launch of our Instinct MI300 accelerators planned for later this year."
The condifence stems from the fact that the Instinct MI300X accelerator has been billed as the world's most advanced accelerator for generative AI.
"The MI300X is based on the next-gen AMD CDNA 3 accelerator architecture and supports up to 192 GB of HBM3 memory to provide the compute and memory efficiency needed for large language model training and inference for generative AI workloads," the company said.
AMD vs Nvidia
At the moment, it is NVIDIA that dominates the AI chip market. Its success is reflected in the fact that shares have skyrocketted - it is up by 163% this year, according to CNBC. Motley Fool reports that even as the AMD chip was being unveiled, its stock fell even as Nvidia's jumped. But before looking at the negative, Bloomberg puts things in perspective - its said that investors had bid up AMD shares 99% this year.
While investor confidence is important, equally crucial is AMD management's mood and that is definitely exhuberant as is clear from what CEO Su has been saying.
AMD chip and AI needs
AMD Instinct MI300 series can speed up processing to the potential required for generative AI and beyond. Companies that rely on large language models and require a huge amounts of data crunching power to answer questions or even generate images need that kind of super-chip power. At the moment, data centers are just about being able to handle the surge, but will require better chips to keep up. Currently, Nvidia has taken the lead and is already filling the demand of these enormous workloads.
However, the race is far from lost. Su said, “We are still very, very early in the life cycle of AI.” The market for data center AI accelerators will increase by 5x to over $150 billion, she added.
How important is the AI market for AMD and Nvidia?
During last week's earnings call, Su said the area is the company's “number one strategic priority,” and underlined that by the over 50 mentions of the term ‘AI'.
The same sense of urgency was seen in Nvidia some three months ago when it reported its earnings. The term ‘AI' was used more than 80 times on its conference call with analysts.