EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft's Custom Cobalt Chips Will Be Available in Azure Next Week - Latest Global News

EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft’s Custom Cobalt Chips Will Be Available in Azure Next Week

Microsoft will unveil its custom Cobalt 100 chips as a public preview to customers at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned.

In an analyst briefing before Build, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and AI Group at Microsoft, compared Cobalt directly to AWS’s Graviton chips, which have been available to developers for several years. Guthrie said Microsoft’s chips will offer 40% better performance than other ARM chips on the market. Adobe, Snowflake and others have already started using the new chips.

Microsoft first announced its Cobalt chips last November. These 64-bit chips are based on the Arm architecture and have 128 cores.

In addition to the Cobalt chips, Microsft will also make AMD’s MI300X accelerators available to Azure customers next week. Despite being a major GPU maker, AMD has long lagged behind Nvidia in the AI ​​space, but as the major cloud providers look for alternatives to Nvidia’s expensive chips – and as AMD gains some ground in this area through better software support – this too New chips are now a sought-after commodity.

Guthrie described it as “the lowest cost GPU for Azure OpenAI today.”

Other news we learned is that Microsoft will be lowering its prices for accessing and running large language models at Build next week. However, what exactly this will look like remains unclear.

Microsoft will also be previewing a new “real-time intelligence system” that will allow real-time data to be streamed into Fabric, Microsoft’s data analytics system. This system offers native Kafka integration, but also supports AWS Kinesis and Google Cloud’s Pub/Sub data streaming systems.

Microsoft will also announce a partnership with Snowflake. Fabric will now support Snowflake’s Iceberg format (in addition to Databricks Parquet), which “enables seamless interoperability with Snowflake and allows any data residing in Snowflake to be displayed in Fabric and vice versa.”

And for you Copilot fans, Microsoft is planning to introduce a new feature that will allow developers to manage their Azure resources in natural language directly from Copilot. “This will enable an even tighter developer loop with natural language in your development stack and Azure,” Guthrie said. This system is based on a common extensibility mechanism so that other providers can also connect to it and offer similar functions.

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