Intel Corp said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it is working with Facebook Inc to finish a new artificial intelligence chip in the second half of this year.
The chips are Intel’s gambit to retain hold of a fast-growing segment of the artificial intelligence computing market but will face competition from similar chips from Nvidia Corp and Amazon.com Inc’s Amazon Web Services unit.
The new chip will help with what researchers call inference, which is the process of taking an artificial intelligence algorithm and putting it to use, for example by tagging friends in photos automatically.
Intel’s processors currently dominate the market for machine learning inference, which analysts at Morningstar believe will be worth $11.8 billion by 2021. In September, Nvidia launched its own inference chip to compete with Intel.
In November, Amazon also said it had created an inference chip. Amazon’s chip is not a direct threat to Intel and Nvidia’s business because it will not be selling the chips. Amazon will sell services to its cloud customers that run atop the chips starting next year. If Amazon relies on its own chips, it could deprive both Nvidia and Intel of a major customer.