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Baidu and Samsung Ready for Production of New Edge AI Chip for Early Next Year

Published: Dec 18,2019

Baidu and Samsung Electronics today announced that Baidu’s first cloud-to-edge AI accelerator, Baidu KUNLUN, has completed its development and will be mass-produced early next year.

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Baidu KUNLUN chip is built on the company’s advanced XPU, a home-grown neural processor architecture for cloud, edge, and AI, as well as Samsung’s 14-nanometer (nm) process technology with its I-Cube (Interposer-Cube) package solution.

The chip offers 512 gigabytes per seconds (GBps) memory bandwidth and supplies up to 260 Tera operations per second (TOPS) at 150 watts. In addition, the new chip allows Ernie, a pre-training model for natural language processing, to inference at three times faster than that of conventional GPU/FPGA-accelerating model.

Leveraging the chip’s limit-pushing computing power and power efficiency, Baidu can effectively support a wide variety of functions including large-scale AI workloads, such as search ranking, speech recognition, image processing, natural language processing, autonomous driving, and deep learning platforms like PaddlePaddle.

Through the first foundry cooperation between the two companies, Baidu will provide advanced AI platforms for maximizing AI performance, and Samsung will expand its foundry business into High performance computing (HPC) chips that are dedicated for cloud and edge computing.

“We are excited to lead the HPC industry together with Samsung Foundry,” said OuYang Jian, Distinguished Architect of Baidu. “Baidu KUNLUN is a very challenging project since it requires not only high level of reliability and performance at the same time, but is also a compilation of the most advanced technologies in the semiconductor industry. Thanks to Samsung's state of the art process technologies and competent foundry services, we were able to meet and surpass our goal to offer superior AI user experience.”

“We are excited to start a new foundry service for Baidu using our 14nm process technology,” said Ryan Lee, vice president of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “Baidu KUNLUN is an important milestone for Samsung Foundry as we’re expanding our business area beyond mobile to datacenter applications by developing and mass-producing AI chips. Samsung will provide comprehensive foundry solutions from design support to cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, such as 5LPE, 4LPE, as well as 2.5D packaging.”

As higher performance is required in diverse applications such as AI and HPC, chip integration technology is becoming more and more important. Samsung’s I-Cube technology, which connects a logic chip and high bandwidth memory (HBM) 2 with an interposer, provides higher density/ bandwidth on minimum size by utilizing Samsung’s differentiated solutions.

Compared to previous technology, these solutions maximize product performance with more than 50% improved power/signal integrity. It is anticipated that I-Cube technology will mark a new epoch in the heterogeneous computing market. Samsung is also developing more advanced packaging technologies, such as redistribution layers (RDL) interposer and 4x, 8x HBM integrated package.

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