Technology 2 min read

Using the World's Biggest Chip to Develop an AI Supercomputer

Cerebras CS-1 | Image Credit: Cerebras

Cerebras CS-1 | Image Credit: Cerebras

A California-based company called Cerebras has invented the world’s fastest AI supercomputer. And right at the heart of the computer, you’ll find the biggest chip, 56 times larger than any other chip.

Cerebras first introduced what it described as the world’s biggest chip back in August. It was an entire wafer which the company dubbed wafer-scale engine or WSE for shorts.

Average silicon chips are carved out of processed 12-inch silicon wafers, with several hundred chips on a waver. But the Cerebras team did something different with its chip.

It had lots of little cores, all repeated across an entire wafer. The engineers then sawed the wafer into a big rectangle. Unlike the typical processor with 10 billion transistors to a chip, the WSE has over 1.2 trillion transistors across all of the cores to one wafer.

To make things even more interesting, the company decided to create an entire system to house the WSE.

In a statement to the press, CEO of Cerebras, Andrew Feldman said:

“You can’t take a Ferrari engine and put it in a Volkswagen to get Ferrari performance. What you do is you move the bottlenecks if you want to get a 1,000 times performance gain.”

The tech company created an AI supercomputer and called it the CS-1.

What You Should Know About the AI Supercomputer

According to Cerebras, the CS-1 packs the performance of a room full of servers into a small unit that looks like a dorm room mini-fridge.

The AI supercomputer is powered by a 400,000 core, 1-trillion-transistor wafer-scale processor chip. That’s 78 times more cores than a single GPU.

Also, a single Cerebras chip provides 3,0000 times more memory as well as 10,000 times more memory bandwidth than a GPU.

Feldman noted:

“Depending on workload, the CS-1 delivers hundreds or thousands of times the performance of legacy alternatives at one-tenth the power draw and one-tenth the space per unit compute.”

Expectedly, the CS-1’s incredible performance, as well as its compact package, raises the question of heat management.

The company addressed this issue by equipping the supercomputer with a water cooling system. An elaborate network of pipes carries water through the system to keep the heat under check.

The Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has already deployed the CS-1. According to reports, the nation’s premier research center is using the AI-supercomputer to tackle various medical questions.

Read More: TOP500 Updates Semi-Annual List of World’s Most Powerful Supercomputers

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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