Microsoft Unveils New AI Chip and Copilot AI Features

Microsoft Maia 100


Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft unveiled the Azure Maia AI Accelerator, a new artificial intelligence (AI) chip, amid soaring demand for AI tech.
  • The Azure Maia AI Accelerator allows Microsoft to "diversify our supply chain and give customers infrastructure choice," Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud + AI Group, said.
  • Microsoft's AI chip announcement comes just days after Nvidia announced its latest AI chip offering, the H200, as competition in the space heats up.

Microsoft (MSFT) unveiled its Azure Maia AI Accelerator, a custom chip "optimized for artificial intelligence (AI) tasks and generative AI (genAI)," amid a surge in demand for AI tools.

The Azure Maia AI Accelerator was announced alongside several other AI-related updates, including upgrades to its genAI tool, Copilot, and its cloud platform, Azure, at Microsoft Ignite, the company's annual developer conference on Wednesday.

"Microsoft is building the infrastructure to support AI innovation,” Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud + AI Group said, noting that the Azure Maia AI Accelerator allows the company to "diversify our supply chain and give customers infrastructure choice.”

The announcement comes just days after Nvidia (NVDA) announced the H200, its latest and most powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) to power AI systems as the competition to produce AI tech heats up. Bank of America analysts called H200, which is set to be available starting in the second quarter of 2024, a "notable upgrade to already leading H100 offerings."

Nvidia is a leader in the AI chip market, with its tech powering systems at companies driving AI innovation, including Amazon (AMZN), Google, and even Microsoft.And while Microsoft's Azure Maia AI Accelerator could reportedly replace Nvidia processors in its cloud, Microsoft noted that "Azure works closely with Nvidia," and the company is expanding industry partnerships, including those with Nvidia.

Microsoft said that it was launching a preview of the new?NC H100 v5 Virtual Machine?Series, built for?Nvidia's H100 unit, and that the company would add the upgraded Nvidia H200, to "its fleet next year to support larger model inferencing."

Shares of Microsoft finished 0.04% higher Wednesday, while Nvidia shares fell 1.55%.

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Article Sources
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  1. Microsoft. "With a systems approach to chips, Microsoft aims to tailor everything ‘from silicon to service’ to meet AI demand."

  2. Microsoft. "Microsoft Ignite 2023: AI transformation and the technology driving change."

  3. Bank of America. "Equity Research Daily Highlights Nov. 14, 2023."

  4. Nvidia. "Google Cloud and NVIDIA Expand Partnership to Advance AI Computing, Software and Services."

  5. Amazon. "Amazon and Anthropic Announce Strategic Collaboration to Advance Generative AI."

  6. Barron’s. “Microsoft Unveils AI Chip That Could Replace Nvidia in Its Cloud.”

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