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Tenstorrent And LSTC Of Japan Collaborate To Develop 2nm AI

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Chip legend Jim Keller’s AI chip startup Tenstorrent has announced a significant collaboration with Japan’s Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC).

In collaboration with Tenstorrent, a Santa Clara, California-based company, LSTC will build a state-of-the-art two-nanometer AI Accelerator, a novel type of AI hardware that is expected to significantly improve AI performance.

According to the companies, Tenstorrent’s superior RISC-V and chiplet intellectual property is used in this collaboration. Tenstorrent and LSTC have entered into a strategic alliance that involves a multi-tiered partnership. Tenstorrent will leverage its expertise in RISC-V central processing unit (CPU) technology and chiplet technology, which integrates multiple chips into a single package, to support LSTC’s edge AI accelerator.

Tenstorrent will act as a collaborative innovation partner in addition to providing IP license; together, they will co-design the chip that seeks to revolutionize AI performance standards in Japan.

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With the addition of Rapidus Corp., a recently founded Japanese semiconductor company, the partnership grows even more. With the goal of delivering the greatest cycle time reduction services in the world, Rapidus is prepared to create cutting-edge logic semiconductor technology. Tenstorrent and Rapidus will work together on innovative packaging and wafer processing, in line with their mutual goal of streamlining the entire production process.

In order to co-develop a RISC-V CPU chiplet for LSTC’s new edge AI accelerator, Tenstorrent, which is well-known for its high-performing RISC-V CPU technology, will use its Ascalon RISC-V CPU core technology. Tenstorrent and LSTC have a common vision for the future of silicon, which is the basis for their strategic alignment. This vision emphasizes heterogeneous computation, which combines RISC-V CPU and AI cores to seamlessly handle a variety of workloads.

“The collaborative effort by Tenstorrent and LSTC to create a chiplet-based edge AI accelerator represents a groundbreaking venture into the first cross-organizational chiplet development in the semiconductor industry,” said Wei-Han Lien, chief architect of Tenstorrent’s RISC-V products, in a statement. The innovative approach makes use of both businesses’ combined strengths to fulfill the growing demands of edge AI applications.

Jim Keller, CEO

Tenstorrent’s CEO Is Jim Keller

Tenstorrent, led by well-known chip architect and CEO Jim Keller, has a strong track record of producing silicon devices that are profitable. Tenstorrent is a great fit for LSTC because of Keller’s leadership, particularly in the areas of AI, RISC-V CPU, and heterogeneous compute research.

A group of high-performance CPU engineers from Arm, AMD, Intel, Tesla, and Apple has been put together with Keller’s assistance. Keller has overseen groups at each of those businesses.

Regarding the emergence of generative AI in the last year or two, Bennett stated that the objective has always been to create an architecture capable of doing NLP and other recommendation engines, as well as inference and training.

Jim has been quite particular about cost performance, especially when it comes to avoiding the use of technologies like HBM and accomplishing more with less memory and closer to the memory.

A major component of Keller’s strategy has been to steer clear of some of the blunders other AI hardware manufacturers are making and concentrate on developing solutions for the current generation of AI models. Since AI is evolving quickly, the architecture needs to be adaptable and support open standards. It is also placing a wager on the combination of RISC-V CPUs with AI processing.

LSTC Assistance

Jim Keller With Rapidus CEO Atsuyoshi Koike

The LSTC chairman, Tetsuro Higashi, declared in a statement that Tenstorrent is the ideal collaborator for their Post-5G project. Through international cooperation, we as a next-generation semiconductor design technology will foster the creation of edge AI accelerators devoted to edge inference processing applications, such as generative AI.

“We will cooperate not only in the front-end process but also in the chiplet (back-end process) and work on as a leading example of our business model that realizes everything from design to back-end process in a shorter period of time ever,” stated Atsuyoshi Koike, CEO of Rapidus, in a statement.

“It is with great pleasure that I also announce that Tenstorrent will be opening a high-performance compute design center in Japan to support not only this project and our customers, but also to help nurture and develop the future of Japan’s high-performance compute industry,” a statement from Tenstorrent’s chief customer officer, David Bennett, reads.

This partnership is an important step in Japan’s effort to take the lead in high-performance computation architecture once again. The partnership is positioned to influence AI in Japan going forward thanks to Tenstorrent’s experience, LSTC’s vision, and Rapidus Corporation’s dedication.

An Alternative Model

Tenstorrent is unique for a couple reasons, according to Bennett. The business makes an effort to handle all aspect of AI processing, including multimodal itself, inference, training, vision, and language. Open-source technology are employed. It approaches its open metal stack from the bottom up. Openness, then, is what sets it apart initially.

Customers are telling us that they desire open standards. The ability to tailor for workloads that they want to drive is crucial to them, which is why they want RISC-V, according to Bennett. “They desire open-source AI hardware in particular, and AI that they can purchase. A substitute for Nvidia

The second component is the conviction that computation and acceleration work together. It combines AI with a high-performance RISC-V CPU. Additionally, the organization is developing a business plan in which intellectual property is included into AI chips together with chiplets for added flexibility. Tenstorrent makes money at every stage.

“We need to create the intellectual property, manufacture the chips, integrate them into systems, and market the software that runs on top of them,” he declared. Thus, we have made every stage profitable. And it allows us to provide our customers with our technology in any format they desire.

A Substitute On The Market

The company is primarily a rival to Nvidia. It manufactures PCI boards, sometimes known as accelerator boards, which are used in servers, workstations, and the ultra-dense 32-chip rack Galaxy systems. These accelerators are made to execute inference training, which involves language models for natural language processing.

Bennett stated, “That is the company’s primary objective.” Two things distinguish us from the others. Firstly, we firmly believe that high performance computing and artificial intelligence (AI) are going to be combined to create computers of the future. Thus, acceleration and their mutual equilibrium. Bennett remarked, “It’s not too different from what Nvidia is doing with Grace Hopper and those kinds of things.

However, TensTorrent’s architecture differs greatly from GPUs. The processors are built with artificial intelligence (AI) in mind. Tenstorrent’s AI technology leverages RISC-V computation cores to add compute on top of conventional parallel processors.

Bennett remarked, “We can do some really interesting things that are important to AI.”

We’re going to make a huge announcement regarding a government purchase of our RISC-V intellectual property, which will be used to power one of their AI accelerators. We have succeeded in securing agreements with clients, reservations, and collaborations. We did a fairly decent job there, in my opinion. In fact, the pipeline consists of a rather balanced combination of hardware sales worldwide, artificial intelligence, and intellectual property.

The business already has alliances with Samsung and Hyundai. Additionally, it revealed LG as a client, who plans to integrate Tenstorrent technology into its televisions. It is now announcing the agreement in Japan with Rapidus.

“Our RISC-V intellectual property is being bought by them. Additionally, Bennett stated, “We’ll be collaborating closely with them to design their next generation AI accelerator.”

Tenstorrent claims that its high-performance RISC-V CPU will outperform all others on the market, matching the performance of AMD’s Zen 5 CPU, which is expected to be released later this year.

The business is developing its second-generation technology. It also contains almost 400 individuals. In July 2021, it brought in $221 million. Since then, strategic investments from Samsung and Hyundai have helped it raise more money.