A Quick Look At The AI Chip Revolution

The Social Proxy
5 min readApr 17, 2024

What started the current artificial intelligence revolution are AI chips. These specialized chips are designed to tackle the complex computations required for machine learning and deep learning, the fundamental techniques behind modern AI.

What Started the AI Chip Revolution

The AI chip revolution began to take root in the mid-2010s. Tech giants such as Nvidia, AMD, and Google recognized the potential of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for AI tasks. Originally intended for video graphics, GPUs proved adept at handling numerous calculations simultaneously, a vital capability for AI algorithms. These early AI chips, often referred to as AI accelerators, paved the way for the ongoing wave of innovation.

Speed and Power of AI

The increasing need for quicker and more effective AI processing has produced a push in chip design. Companies are packing more transistors onto chips and leading the way in developing new architectures specifically suited for AI tasks.

For example, Nvidia’s recent Blackwell chip exhibits an impressive 208 billion transistors, surpassing its predecessor by more than double the count. This downsizing and architectural advancement enable AI chips to handle information at astonishing speeds, greatly expediting AI advancement.

Effects of AI Affordability

The influence of AI chips goes beyond just big tech firms. With their increasing affordability, smaller companies and even individual developers are embracing them. This broader accessibility is fueling creativity, resulting in a wider array of AI-driven products and services entering the market.

Advancement in affordable AI chip technology is laying the groundwork for a future brimming with intelligent solutions, ranging from healthcare diagnostics to personalized learning experiences.

What to Expect in the Future

The AI chip revolution continues to evolve. Researchers continuously push boundaries, exploring novel materials and architectures to develop increasingly specialized AI hardware.

An exciting direction is the co-evolution of AI and chip design. AI is being leveraged to automate chip design, resulting in quicker development cycles and more efficient chip architectures tailored for AI tasks. This symbiotic relationship between AI and chip design offers great promise for the future of artificial intelligence.

Differences Between Traditional Chips (CPUs) and AI Chips for Machine Learning

Traditional CPUs are versatile but not optimized for any specific task. Meanwhile, AI chips are specialized tools engineered to excel at the computational demands of machine learning. This specialization drives significant performance and efficiency enhancements, accelerating the development and deployment of AI applications.


Traditional CPUs: Designed for general-purpose computing, CPUs excel at sequential tasks, handling one instruction at a time. They have a balanced architecture with cores for processing and cache for data storage.

AI Chips: AI chips are built for parallel processing and are optimized to handle massive amounts of data simultaneously, which is crucial for machine learning algorithms. With more cores, AI chips are dedicated to processing and specialized hardware for functions like matrix multiplication, a common operation in machine learning.


Traditional CPUs: Struggle with the heavy workloads of machine learning, leading to slow training times and limitations on model complexity.

AI Chips: Deliver significantly faster processing speeds for machine learning tasks, allowing for training complex models in a fraction of the time compared to CPUs and enables experimentation with more intricate models.


Traditional CPUs: May need more electricity when running complex machine-learning algorithms, limiting their use in resource-constrained devices.

AI Chips: Designed for efficiency, consuming less power while delivering superior performance for machine learning tasks, making them ideal for running AI models on devices like smartphones and embedded systems.


Traditional CPUs: Generally more affordable than AI chips.

AI Chips: Can be more expensive due to their specialized design and higher manufacturing complexity. However, AI chip prices are steadily decreasing, making them more accessible.

Impact on Machine Learning

Traditional CPUs: Limit the capabilities of machine learning by slowing down training and restricting model complexity.

AI Chips: Unlock the full potential of machine learning by enabling faster training, larger models, and real-world applications on resource-constrained devices.

The Latest Chips in AI Advancement

These state-of-the-art AI chips symbolize the ongoing effort to expand the horizons of machine learning. As these technologies progress, we anticipate the emergence of even more potent and efficient AI capabilities, shaping the future of artificial intelligence across diverse fields.

Google’s Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) v5P

Google’s TPU v5P is an evolution from its predecessor, the v4 Pod, although Google has not disclosed all the details publicly.

Expected enhancements include faster training times, the capability to handle larger and more intricate models, and potential improvements in processing power and memory bandwidth, enabling the handling of even more data-intensive applications.

The v5P is primarily intended for Google’s internal use in data centers or available through Google Cloud’s TPU v4 Pod service (with an anticipated upgrade to v5P in the future).

Apple Neural Engine (M3 Max)

Apple has kept details under wraps, but with the M3 Max chip fueling the newest high-end MacBooks.

We can expect enhancements in the M3 Max Neural Engine, such as increased processing power. This could result in quicker performance for current AI functionalities such as Face ID and image processing and possibly enable new on-device machine learning tasks.

Apple is probably still focusing on efficiency to reduce battery consumption while offering improved AI capabilities.

The M3 Max Neural Engine is integrated into the latest M3 Max chip, which powers high-end MacBook Pro and Mac Studio models (as of October 2023).

Nvidia Tensor Cores (H100 GPUs)

The H100 GPU maintains its status as the leading graphics card AI accelerator; it showcases remarkable improvements over its predecessor. For example, Nvidia claims a performance increase of up to 6x compared to the previous generation, significantly speeding up AI workloads.

FP8 support, the new floating-point format, enables even faster training of AI models while maintaining acceptable accuracy in certain applications.

The H100 offers a substantial boost in memory bandwidth, which is vital for supplying extensive datasets to the AI cores.

Integrated into the powerful Nvidia H100 GPUs, catering to AI researchers, developers, and gamers seeking top-notch performance.


Affordable AI chips are driving an AI boom, leading to broader adoption of AI tools in healthcare, education, and more. Surprisingly, AI itself is now designing improved AI chips, creating a potent feedback loop for future advancements.

Cutting-edge chips like Nvidia’s H100 are pushing the boundaries of machine learning with faster processing and more efficient designs. Compared to traditional CPUs, AI chips are tailored for intricate machine-learning tasks. This unleashes machine learning’s full potential, opening doors to exciting advancements across various industries.



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