AWS 開始推自己的 Machine Learning Chip

除了常見的 GPU 類,以及之前公佈過的 FPGA 外,這次 AWS 推出的是自己做的晶片 AWS Inferentia,以及對應到 EC2 上的機種 inf1:「Amazon EC2 Update – Inf1 Instances with AWS Inferentia Chips for High Performance Cost-Effective Inferencing」。

從介紹可以看到支援的形式:

Each AWS Inferentia chip supports up to 128 TOPS (trillions of operations per second) of performance at low power to enable multiple chips per EC2 instance. AWS Inferentia supports FP16, BF16, and INT8 data types. Furthermore, Inferentia can take a 32-bit trained model and run it at the speed of a 16-bit model using BFloat16.

然後常見的框架都先弄好支援了:

AWS Inferentia comes with the AWS Neuron software development kit (SDK) that enables complex neural net models, created and trained in popular frameworks to be executed using AWS Inferentia based EC2 Inf1 instances. Neuron consists of a compiler, run-time, and profiling tools and is pre-integrated into popular machine learning frameworks including TensorFlow, Pytorch, and MXNet to deliver optimal performance of EC2 Inf1 instances.

現在看起來類似於 Google 弄的 TPU,專為 machine learning 搞出來的 ASIC,等一陣子應該就會有兩者的比較了...

Bitmain 推出 AI chip

BitmainBitcoin ASIC 市場上算是很有名的,就利用作 ASIC 的經驗推出自己的 AI chip 了:「Bitcoin’s Biggest Tech Player to Release AI Chips and Computers」。

這樣除了可以在雲端上租用 Google Cloud PlatformCloud TPU 以外,也可以自己買硬體來算了 (雖然軟體的支援應該還要再等):「Tensor Computing Processor BM1680」。

Love your country, but never trust its government

Hacker News Daily 上看到的,在 Sun-2 的 bootloader 裡可以看到「Love your country, but never trust its government」這樣的字串:「Why the Sun 2 has the message "Love your country, but never trust its government"」。

這段字串是由 John Gilmore 當時在 Sun 開發時所放入的,John Gilmore 同時也是後來 EFF 創辦人之一,不過當初放入這段字串的目的是為了抓到盜版:

Yes. Vinod Khosla, first President of Sun, came to me at one point and said to put something hidden, triggered in an unexpected way, into the ROM Monitor, so that if somebody cloned the Sun Workstation (violating our software’s copyright), we could do that unexpected thing to the competitor’s demo workstation at a trade show and thereby prove that they had cloned it.

過了三十年後 John Gilmore 被挖出來問的回應也是蠻有趣的... (可以參考原文附上的信件)

而這句話現在回頭看也很經典,尤其是最近各國政府想要在 crypto system 裡面放後門的各種反應。