Alibaba’s first K. I. chip proves: China is on the way to its own semiconductor technology

Alibaba’s first K. I. chip proves: China is on the way to its own semiconductor technology

27. September 2019 0 By Horst Buchwald

Alibaba’s first K. I. chip proves: China is on the way to its own semiconductor technology

Hong Kong, 27.9.2019

Alibaba presented its first chip for the control of artificial intelligence (AI) processes on Tuesday. This step could strengthen the already rapidly growing cloud computing business and signals China’s growing ambitions to build its own self-developed semiconductor industry.

The chip, called Hanguang 800, can complete computer tasks that would normally take an hour in just five minutes, claims the e-commerce giant.

Alibaba pointed out that the chip is currently being used internally in the company’s operations, particularly in product search and automatic translation on e-commerce sites, personalized recommendations, advertising and “intelligent customer services”. For these areas, which require extensive calculations, the new super-fast chip is very helpful.

“In the near future, our customers will be able to access advanced computing through our cloud business. This will be possible anytime, anywhere with this chip,” said Jeff Zhang, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba, in a press release.

However, Alibaba has no plans to sell the chip as a stand-alone product. Instead, the company plans to use the chip in its cloud computing products.

Using the chip in its own cloud computing business could enable Alibaba to sell new cloud services to its customers. The cloud business is Alibaba’s fastest-growing division and has been rated by management as a highly promising area for the future.

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