After placing an early bet on OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, Microsoft has another secret weapon in its arsenal: its own artificial intelligence chip for powering the large-language models responsible for understanding and generating humanlike language.
The software giant has been developing the chip, internally code-named Athena, since as early as 2019, according to two people with direct knowledge of the project. The chips are already available to a small group of Microsoft and OpenAI employees, who are testing the technology, one of them said. Microsoft is hoping the chip will perform better than what it currently buys from other vendors, saving it time and money on its costly AI efforts. Other prominent tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Facebook, also make their own in-house chips for AI.