Intel unveils new AI chips as it seeks to reclaim market share from Nvidia and AMD

Patrick Gelsinger, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., speaks during the Intel Innovation Taipei technology forum in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.Intel last month predicted a return to sales growth in the fourth quarter, fueled by an improving personal computer market and a more competitive product line. Photographer: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images
I-Hwa Cheng | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. chipmaker Intel on Tuesday announced new artificial intelligence chips for data centers, as it looks to take on rivals Nvidia and AMD which have showcased upcoming chips in the last two days.

Intel’s Xeon 6 processor will deliver better performance and power efficiency for high-intensity data center workloads as compared to its predecessor, CEO Pat Gelsinger said during the Computex tech conference in Taiwan.

The announcement comes as rivals Nvidia and AMD launched new AI chips on Sunday and Monday, respectively, as they jostle for leadership in the booming industry.

It also comes six months after Intel launched its 5th Gen Intel Xeon processors for data center workloads and two months after announcing the Gaudi 3 processor for AI model training and deployment.

Intel on Tuesday also revealed that prices for the Gaudi 2 and Gaudi 3 AI accelerators are lower than that of rival chips.

“Customers are looking for high performance, cost-effective gen AI training and inferencing solutions. And they’ve started to turn to alternatives like Gaudi. They want choice. They want open software and hardware solutions and time to market solutions at dramatically lower TCOs [total cost of ownership],” Gelsinger said.

Intel also revealed architecture details for its upcoming Lunar Lake processors “to continue to grow the AI PC category.” The Lunar Lake chips, expected to ship in the third quarter, will compete against Nvidia’s and AMD’s chips that are specifically designed for AI PCs.

Intel is trying to catch up to Nvidia and AMD, after having largely been on the sidelines of the AI frenzy which saw tech giants like MetaMicrosoft and Google buying up as many Nvidia chips as possible.

Both Nvidia and AMD have outlined roadmaps for new data center chips on an annual basis. Nvidia on Sunday revealed new “Rubin” chips to succeed the previous “Blackwell” model, which was just announced in March. AMD has detailed timelines for new Instinct accelerators each year till 2026.

Unlike chip designers Nvidia and AMD, Intel not only designs its chips but also manufactures them. However, its foundry business has been struggling, recording a wider operating loss of $7 billion in 2023 versus the prior year.

It also lost its edge in chip manufacturing to overseas rivals like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. But nearly $20 billion in CHIPS and Science Act funding from the Biden administration could help Intel advance its semiconductor manufacturing and R&D.

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