Intel Reveals that it Sold $1 billion Worth of AI Chips in 2017

Intel Reveals that it Sold $1 billion Worth of AI Chips in 2017
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Looking at the current trend by displayed by leading companies in various industries including the automotive industry, financial industry and technology industry among others, it is safe to assume that artificial intelligence is here to stay.

The revolutionary technology has taken the world by storm and it may soon take over all aspects of life. Recent revelations by renowned chip maker Intel show clearly the increased adoption and acceptance of artificial intelligence (AI).

Intel recently made headlines by revealing that it had sold artificial intelligence chips worth a whopping $1 billion back in 2017. The announcement marked the first time the second largest chipmaker in the world disclosed its revenue from the sales of the rapidly growing computer segment globally, which is behind the increased sales expansions at competing companies like Nvidia Corp.

With the stagnation in the sales of personal computers, Intel seems to be largely relying on its sales to data centers, which are behind the provision of computing power (behind the scenes) for both web-based and mobile applications.

In turn, such applications depend on artificial intelligence (AI) for various features such as speech and image recognition. Nevertheless, most researchers are highly convinced that graphical processors such as those provided by Nvidia are well-suited for training artificial intelligence (AI) computer models compared to the central processor units, which have been Intel’s lifeblood for several decades now.

Navin Shenoy, Intel’s data center chief, said at Intel’s Santa Clara, California headquarters during an event for Wall Street analysis that the chip maker had been managed to boost its CPUs to become over 200 times better when it comes to artificial intelligence training in the past several years.

As such, the improvement had led to $1 Billion in sales revenue thanks to the selling of its Xeon processors for AI training in 2017. During the same period, Intel’s total revenue amounted to $62.8 billion.

Shenoy also told the audience present at the event that the step-function growth in performance had resulted in meaningful business impact for Intel. In the other hand, Intel’s head of AI products group Naveen Rao asserted that the $1 billion estimate was drawn from customers who had told the company that they were purchasing chips for AI as well as from computations of how much a client’s data center is committed to such activities.

Rao also told Reuters that he thinks the figure is much higher that the stated $1 billion since the chip maker did not consider various thinks for the sake of being conservative.

However, the new sales number is vital, as Intel’s stock declined in the previous month after providing earnings that did not meet the expectations of Wall Street, particularly for its data center enterprise.

Former chip executive and analyst Patrick Moorhead from Moor Insights & Strategy said that Intel has to be highly confident not only in its AI roadmap but also its future performance considering the fact that it committed to a specific revenue number.

In fact, analysts are expected to constantly ask the company about it after each quarter. He also stated that the $1 billion number was conservative since it only comprised of CPUs, leaving out the rest of its product lines.

Source Reuters

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