New AI chips top key benchmark tests: Nvidia

FILE PHOTO: A NVIDIA logo is shown at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Nvidia Corp said on Wednesday its chips used to power artificial intelligence topped a series of benchmark tests that measure a key performance metric in the industry.

The results are a boost to the company’s efforts to make headway into one of the biggest growth areas in the field called inference, which is the process of using an AI algorithm for tasks such as translating audio into text-based requests.

Intel Corp’s processors currently dominate the market for machine learning inference, which analysts at Morningstar estimate to be worth $11.8 billion by 2021.

However, Nvidia dominates the AI training chip market, where huge amounts of data help algorithms “learn” a task such as how to recognize a human voice.

The company said its inference chips have now achieved the fastest results on five new independent suite of AI benchmarks, called MLPerf Inference 0.5.

The company on Wednesday also unveiled Jetson Xavier NX, a new chip designed for AI computer, which is the size of a credit card.

The chip can be used in devices, including small commercial robots, drones and portable medical devices, that require more computing power without sacrificing size or weight, Nvidia said.

Priced at $399, the new chip will be available in March.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Stephen Nellis