Cerebras teases second-generation wafer-scale AI chip

Cerebras Systems, the venture-backed startup in Los Altos, California, teased details of its second-generation AI chip, which takes up an entire silicon wafer and has 850,000 individual compute cores.

cerebras-wse-gen-2-preview-aug-18-2020.png

Cerebras executive Sean Lie described the company's forthcoming second-generation AI chip at the Hot Chips conference, which is taking place virtually this year.

Cerebras Systems, the Los Altos, California startup that a year ago unveiled the biggest chip ever seen, this afternoon gave a preview of its second-generation chip.

The second-gen WSE, or "wafer-scale engine," chip, currently "running in our labs," will offer 850,000 individual compute cores in a chip that takes up almost the entire surface of a traditional silicon wafer, according to Cerebras executive Sean Lie. Lie was addressing the audience of Hot Chips, a computer chip conference taking place virtually this year.  

The processor has 2.6 trillion transistors in total, and it is manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor in the company's 7-nanometer fabrication process. That is more than double the 400,000 cores and 1.2 trillion transistors in the original, Gen-1 WSE.

Lie declined for disclose how much SRAM memory is built into the chip. The existing Gen-1 has 18 gigabytes of DRAM on die. 

Lie told the audience to wait for details "in coming months."

Cerebras competes with established GPU heavyweight Nvidia and other startups such as Graphcore and Tachyum.