Korea’s SK Telecom develops AI accelerator for data processing

2018.06.22 14:27:08 | 2018.06.22 15:00:37

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SK Telecom, Korea’s top mobile carrier, said on Thursday it has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) accelerator, a solution designed to improve AI computing speed, while lowering power consumption.

SK Telecom is the second company in the world after Google to apply an AI accelerator to commercial AI services for a data center.

The system dubbed AI Inference Accelerator (AIX) can increase the overall AI service capacity by about five times without physical server capacity building. Installed in the AI server of the data center, the palm-sized AI accelerator increases deep-learning computing speed by 20 times. It also helps reduce data center operating costs as its power efficiency is 16 times better than that of products based on graphics processing units (GPUs), according to the company.

SK Telecom said it has developed the solution to serve the users of its NUGU AI service as the user base increased rapidly, reaching 3 million a month in the first quarter of this year from 110,000 in August. The company used its own technology in all development processes involving hardware and software design, solution optimization and cloud service application that took about two years for completion.

The company plans to develop next-generation versions of the AI accelerator to further improve computing speed and power efficiency.

According to U.S. market researcher Tractica, the global market of AI chipsets including AI accelerators is expected to grow to $66 billion in 2025.

By Seo Dong-cheol and Minu Kim

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