SK Telecom’s AI chip to be tested for use at NHN servers

2021.06.02 13:53:19 | 2021.06.02 13:53:53

[Photo provided by Ministry of Science and ICT]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Ministry of Science and ICT]

NHN Corp., a South Korean cloud service company, will use Sapeon, an artificial intelligence chip developed by SK Telecom, the country’s leading wireless carrier, on a trial basis, paving the way for potential adoption of homegrown system chips in the server computer industry amid uncertainty in global supply chains.

The chip demonstration is part of Tuesday’s partnership agreement between local cloud data center operators and fabless firms dedicated to server chips, the Ministry of Science and ICT said.

The signing ceremony was attended by five data center companies (Naver Cloud, Douzone Bizon, Kakao Enterprise, NHN and KT) and server chip companies (Rebellions, FuriosaAI, SK Telecom and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute).

An artificial intelligence chip refers to a system semiconductor that executes large-scale calculations necessary for realizing AI services with high performance and high-power efficiency in the learning or reasoning process.

The global market for AI chips used in servers is expected to reach $34.7 billion by 2030 from $3.5 billion last year.

Under the partnership agreement, the participating companies will also cooperate in developing AI chips, while closely cooperating in the establishment of a semiconductor testbed at an AI industrial complex in Gwangju, 204 miles south of Seoul.

The ICT ministry said the government will support the industry to gain competitiveness in the AI semiconductor sector beyond memory chips.

By Lee Seung-yoon and Minu Kim

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