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Manufacturing · TMT
Alibaba ready to launch AI chip, invested USD 15 bln on research labs
2018/09/21 03:11:46
China Financial News, China News, Alibaba

Sep 21, 2018 (China Knowledge) - Alibaba’s <BABA:NYSE> Chief Technology Officer Jeff Zhang has announced that the company plans to drive development in emerging computing technology, during the company’s Cloud Computing Conference last week.

The company has invested USD 15 billion in launching its own in-house research lab, DAMO Academy, in October last year. The academy aims to drive research and development in data intelligence, the Internet of Things (IOT), fintech, quantum computing and human-machine interaction, allowing Alibaba to be the leader in frontier technology.

Quantum computing will allow a massive amount of information to be processed simultaneously, allowing the computing system to process tasks faster compared to computers nowadays. It aims to nurture and expand its partnership network to explore quantum-enhanced solutions for industries ranging from e-commerce to logistic and finance. The breakthrough in technology will eventually bring more value to Alibaba’s eco-system and customers.

DAMO, with over 300 researchers in 8 cities, is expected to launch its first artificial intelligence (AI) chip, AliNPU next year. The chips will be used in areas such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities and smart logistics. Besides that, the academy is expected to introduce the company’s first neural network chip by the end of this year, strengthening Alibaba’s data-processing capabilities, advancing the company businesses in areas such as IOT and logistic.

During the conference, Jeff also announced Alibaba’s plan to establish a subsidiary company specializing in chip production. The subsidiary company will allow the company to focus its resources in researching and developing customized AI chips and embedded processors to further support Alibaba’s growing businesses in areas such as cloud technology and IoT. It aims to provide intelligent solutions to external parties in different industries. 

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