In a move that could shift the course of multiple technology markets, Google will soon launch a cloud computing service that provides exclusive access to a new kind of artificial-intelligence chip designed by its own engineers.
CEO Sundar Pichai revealed the new chip and service this morning in Silicon Valley during his keynote at Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference.
This new processor is a unique creation designed to both train and execute deep neural networks—machine learning systems behind the rapid evolution of everything from image and speech recognition to automated translation to robotics. Google says it will not sell the chip directly to others. Instead, through its new cloud service, set to arrive sometime before the end of the year, any business or developer can build and operate software via the internet that taps into hundreds and perhaps thousands of these processors, all packed into Google data centers.
The new chips and the new cloud service are in keeping with the longterm evolution of the internet's most powerful company. For more than a decade, Google has developed new data center hardware, from computer servers to network gear, to more efficiently drive its online empire. And more recently, it has worked to sell time on this hardwar