IBM’s New Do-It-All Deep-Learning Chip

IBM's new chip is designed to do both high-precision learning and low-precision inference across the three main flavors of deep learning

3 min read
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Illustration: iStockphoto

The field of deep learning is still in flux, but some things have started to settle out. In particular, experts recognize that neural nets can get a lot of computation done with little energy if a chip approximates an answer using low-precision math. That’s especially useful in mobile and other power-constrained devices. But some tasks, especially training a neural net to do something, still need precision. IBM recently revealed its newest solution, still a prototype, at the IEEE VLSI Symposia: a chip that does both equally well.

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The State of the Transistor in 3 Charts

In 75 years, it’s become tiny, mighty, ubiquitous, and just plain weird

3 min read
A photo of 3 different transistors.
iStockphoto
LightGreen

The most obvious change in transistor technology in the last 75 years has been just how many we can make. Reducing the size of the device has been a titanic effort and a fantastically successful one, as these charts show. But size isn’t the only feature engineers have been improving.

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