Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is set to deploy its own custom-designed artificial intelligence chips, codenamed Artemis, into its data centers this year. This strategic move aims to reduce Meta’s reliance on Nvidia’s dominant H100 chips and control the escalating costs associated with running AI workloads.
Meta has been investing heavily in boosting its computing capacity to support the power-hungry generative AI products it is integrating into services like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This involves acquiring specialized chips and reconfiguring data centers to accommodate them.
According to Dylan Patel, founder of the silicon research group SemiAnalysis, the successful deployment of Meta’s own chip could potentially save the company hundreds of millions of dollars in annual energy costs and billions in chip purchasing costs.
Despite this move towards self-reliance, Meta will continue to utilize Nvidia’s H100 GPUs in its data centers for the foreseeable future. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the company plans to have approximately 350,000 H100 processors in service by the end of this year.
The deployment of Artemis marks a positive development for Meta’s in-house AI silicon project. In 2022, the company made the decision to discontinue the chip’s first iteration in favor of Nvidia’s GPUs.
The new chip, Artemis, like its predecessor, is designed for AI inference, which involves using algorithms to make ranking judgments and generate responses to user prompts.
“We see our internally developed accelerators to be highly complementary to commercially available GPUs in delivering the optimal mix of performance and efficiency on Meta-specific workloads,” a Meta spokesperson said.
While Meta’s move to reduce its dependence on Nvidia’s processors could potentially signal a challenge to Nvidia’s dominance in the AI chip market, it is clear that Nvidia’s GPUs will continue to play a significant role in Meta’s AI infrastructure for the time being.