Social media giant Facebook has announced the company’s next ambitious leap:  a partnership with Intel to create its own microchips.

Facebook’s Chief Scientist for AI, Yann LeCun 

Due to the unceasing, exponentially-increasing demand for content moderation and other tasks on the social media platform, Facebook’s Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun said it was necessary for the company to have its own specialized microchips. These proprietary chips will be designed to handle huge amounts of data and handle more sophisticated tasks tailored to Facebook’s needs.

At present, due to the massive amount of content on the platform, Facebook’s human staff requires tons of assistance in content moderation and video monitoring in real-time; these tasks will only become more demanding as the platform grows. Updating, moderating and keeping Facebook’s neural networks working already demands a tremendous amount of processing power from its servers, all while keeping heat generation and power consumption at manageable levels. The current generation of microchips and processors that Facebook uses won’t be powerful enough to handle the workload and the future plans they have for Facebook’s additions.

This announcement shouldn’t be much of a surprise for Facebook, since other tech giants like Google and Apple are also investing in companies that could help them produce specialized microchips. The social media titan is one of Intel’s development partners for the Nervana Neural Network for Inference, a new class of chip specifically designed for AI inference tasks, which will start production by the second half of the year.

To know more about Facebook’s AI chips, read the full story here:

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