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Why Microsoft Has Bet on FPGAs to Infuse Its Cloud With AI

Apr 25, 2018

Reconfigurable chips enhance everything from Azure SDN to Bing

Like a growing number of Microsoft services, the Bing search engine uses Azure’s FPGA platform. It’s used it most recently to accelerate generation of “intelligent” answers that include auto-generated summaries from multiple text sources using machine reading comprehension.

That software runs on an FPGA-powered system codenamed Project Brainwave. The same FPGA platform is used for Azure’s software-defined networking, delivering smart NICs. It also powers the machine learning Cognitive Services Microsoft offers as APIs for image, text, and speech recognition and will in time be available for customers to run their own workloads.

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