Facebook open sources its artificial intelligence server

Facebook today is announcing that its researchers have developed hardware for a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning, which can be used inside several of the company’s applications. Facebook is publishing the hardware designs for anyone to explore through the Open Compute Project. The servers, codenamed Big Sur, are packed with graphics processing units (GPUs), which have become the chip of choice for deep learning. The technique involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data — pictures, for instance — and then getting them to make inferences about new data. Facebook is investing more and more into this field, so it makes sense for the company to design custom hardware, just as it has general-purpose servers, storage, and networking equipment. And it also makes sense to share the…


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