Google’s Tensor Processing Unit: What We Know

If you’ve followed Google’s announcements at I/O 2016, one stand-out from the keynote was the mention of a Tensor Processing Unit, or TPU (not to be confused with thermoplastic urethane). I was hoping to learn more about this TPU, however Google is currently holding any architectural details close to their chest. More will come later this year, but for now what we know is that this is an actual processor with an ISA of some kind. What exactly that ISA entails isn’t something Google is disclosing at this time – and I’m curious as to whether it’s even Turing complete – though in their blog post on the TPU, Google did mention that it uses “reduced computational precision.” It’s a fair bet that unlike GPUs there is no ISA-level support…


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