Microsoft’s FPGA-powered supercomputers can translate Wikipedia faster than you can blink

The world doesn’t have to long to wait for Microsoft’s “A.I. supercomputers”; they’re already here. Microsoft distinguished engineer Doug Burger holds up one of the company’s FPGA boards. Microsoft’s servers are now powered by optimized custom chips that joined together to translate the entirety of Wikipedia in literally less than a blink of an eye. In a demonstration at Microsoft’s Ignite conference on Orlando, Microsoft tapped what it called its “global hyperscale” cloud to translate 3 billion words across 5 million articles in less than a tenth of a second. Microsoft helped custom-design the programmable logic components, or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), that it has added to each of its computing nodes. The company recognizes that smarter, more computationally intensive technologies will require more computing power on the back…


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