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It's going to be a very exciting multi-company arms race -- at minimum, Google, Intel, Nvidia. Microsoft has their FPGAs, Amazon has their rumors. And there are several startups trying to enter the space. I don't think we're looking at stagnating; very much the opposite. It's going to be fantastic for the field.

(I'm saying this with my CMU hat, not my Google hat.)

I would not see things stagnating but it seems like there's a potential for the individual to get cut out of this excitement if each of these entities is keeping it's chips close to it's chest.

The era of the mainframe, with each provider competing with a custom chip, wasn't necessarily beneficial for individual buying computer power.

Industries go through cycles of innovation and concentration. During innovation cycles, many new non-standard products appear with innovative solutions, the entire pie grows really fast. As growth eventually stabilizes, standards become more relevant and consolidation happens, eventually leading to a stagnation that makes the industry ripe for disruption and change again.

If you look at processors, you see that with the early custom processors, followed by some standardization and copy around the IBM S/360, followed by more proprietary innovation around the PC era, resulting finally in the x86, eventually disrupted by the mobile chips, which then consolidated around ARM and so on.

I second this.

With cloud computing, we are essentially going back to the era of time-shared mainframes with remote access.

What are the Amazon rumors?


The (expensive) report from The Information upon which that article was based speculates a little more about chips for training.

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