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Meta Platforms strengthens AI capabilities with talent acquisition from Graphcore

05-05-2023 Tech
Meta Platforms strengthens AI capabilities with talent acquisition from Graphcore

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has hired a team from Graphcore to improve its data center's AI work. Learn more here.

Meta's Infrastructure Team Gets a Boost with Graphcore's Hires

Meta Platforms Inc has hired a team of engineers from Graphcore who had been building artificial-intelligence networking technology until late last year. The team is based in Oslo, Norway, and will join Meta's infrastructure team.

The move comes as Meta seeks to improve the AI infrastructure in its data centers to keep up with demand from teams across the company who are looking to build new features. The social media giant is increasingly reliant on AI technology to target advertising, select posts for its apps' feeds, and remove banned content from its platforms.

Graphcore's Restructuring Leaves a Talent Pool for Meta

Meta's hires come after Graphcore closed its Oslo office in October last year as part of a broader restructuring. Graphcore, a British chip unicorn, had struggled to make inroads against U.S.-based firms like Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, which dominate the market for AI chips.

Graphcore's Talent to Boost Meta's AI Work

Meta's new hires have deep expertise in the design and development of supercomputing systems to support AI and machine learning at scale in Meta's data centers. They bring additional muscle to the company's bid to improve how its data centers handle AI work.

Meta Is Designing Its Own AI Chips

Meta already has an in-house unit designing several kinds of chips aimed at speeding up and maximizing efficiency for its AI work. These include a network chip that performs a sort of air traffic control function for servers, and a complex computing chip to both train AI models and perform inference. However, the company does not expect the latter to be ready until around 2025.

Graphcore's Setback Leaves Investors Disappointed

Graphcore was once seen as a promising potential challenger to Nvidia's commanding lead in the market for AI chip systems. Microsoft and venture capital firm Sequoia invested in the company, but Microsoft scrapped an early deal to buy Graphcore's chips for its Azure cloud computing platform in 2020. The setback led Sequoia to write down its investment in Graphcore to zero, although it remains on the company's board.

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