Microsoft has recently shown active interest in developing its own chips or semi-custom solutions, collaboratively designed with other companies. Today, Microsoft introduced its first proprietary chips: Azure Maia 100 AI Accelerator and Azure Cobalt 100.
The Azure Maia 100 AI Accelerator is an ASIC optimized for AI tasks, specifically designed for training large language models and data output. The Maia 100 will support the operation of some of the largest internal artificial intelligence systems within Microsoft Azure.
Essentially, the new chip has been specially developed for the Azure hardware stack, indicating that Microsoft does not seem to have plans to sell such chips to external parties.
It is known that the Maia 100 is manufactured using 5 nm standards at TSMC facilities. These chips will be used in dedicated racks created specifically for the Maia 100, with an integrated liquid cooling system.
Azure Cobalt 100 is a general-purpose processor based on the Arm architecture. It will be utilized within the Microsoft Cloud infrastructure. Technically, it features 128 Neoverse N2 cores with a 12-channel memory controller. Beyond that, it is only known that liquid cooling is also provided for these chips.