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Chips industry goes all-in on AI

But an industry long associated with volatility is quietly getting excited that artificial intelligence (AI) could be the key to some longer-term stability.

US firm Nvidia dominates the market in specialised chips known as GPUs, which happen to be ideal for training AI programmes like the wildly popular chatbot ChatGPT.

“Technology trends are working in Nvidia’s direction,” the firm’s vice president Ronnie Vasishta told AFP this week at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

This has helped make Nvidia the biggest company in the sector — and one of the biggest firms of any kind in the United States — with a valuation of $580 billion.

Traditional rivals like Intel and Qualcomm are now on manoeuvres, desperate to make sure they do not miss out.

The tiny components, also known as semiconductors, are essential in everything from smartphones, PCs and electric cars to sophisticated weaponry, robotics and all other high-tech machinery.

AI already features heavily in all of these fields, and the advent of chatbots is only pushing it further into the public imagination.

Even in a sector where low-key engineers do the talking, the enthusiasm is palpable.

– ‘Scratching the surface’ –

“The most exciting thing right now is AI,” Cristiano Amon, boss of rival firm Qualcomm, told a Wall Street Journal event at the MWC.

He wants the world’s phones to be tooled up with chips able to handle even the most tricky AI-related tasks, largely because Qualcomm leads the field in phone chips. MSN

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