One of the more interesting AI silicon projects over the last couple of years has been the Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine, most notably for the fact that a single chip is the size of a literal wafer. Cerebras packs the WSE1 chip into a 15U custom liquid cooled server, called the CS-1, with a number of innovations regarding packaging, power, and setup. A single CS-1 requires about 20 kW of power peak, and costs around a couple million dollars (the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center purchased two last year based on a $5m research grant). Cerebras say they have double digit customers and several dozen units already in the field, however today marks a considerable milestone as the US Department of Energy now has one deployed and working, attached directly to a supercomputer.
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Author: Dr. Ian Cutress