Addressing the Hot Chips 2021 conference, Graphcore co-founder and CTO Simon Knowles delivers a detailed technical keynote on the design and capabilities of the ColossusTM GC200 Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU).
Simon outlines the need for a specialist AI processor as a means of unlocking new directions in AI research. He also discusses the importance of sparse computation as a means of handling the multi-trillion parameter models that will be required for human-level machine intelligence.
Design features of the IPU, covered in Simon’s talk, include:
The GC200’s 1,472 parallel processing cores and 900MiBytes of on-die memory
Graphcore’s approach to achieving ultra-high bandwidth at both chip and system level
Economic and performance comparison of DRAM exchange memory vs off-chip HMB
Use of Bulk Synchronous Parallel for scheduling compute and communication cycles