South Korea's SK Group-backed Sapeon launches new AI chip

South Korea's SK Group-backed Sapeon launches new AI chip

The logo of SK Innovation is seen in front of its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Sapeon, an artificial intelligence (AI) chip startup backed by South Korea’s telecom-to-chip conglomerate SK Group, has launched its latest chip for data centres, the company said on Thursday, joining the global race to develop AI chips with bigger rivals like Nvidia.

The new Sapeon X330 chip “represents roughly twice the computational performance and 1.3 times better power efficiency” than competitors’ products launched this year, the company said in a statement, without elaborating further on the competitors.

The product, which supports large language models (LLMs), a type of AI software used to create services like ChatGPT, is set for mass production in the first half of next year, according to Sapeon.

Sapeon designs AI semiconductors for data centres, which require huge amounts of data processing. The X330 chip is manufactured by TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, Sapeon said.

SK Telecom, South Korea’s top telco company, is Sapeon’s parent. Its affiliate SK Hynix, the world’s No.2 memory chipmaker, is one of Sapeon’s major shareholders.


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