Bitcoin Mining giant Bitmain releases their second AI chip
The world’s largest Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer, Bitmain, has released its second chip in the AI space. The new chip is known as ‘BM1880’. The company announced the new chip in a private event held in Beijing.
Apart from the chip, Bitmain, also released products based on their BM1880 chip which includes servers, modules and development board products. BM1880 is released just months after Bitmain revealed their first AI chip BM1682. The main difference between BM1880 and BM1682 is the introduction of ‘on-device location’ which makes BM1880 smaller in size.
The computing capacity of BM1880 ranges between 1 TFlop to 2 TFlops. The power consumption of BM1880 is around 2W. In addition to the neural processing module, the BM1880 integrates two ARM 1.5GHz Cortex A53 processors and integrates a single-core 1GHz RISC-V processor. At the same time, the chip integrates H.264 decoding (2-channel 1080p 30fps) and MJPEG codec and supports multi-chip parallel computing expansion.
Compared to Nvidia’s Tesla T4 and Huawei’s Ascend 310, BM1880 has a lower performance. Nvidia’s Tesla T4 has 130 TFlops/75w power consumption while Huawei’s Ascend 16 TFlops/8W power consumption.
According to an official from Bitmain,
“The BM1880 chip can be used as a coprocessor, or as a host processor to receive video streams, pictures or other data from the Ethernet interface or USB interface, perform reasoning and other computer vision tasks; even other hosts. You can send video stream or picture data to BM1880, to infer and return the result to the host.”
According to Chinese Tech Media Sohu, BM1880 is not a flagship product but rather “testing ground” for Bitmain. Their future launches of BM1882 and BM1884 will pave way for smart cameras, smart cities etc.
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