Alibaba announced that it will be producing ‘AI inference chips’ starting from the second half of 2019 through its newly established semiconductor subsidiary.
It announced that it decided to establish a limited company to focus on its chip business. In April, it acquired a Chinese semiconductor maker called C-Sky Microsystems.
Its semiconductors will be used for self-driving cars, Smart City, and distribution. It is noticeable from the fact that Alibaba has made such decision at the same time when Chinese authorities are also being active to raise quality of its semiconductors.
Chairman Jack Ma announced during his keynote speech at ‘Hangzhou Computing Conference 2018’ that semiconductor chip is the major technology of computing power that becomes foundation of new manufacturing industries.
“Alibaba’s 4 strategies are new wholesale and retail, new economy (finance), new energy, and new manufacturing industry.” said Chairman Ma. “Out of these 4 strategies, new manufacturing industry will bring the biggest changes.”
“Manufacturing industry will face unexpected hardship due to internet and mobile businesses after 15 years.” said Chairman Ma. “We will be able to make 2,000 different kinds of clothes in less than 5 minutes in the near future and we will depend on data much more.”
He also mentioned about education.
“We cannot teach our kids to go into manufacturing industry anymore.” said Chairman MA. “O2O (Online to Offline) market will spread through robots and AI, and paradigm will shift from manufacturing industry to service industry.”
Currently, Alibaba is inducing young men to be interested in mathematics including algorithm. It has decided to hold ‘Alibaba Global Mathematics Competition’, where 5,000 mathematicians and students with majors in mathematics compete against one another, starting from this month. Winners will be able to work at ‘DAMO Academy’, which is an AI think tank that was established last year. DAMO Academy currently has more than 300 researchers from 8 different countries.
He did not mention anything about his retirement at this keynote speech. Instead, he said that Computing Conference 2018 has the most attendance since 2009 and that he was pleased to see many companies trying to follow Alibaba’s model.
On the other hand, CEO Daniel Zhang, CTO Jeff Zhang announced ‘Hangzhou City Brain 2.0’ project, which applies Alibaba’s Cloud technology to Hangzhou, during a main forum in the morning.
Staff Reporter Ham, Jihyun | email@example.com