Microsoft is reportedly set to unveil its first AI chip next month. Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft is sparing no effort in a bid to reduce its reliance on NVIDIA. In line with this, the Redmond-based tech behemoth is reportedly on the verge of unveiling its first-ever AI (artificial intelligence) chip next month.

An unnamed source has shared this piece of vital information with the folks at The Information. According to the report, the purported AI chip could make its debut at the impending Microsoft Ignite 2023 developer conference.

Regrettably, the tech publication did not divulge key details about the AI chip. Nevertheless, the move could be Microsoft's attempt to reduce its reliance on NVIDIA's GPU (graphics processing unit) chips.

Notably, the widely popular NVIDIA GPUs have been in short supply lately. This doesn't come as a surprise given that the company's CEO founder Jensen Huang predicted years ago that tech giants will look for a powerful chip that will come in handy for building AI.

Microsoft's AI chip

Microsoft's AI chip carries the codename Athena. Reportedly, it is designed for a data center server and will compete with NVIDIA's flagship H100 GPU.

It is also worth noting that major cloud providers like Microsoft currently rely on the H100 GPU to power LLMs (large language models) and other AI applications. These companies buy NVIDIA GPUs for their data servers.

To recap, The Information shed some light on Athena back in April. The development of Athena, which is expected to be announced at the Ignite conference, comes at a time when there is a skyrocketing demand for AI chips.

If Microsoft stops buying NVIDIA's chips and creates its own AI processors, NVIDIA's revenues could go back down. According to The Information, Microsoft's in-house AI chip has been in development since 2019.

Furthermore, the report suggests around 300 team members were working on the project at the time. In May, a separate report claimed Microsoft has teamed up with NVIDIA's biggest GPU rival AMD to develop the Athena chip.

The report goes on to suggest that Microsoft is supporting AMD financially to help it make its own AI chip. Currently, Microsoft is trying its best to be at the forefront of the AI space.

Microsoft Ignite 2023: Everything you need to know

The developer-centric Ignite conference also attracts IT professionals and admins. The conference will be held from November 14 to 17 in Seattle. Microsoft says it will announce a slew of major products at the conference.

A considerable number of these product announcements could center on the company's AI platform. Moreover, the keynote address will feature several Microsoft executives, including the company's chief executive officer.