On Tuesday, the Information reported that Microsoft Corp is developing its own artificial intelligence chip, which has been internally code-named "Athena". The chip is expected to power the technology behind AI chatbots such as ChatGPT. The report cited two sources familiar with the matter.

The development of Athena began in 2019, and it is currently being tested by a small group of Microsoft and OpenAI employees. The chip is designed to be used for training large-language models and supporting inference. These are both critical functions required by generative AI, such as the one used in ChatGPT, to process vast amounts of data, recognize patterns and generate outputs that mimic human conversation.

The report suggests that Microsoft hopes the chip will outperform the ones currently being purchased from other vendors. This would save the company both time and money on its costly AI efforts. Other major tech companies like Amazon and Google also produce their own in-house chips for AI applications. However, Nvidia is currently the dominant player in the market for such chips.

Microsoft has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding the development of Athena, nor has Nvidia. However, the report notes that Microsoft is accelerating the rollout of Athena following the success of ChatGPT. Earlier this year, the company launched its own AI-powered search engine, Bing AI, which leverages its partnership with OpenAI in an attempt to capture market share from Google.