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Microsoft exec remains tight-lipped about making in-house AI chips

Microsoft (MSFT) didn't deny that it's looking at making its own chips.

For some time, rumors have swirled that Microsoft, like Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN), is pursuing a chip solution that would make it less dependent on chipmakers like Nvidia (NVDA).

At the 2023 Code Conference in Dana Point, Calif., Microsoft's chief technology officer and executive vice president of AI Kevin Scott stayed mum on those rumors, but he did offer some color on how Microsoft, arguably the AI leader right now, is thinking about chips.

"I'm not confirming anything," he told the audience. "I will say that we've got a pretty substantial silicon investment that we've had for years. The thing that we will do is make sure we're making the best choices for how we build these systems, using whatever options are available. And the best option over the last few years, it's been Nvidia."

Kevin Scott, CTO and EVP of AI at Microsoft speaks onstage during Vox Media's 2023 Code Conference.
Kevin Scott, chief technology officer and executive vice president of AI at Microsoft, speaks onstage during Vox Media's 2023 Code Conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel on Sept. 27, 2023, in Dana Point, Calif. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media) (Jerod Harris via Getty Images)

Scott was also cagey about whether Microsoft would ever move on or diversify away from its Nvidia partnership, such as by pursuing chips from AMD (AMD).


But he did say that, from the customer perspective, it shouldn't make a difference where the chips powering their AI experiences come from.

"For us, it's a big complicated software stack, but the only part the customer sees is the API interface," he told the audience.

Though the industry is in the midst of a headline-making AI chip shortage, Scott was optimistic about the chips that are out there right now and the trajectory that the technology is on.

"Chips are getting better price [and] performance-wise generation over generation," Scott said, adding: "The software techniques that we're using to optimize the models are bringing tons of performance without compromise to quality."

Allie Garfinkle is a Senior Tech Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @agarfinks and on LinkedIn.

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