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SAPEON launches X330 AI semiconductor for enhanced data centre performance
Fri, 17th Nov 2023

AI semiconductor global firm, SAPEON, has launched its X330 AI semiconductor, designed specifically for data centres. The new AI semiconductor boasts an impressive four times the computational performance and over twice the power efficiency of its predecessor, the X220 AI semiconductor. Furthermore, SAPEON aims to utilise the recently launched X330 to introduce AI NPUs for high-powered edge devices, amongst which include IP semiconductor assets for self-driving cars and CCTV.

The X330 offers greater computational performance than its predecessor, the X220, in addition to an expanded application range. This makes the X330 an efficient and broad-ranging Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for a wide variety of industries and applications. In terms of comparative performance, the X330 sets a high standard, offering more than double the computational performance and 1.3 times better power efficiency than rival 5nm products launched in 2023.

One of the notable features of the X330 is its built-in video codec and video post-processing IP, designed to speed up video-related applications. In addition, it enables 4-channel 4K 60fps video input processing via its built-in hardware IP. SAPEON's already established X220 model showcased excellent performance in BERT inference, a high-performing AI language model. The new X330 takes this further by implementing a large language model based on the original technology behind transformer architecture, which is integral to programs such as ChatGPT.

Last year, SAPEON had made significant strides in expanding into new service markets by building a large-scale NPU Farm in cooperation with SK Telecom. With a server equipped with the X220 AI semiconductor, they established a 7.6 Peta OPS throughput in SK broadband's Gasan IDC. This marked the first instance of such a large-scale NPU Farm being built in Korea with the goal of commercializing actual services. Following this achievement, the firm has continued to look for opportunities to expand its business model, having successfully conducted tests in various sectors, including image analysis, natural language processing and image quality refinement, through the NPU Farm project.

Alongside the X330's introduction, SAPEON intends to extend AI NPUs into high-performance edge devices like semiconductor design assets for autonomous driving cars and CCTV. Soojung Ryu, SAPEON's CEO, elaborated on the company's strategy: "Since SAPEON launched the X220, Korea's first AI semiconductor for data centres in 2020, we have been regularly expanding our commercial service areas into various fields such as automobiles, security, and media. Our strategy is to accelerate towards targeting AI service model development companies and data centre markets with the X330, which maximises the advantages of the X220. By increasing the utilisation of AI semiconductors in all industries and making advanced AI technology affordable, we aim to help create a society where everyone can enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge tech development."

As part of its expansion plans, SAPEON looks to apply the X330 to AI Infrastructure. This application will form the backbone of three primary areas of SK Telecom's AI Pyramid Strategy, designed to hasten the company's transition into a global AI firm. These areas include AI Infrastructure, AI Transformation (AIX), and AI Service. In partnership with SK Telecom, SAPEON also aims to deploy AI semiconductors to establish safety systems that inhibit voice phishing and spam/smishing attacks, founded on AI and big data analysis as additional safeguards to protect customers from such threats.