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Ex-Googlers join startup to build machine-learning chip

Former engineers from Google's secretive, next-generation chip project — also known as the Tensor Processing Unit — have left to join a startup also focused on new silicon chips to power machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, CNBC reports. The startup, called "Groq," was founded by Chamath Palihapitiya, a well-known Silicon Valley venture capital investor.

Why it matters: Today's chips aren't efficient or powerful enough to handle the increasing data-processing demands of advanced computing. Intel, Qualcomm and Nvidia are already creating their own chips that can process data more efficiently, and Google said this month that AI applications running on its TPUs run 15-30 times faster than contemporary processors.

Uphill battle: Creating a new breed of silicon chip is extremely capital intensive with research-and-development costs alone. And finding manufacturing partners to use untested chips over those made by established brands is a daunting task.