Google Cloud makes pods with 1,000 TPU chips available in public beta

Google Cloud Platform today introduced a public beta for Cloud TPU v2 and Cloud TPU v3 pods. Connected by a toroidal mesh network across multiple racks, a TPU pod can contain more than 1,000 tensor processing units.

TPU Pod Slices are also available for as little as 16 TPU chips at once.

Liquid-cooled Cloud TPU v3 pods can deliver more than 100 petaflops of computing power. Conversely, Cloud TPU v2 pods released in alpha last year can achieve 11.5 petaflops.

For extreme machine learning tasks, Google began to develop its tensor processing units (TPU) years ago. The programmable custom chips for machine learning have been used for AI workloads at Google since 2015, and in recent years have increasingly been made available to researchers and developers in need of high-speed training of AI models.

The news was announced today at Google’s annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California.

The second-generation TPU made its debut in 2017, and the liquid-cooled TPU v3 was teased at I/O last year.

Other news announced today includes the debut of the Nest Hub MaxGoogle Assistant upgrades, the Pixel 3a smartphone, and the launch of Android Q beta 3.

Also new today for developers: ML Kit to bring AI to Android and iOS apps got object detection and language translation for 59 languages, the same models that power the Google Translate app.