The unstoppable rise of AI chips: Implications for Banking and Payments

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the world at an unprecedented pace. From DeepMind’s victory over Go champion Lee Sedol in 2016 to the sophisticated predictive abilities of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the advancements in AI are remarkable.

The complexity of AI training algorithms is increasing rapidly, with the computational power required to run these algorithms doubling approximately every four months.

To keep up with this growth, scalable hardware that can handle increasingly complex models is essential, particularly hardware that operates close to the end-user.

The Evolution of AI Hardware

The history of computing is rich with examples of specialized hardware designed to accelerate specific tasks.

Early computers paired Central Processing Units (CPUs) with Floating-Point Units (FPUs) to handle complex mathematical operations more efficiently.

This concept evolved as technology and market demands grew, leading to the development of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for rendering computer graphics.

Similarly, the rise of machine learning has created a need for new types of accelerators to manage machine learning workloads effectively.

Machine learning involves two main stages: training and inference.

During the training stage, data is fed into a model, which adjusts its weights to better fit the data.

This stage is computationally intense, often requiring days of processing in cloud computing environments equipped with numerous parallel processing chips.

The inference stage, where the trained model is used to classify new data, can occur both in the cloud and at the edge of the network, closer to the end-user.

Current and Future Trends in AI Chips

According to reports like “AI Chips: 2023-2033” and “AI Chips for Edge Applications 2024-2034: Artificial Intelligence at the Edge” by IDTechEx, the growth of AI for both training and inference in the cloud and at the edge will continue to accelerate over the next decade.

As our world becomes more automated and interconnected, the demand for AI chips will soar.

Different chip architectures have varying degrees of effectiveness for handling machine learning workloads.

In cloud computing, GPUs dominate due to their efficiency in training AI algorithms, a trend likely to continue given Nvidia’s strong position in the market.

For edge computing, Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) are preferred due to their design tailored to specific tasks, such as object detection in security systems.

Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) also play a significant role at the edge, particularly Qualcomm’s Hexagon Tensor Processor found in Snapdragon products.

However, any shift in Qualcomm’s design could significantly impact the forecast, potentially favoring ASICs even more.

The Financial Implications of AI Chip Growth

The market for AI chips is set to experience substantial growth.

Revenue from AI chips, encompassing both physical sales and cloud rental services, is projected to approach $300 billion by 2034, growing at a compound annual rate of 22% from 2024.

In 2024, chips for inference purposes (both at the edge and in the cloud) will account for 63% of this revenue, with the share increasing to over two-thirds by 2034.

This growth is driven by the expanding use of AI closer to the end-user, particularly in edge and telecom edge applications.

Industry verticals such as IT & Telecom, Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI), and Consumer Electronics will lead AI chip usage.

The Consumer Electronics sector, in particular, will generate significant revenue at the edge due to the integration of AI into home products.


The next decade will be a transformative period for AI and the hardware that supports it.

As AI algorithms become more complex and ubiquitous, the demand for scalable, efficient, and specialized hardware will only grow.

Companies and industries that harness the power of AI chips will be at the forefront of innovation, driving advancements that will shape the future of technology and society.

The financial stakes are high, and the potential for growth is enormous, making this an exciting time for AI and the broader tech industry.


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