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Jim Keller Sketches AI Strategy to Bypass Nvidia

The success of Jim Keller, a renowned CPU architect and CEO at AI startup Tenstorrent, is not pre-ordained. His goal to offer an alternative to Nvidia's AI is clear, though.
Jim Keller, CEO at Tenstorrent
Jim Keller, CEO at Tenstorrent

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By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
In an AI market totally dominated by Nvidia, breaking the GPU giant’s logjam is, at minimum, a challenge for anyone, even a legendary CPU architect. However, Jim Keller’s secret weapon is not his reputation. It’s his belief that open-source policies accelerate innovation.

Jim Keller is a legendary CPU architect, his name linked to a host of commercially successful processors. Over three decades in several organizations, Keller, as a hands-on engineer, worked with or led teams who have developed architecture ranging from Alpha at Digital Equipment Corporation, K8, K12 and Zen at AMD, Apple’s A4, A5 and other apps processors, to the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Computer chip at Tesla.

Keller resembles a talented actor with a nose for great scripts and starring in a string of award-winning movies. However, it remains to be seen whether Tenstorrent, an AI hardware startup where Keller graduated from early investor to CEO today, will be the winner in the evolving AI race.

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