Server racks with telecommunication equipment in a server room. Photo: iStock

Alibaba Cloud, or Aliyun, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, is intending to boost the computing power of its servers due to the rising demand from artificial intelligence firms, said a senior executive of the company.

Traditional computers can no longer satisfy the exponential growth of the computer power demand amid the rise of artificial intelligence technology, Zhang Xiantao, Chief Architect of Elastic Compute Service at Alibaba Cloud, said in an interview with

If artificial intelligence is a rocket and data is the fuel, computing power should be the accelerator, Zhang said. Graphics processing units (GPU), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) can provide higher computing power to artificial intelligence firms, he said.

On September 12, Alibaba Cloud announced it will launch a new generation of acceleration platform, which will use six kinds of high performing chips. The company expects to help cut costs for artificial intelligence firms and lower the entry barrier for the sector.

Before Zhang joined Alibaba in 2014, he was working at the research center of Intel and contributed to the launch of Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM), which is a hardware-assisted virtualization engine.