A New Paradigm for the ‘AI Backbone’

December 5, 2023 | 4 min read

Lior Susan, CEO, Executive Chairman, Bright Machines

The rapid progress of AI, especially in Large Language Models (LLMs), has led to skyrocketing demand for compute power, exceeding all predictions. While it’s exciting to witness the AI/ML developer community fervently striving to create the next generation of AI applications, they face a massive hurdle: cloud compute providers — or “hyperscalers” — are struggling to meet the surge in demand (even turning away customers) to deliver compute, data storage, and related network capabilities — what we call the “AI backbone.”

The bottleneck? It’s not sustainable to build powerful, compute-heavy generative AI models upon manual, labor-intensive processes used for assembling AI hardware infrastructure. The AI backbone’s backend assembly — much like the broader field of electronics manufacturing — faces a bottleneck across dozens of fragmented vendors, causing a supply chain traffic jam. Past attempts to automate assembly lines have been custom-made, designed for single-purpose tasks, which doesn’t work well when you have task variations and high rate of product changes. AI hardware needs a standardized, yet flexible approach to manufacturing its backbone.

“AI hardware needs a standardized, yet flexible approach to manufacturing its backbone.”

Transforming Manufacturing

Since 2018, Bright Machines has been on a mission to transform electronics manufacturing by teaching machines human-like adaptability. Through ‘Smart Skills’ — including precise ML-driven visual inspection, advanced computer vision for 3D models during assembly, and data analysis — we enable the unprecedented: designing a product, pressing a button, and creating new assembly processes across various microfactories to multiple products, even if it’s never seen it before. It’s like transitioning from analog stereo systems to the one-touch iPod — an electronics assembly paradigm shift.

With the surge in generative AI, we’ve seen an explosive demand for assembling AI hardware, and our method has already started showing greater precision, consistency, and speed in backend assembly, enabling faster GPU launches for many of our AI/ML customers. Unlike the standard ~90% First Pass Yield (FPY) in CPU-server integration, for instance, Bright Machines achieves a remarkable 98%, which largely solves the longstanding challenge of human errors in server assembly. For the GPU-servers the impact is even more impressive: from ~50% to 98% FPY. This enables hyperscalers to optimize AI infrastructure for AI/ML developers. We’re committed to deliver the advantages of smarter, more flexible systems across a spectrum of GPU integrations, CPU- and GPU-based servers, data storage, networking equipment, and energy storage.

By centralizing manufacturing data, we bridge a longstanding, critical gap in electronics value chains across industries. Imagine Group A completes the manufacturing process, for instance, is the second factory prepared for its arrival? Our technology supports these types of seamless connections and transition from one production phase to another. The entire value chain — Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Contract Manufacturers (CMs), and Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) and Chip Designers — gains greater control, speed, and insight in product assembly.

And we’re just getting started. Bright Machines will continue expanding to more industries, from medical devices, to auto electronics, to consumer electronics, and more. As electronics firms increasingly move manufacturing onshore, the limitations of traditional methods will become increasingly evident. The reality is that the U.S. lacks the ecosystem — the talent, skills, and scale — seen in Asia’s traditional assembly lines, where the majority of manual assembly lines take place. It’s inevitable that all electronics companies will rethink the backend, currently reliant on 97% manual labor.

Final Thoughts

Having led and worked with manufacturing teams for several decades, I believe we’re in a pivotal turning point in the industry. The unique confluence of a surge in AI advancements, heightened hardware and electronics demand, labor shortages, and supply chain issues isn’t merely dependent on the future of electronics manufacturing; it will actively shape it. Our unwavering belief in the AI revolution has been the foundation of Bright Machines from the very beginning. Now, we’re committed to strengthening the backbone on which the AI revolution stands, further reinforcing our broader mission to transform how and where products are made.

 

To learn more about our capabilities in building the backbone of AI, visit Bright Machines.

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