It is Google I/O 2022 this week, among many other things, and we were hoping for an architectural deep dive on the TPUv4 matrix math engines that Google hinted about at last year’s I/O event. But, alas, no such luck. But the search engine and advertising giant, which also happens to be one of the biggest AI innovators on the planet because of the ginormous amount of data it needs to make use of, did give out some more information about the TPUv4 processors and systems that use them.
Google also said that it was installing eight pods of the TPUv4 systems in its Mayes County, Oklahoma datacenter, which is kissing 9 exaflops of aggregate compute capacity, for use by its Google Cloud arm so researchers and enterprises would have access to the same kind and capacity of compute that Google has to do its own internal AI development and production.
Google has operated datacenters in Mayes County, which is northeast of Tulsa, since 2007 and has invested $4.4 billion in facilities there since that time. It is located in the geographic center of the United States – well a little south and west of it – and that makes it useful because of the relatively short latencies to a lot of the country. And now, by definition, Mayes County has one of the largest assemblages of iron to drive AI workloads on the planet. (If the eight TPUv4 pods were networked together and work could span all at simultaneously, we could possibly say “the largest” unequivocally. . . . Google surely did, as you will see in the quote below.)