The chip sped up the Go-playing software, allowing it to plot moves in the time-limited match and look further ahead in the game.
Google, a division of Alphabet Inc., GOOGL 0.22 % has been using it for more than a year to accelerate artificial intelligence applications as the software techniques known as machine learning become increasingly important to its core businesses.
Overall the chip, known as the Tensor Processing Unit, is 10 times faster than alternatives Google considered for this work, the company said.
Whether it s a ton less than we would have otherwise, I can t say.
It allows the company to process all the text stored in its massive collection of StreetView images—things such as street signs and address numbers attached to the sides of houses—in just five days, much faster than previous methods, Mr. Jouppi said.
The chip also is used in Google search ranking, photo processing, speech recognition, and language translation.