Earlier this year, Microsoft made a splash at its Ignite conference for IT professionals when it announced that it has been racking cards of programmable chips together with servers in its cloud data centers.

The chips, called field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), can be reconfigured after being deployed to optimize them for particular applications such as networking and machine learning.

Now, Microsoft is investing in tools that would allow customers to program the FPGAs, said Scott Guthrie, the executive vice president in charge of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division, during a talk at the Structure conference in San Francisco.

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