Snowflake launches Arctic: the most open, enterprise-grade Large Language Model

Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, today announced Snowflake Arctic, a state-of-the-art large language model (LLM) uniquely designed to be the most open, enterprise-grade LLM on the market. With its unique Mixture-of-Experts (MoE) architecture, Arctic delivers top-tier intelligence with unparalleled efficiency at scale. It is optimized for complex enterprise workloads, topping several industry benchmarks across SQL code generation, instruction following, and more.

In addition, Snowflake is releasing Arctic’s weights under an Apache 2.0 license and details of the research leading to how it was trained, setting a new openness standard for enterprise AI technology. The Snowflake Arctic LLM is a part of the Snowflake Arctic model family, a family of models built by Snowflake that also include the best practical text-embedding models for retrieval use cases.

“This is a watershed moment for Snowflake, with our AI research team innovating at the forefront of AI,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, CEO, Snowflake. “By delivering industry-leading intelligence and efficiency in a truly open way to the AI community, we are furthering the frontiers of what open source AI can do. Our research with Arctic will significantly enhance our capability to deliver reliable, efficient AI to our customers.”

Arctic Breaks Ground With Truly Open, Widely Available Collaboration

According to a recent report by Forrester, approximately 46 percent of global enterprise AI decision-makers noted that they are leveraging existing open source LLMs to adopt generative AI as a part of their organization’s AI strategy.¹ With Snowflake as the data foundation to more than 9,400 companies and organizations around the world², it is empowering all users to leverage their data with industry-leading open LLMs, while offering them flexibility and choice with what models they work with.

Now with the launch of Arctic, Snowflake is delivering a powerful, truly open model with an Apache 2.0 license that permits ungated personal, research, and commercial use. Taking it one step further, Snowflake also provides code templates, alongside flexible inference and training options so users can quickly get started with deploying and customizing Arctic using their preferred frameworks. These will include NVIDIA NIM with NVIDIA TensorRT-LLM, vLLM, and Hugging Face. For immediate use, Arctic is available for serverless inference in Snowflake Cortex, Snowflake’s fully managed service that offers machine learning and AI solutions in the Data Cloud. It will also be available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Hugging Face, Lamini, NVIDIA API catalog, Perplexity, Together AI, and more.

Arctic Provides Top-Tier Intelligence with Leading Resource-Efficiency

Snowflake’s AI research team, which includes a unique composition of industry-leading researchers and system engineers, took less than three months and spent roughly one-eighth of the training cost of similar models when building Arctic. Trained using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) P5 instances, Snowflake is setting a new baseline for how fast state-of-the-art open, enterprise-grade models can be trained, ultimately enabling users to create cost-efficient custom models at scale.

As a part of this strategic effort, Arctic’s differentiated MoE design improves both training systems and model performance, with a meticulously designed data composition focused on enterprise needs. Arctic also delivers high-quality results, activating 17 out of 480 billion parameters at a time to achieve industry-leading quality with unprecedented token efficiency. In an efficiency breakthrough, Arctic activates roughly 50 percent less parameters than DBRX, and 75 percent less than Llama 3 70B during inference or training. In addition, it outperforms leading open models including DBRX, Mixtral-8x7B, and more in coding (HumanEval+, MBPP+) and SQL generation (Spider), while simultaneously providing leading performance in general language understanding (MMLU).

Snowflake Continues to Accelerate AI Innovation for All Users

Snowflake continues to provide enterprises with the data foundation and cutting-edge AI building blocks they need to create powerful AI and machine learning apps with their enterprise data. When accessed in Snowflake Cortex, Arctic will accelerate customers’ ability to build production-grade AI apps at scale, within the security and governance perimeter of the Data Cloud.

In addition to the Arctic LLM, the Snowflake Arctic family of models also includes the recently announced Arctic embed, a family of state-of-the-art text embedding models available to the open source community under an Apache 2.0 license. The family of five models are available on Hugging Face for immediate use and will soon be available as part of the Snowflake Cortex embed function (in private preview). These embedding models are optimized to deliver leading retrieval performance at roughly a third of the size of comparable models, giving organizations a powerful and cost-effective solution when combining proprietary datasets with LLMs as part of a Retrieval Augmented Generation or semantic search service.

Snowflake also prioritizes giving customers access to the newest and most powerful LLMs in the Data Cloud, including the recent additions of Reka and Mistral AI’s models. Moreover, Snowflake recently announced an expanded partnership with NVIDIA to continue its AI innovation, bringing together the full-stack NVIDIA accelerated platform with Snowflake’s Data Cloud to deliver a secure and formidable combination of infrastructure and compute capabilities to unlock AI productivity. Snowflake Ventures has also recently invested in Landing AI, Mistral AI, Reka, and more to further Snowflake’s commitment to helping customers create value from their enterprise data with LLMs and AI.

Comments On the News from AI Experts

“Snowflake Arctic is poised to drive significant outcomes that extend our strategic partnership, driving AI access, democratization, and innovation for all,” said Yoav Shoham, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, AI21 Labs. “We are excited to see Snowflake help enterprises harness the power of open source models, as we did with our recent release of Jamba — the first production-grade Mamba-based Transformer-SSM model. Snowflake’s continued AI investment is an important factor in our choosing to build on the Data Cloud, and we’re looking forward to continuing to create increased value for our joint customers.”

“Snowflake and AWS are aligned in the belief that generative AI will transform virtually every customer experience we know,” said David Brown, Vice President Compute and Networking, AWS. “With AWS, Snowflake was able to customize its infrastructure to accelerate time-to-market for training Snowflake Arctic. Using Amazon EC2 P5 instances with Snowflake’s efficient training system and model architecture co-design, Snowflake was able to quickly develop and deliver a new, enterprise-grade model to customers. And with plans to make Snowflake Arctic available on AWS, customers will have greater choice to leverage powerful AI technology to accelerate their transformation.”

“As the pace of AI continues to accelerate, Snowflake has cemented itself as an AI innovator with the launch of Snowflake Arctic,” said Shishir Mehrotra, Co-Founder and CEO, Coda. “Our innovation and design principles are in-line with Snowflake’s forward-thinking approach to AI and beyond, and we’re excited to be a partner on this journey of transforming everyday apps and workflows through AI.”

“There has been a massive wave of open-source AI in the past few months,” said Clement Delangue, CEO and Co-Founder, Hugging Face. “We’re excited to see Snowflake contributing significantly with this release not only of the model with an Apache 2.0 license but also with details on how it was trained. It gives the necessary transparency and control for enterprises to build AI and for the field as a whole to break new grounds.”

“Lamini’s vision is to democratize AI, empowering everyone to build their own superintelligence. We believe the future of enterprise AI is to build on the foundations of powerful open models and open collaboration,” said Sharon Zhou, Co-Founder and CEO, Lamini. “Snowflake Arctic is important to supporting that AI future. We are excited to tune and customize Arctic for highly accurate LLMs, optimizing for control, safety, and resilience to a dynamic AI ecosystem.”

“Community contributions are key in unlocking AI innovation and creating value for everyone,” said Andrew Ng, CEO, Landing AI. “Snowflake’s open source release of Arctic is an exciting step for making cutting-edge models available to everyone to fine-tune, evaluate and innovate on.”

“We’re pleased to increase enterprise customer choice in the rapidly evolving AI landscape by bringing the robust capabilities of Snowflake’s new LLM model Arctic to the Microsoft Azure AI model catalog,” said Eric Boyd, Corporate Vice President, Azure AI Platform, Microsoft. “Our collaboration with Snowflake is an example of our commitment to driving open innovation and expanding the boundaries of what AI can accomplish.”

“The continued advancement — and healthy competition between — open source AI models is pivotal not only to the success of Perplexity, but the future of democratizing generative AI for all,” said Aravind Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, Perplexity. “We look forward to experimenting with Snowflake Arctic to customize it for our product, ultimately generating even greater value for our end users.”

“Snowflake and Reka are committed to getting AI into the hands of every user, regardless of their technical expertise, to drive business outcomes faster,” said Dani Yogatama, Co-Founder and CEO, Reka. “With the launch of Snowflake Arctic, Snowflake is furthering this vision by putting world-class truly-open large language models at users’ fingertips.”

“As an organization at the forefront of open source AI research, models, and datasets, we’re thrilled to witness the launch of Snowflake Arctic,” said Vipul Ved Prakash, Co-Founder and CEO, Together AI. “Advancements across the open source AI landscape benefit the entire ecosystem, and empower developers and researchers across the globe to deploy impactful generative AI models.”

News release from Snowflake, 24/04/2024


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