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HW/SW Co-Design Engineer

Research - San Francisco

About the Team

Our mission at OpenAI is to discover and enact the path to safe, beneficial AGI. To do this, we believe that many technical breakthroughs are needed in generative modeling, reinforcement learning, large scale optimization, active learning, among other topics.

The Research Platform team builds robust and scalable software to support our research efforts. It also offers core development services for mission critical goals and applications. 

We’re forming a new team to work with our partners on hardware optimization and co-design, and are looking for founding engineers. This team will be responsible for working with partners to optimize their hardware for our workloads, identifying promising new deep learning accelerators, and bringing those hardware platforms to production.

About the Role

As an Engineer on our Hardware Team, you will co-design future hardware from different vendors for programmability and performance. You will work with our kernel, compiler and machine learning engineers to understand their needs related to ML techniques, algorithms, numerical approximations, programming expressivity, and compiler optimizations. You will evangelize these constraints with various vendors to develop future hardware architectures amenable for efficient training and inference. If you are excited about maximizing HBM bandwidth, optimizing for low arithmetic intensity, expressive SIMD ISA, low-precision formats, optimizing for memory hierarchies, simulating workloads at various resolutions of the hardware and evangelizing these ideas with hardware engineers, this is the perfect opportunity!

This role is based in San Francisco, CA. We use a hybrid work model of 3 days in the office per week and offer relocation assistance to new employees.

In this role, you will:

  • Co-design future hardware for programmability and performance with our hardware vendors

  • Assist hardware vendors in developing optimal kernels and add support for it in our compiler

  • Develop performance estimates for critical kernels for different hardware configurations 

  • Work with machine learning engineers, kernel engineers and compiler developers to understand their vision and needs from high performance accelerators

  • Manage communication and coordination with internal and external partners

  • Influence the roadmap of hardware partners to optimize them for OpenAI’s workloads.

  • Evaluate potential partners’ accelerators and platforms.

  • Build simulations and performance models to progressively improve decision making fidelity.

  • As the scope of the role and team grows, understand and influence roadmaps for hardware partners for our datacenter networks, racks, and buildings.

You might thrive in this role if you:

  • 4+ years of industry experience, including experience harnessing compute at scale or building semiconductors.

  • Strong experience in software/hardware co-design

  • Deep understanding of GPU and/or other AI accelerators

  • Experience with CUDA or a related accelerator programming language

  • Experience driving Machine Learning accuracy with low precision formats

  • Experience aligning future hardware with a well established HPC infrastructure

  • Are familiar with the fundamentals of deep learning computing and chip microarchitecture.

  • Able to actively collaborate with ML engineers, kernel writers and compiler developers

These attributes are nice to have:

  • PhD in Computer Science and Engineering with a specialization in Computer Architecture, Parallel Computing. Compilers or other Systems

  • Strong coding skills in C/C++ and Python

  • Strong understanding of LLMs and challenges related to their training and inference 

Benefits and Perks

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance for you and your family

  • Mental health and wellness support

  • 401(k) plan with 4% matching

  • Unlimited time off and 18+ company holidays per year

  • Paid parental leave (20 weeks) and family-planning support

  • Annual learning & development stipend ($1,500 per year)

About OpenAI

OpenAI is an AI research and deployment company dedicated to ensuring that general-purpose artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. We push the boundaries of the capabilities of AI systems and seek to safely deploy them to the world through our products. AI is an extremely powerful tool that must be created with safety and human needs at its core, and to achieve our mission, we must encompass and value the many different perspectives, voices, and experiences that form the full spectrum of humanity. 

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status. 

For US Based Candidates: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities, and requests can be made via this link.

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At OpenAI, we believe artificial intelligence has the potential to help people solve immense global challenges, and we want the upside of AI to be widely shared. Join us in shaping the future of technology.


$360K – $530K