Samsung supports development of ‘world’s most potent’ AI chip for edge devices.

AI Chip, backs, edge devices, Samsung, world's most powerful

Axelera, a startup based in Eindhoven, has successfully raised $68 million in funding to expand its AI chip business globally. The funding round was led by Samsung Catalyst, the venture arm of Samsung Electronics, one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world.

Axelera specializes in developing AI chips that enable computer vision and generative AI in edge devices such as robots and drones. These AI chips are located within the devices themselves, allowing them to process data in milliseconds without the need to upload or download data to the cloud. This results in high computing performance at a lower cost and energy consumption compared to centralized AI models.

The startup leverages in-memory computing, which involves storing data in the main memory (RAM) instead of on traditional disk storage. This enables faster data processing and retrieval, further enhancing the performance of their AI chips.

Fabrizio Del Maffeo, co-founder and CEO of Axelera AI, emphasized the importance of delivering high-performance and efficiency while balancing cost in order to fully harness the value of AI.

Axelera not only builds AI processing units (AIPUs), but also develops the software that runs on these chips. The startup’s chip, called Metis, is claimed to be the world’s most powerful AIPU for edge devices.

The chips developed by Axelera utilize the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA). An ISA acts as a bridge between the hardware and the software, specifying what the processor is capable of doing and how it gets done. RISC-V is a low-cost, efficient, and flexible ISA that can be customized to specific use cases. Moreover, it is open source, meaning it is not controlled by any single entity.

Del Maffeo stated that one of the missions of Axelera is to democratize access to artificial intelligence. By focusing on edge AI and developing both the software and hardware components, the startup aims to differentiate itself in a thriving AI chip market dominated by established players like Nvidia, Intel, and IBM.

Del Maffeo, who previously worked at Imec, a tech lab in Belgium, co-founded Axelera with Evangelos Eleftheriou, a former veteran at IBM, showcasing the wealth of experience and expertise they bring to the company.

Axelera plans to begin full production of its AI processing units in the latter half of this year. The company intends to expand its presence in North America, where it already has an office, and venture into new industries such as automotive, digital healthcare, and surveillance. Additionally, Axelera is exploring the development of high-performance AI chips for data centers and supercomputers.

Located in Eindhoven, Axelera benefits from being in one of the most mature semiconductor tech hubs in the world. The city is home to prominent companies such as NXP Semiconductors and ASML, which manufactures chip-making machines for major semiconductor manufacturers globally.

With the recent funding round, Axelera has raised a total of $120 million. In addition to Samsung Catalyst, other new investors include the European Innovation Council Fund, Innovation Industries Strategic Partnership Fund, and Invest-NL. This significant investment will support Axelera’s expansion plans and enable the company to further develop its AI chip technology.

Overall, the achievement of Axelera in securing substantial funding and its innovative approach to AI chip development in edge devices position the company for success in the competitive AI chip market. With the backing of investors like Samsung Catalyst and the expertise of its founders, Axelera is well-positioned to make significant contributions to the field of AI and drive further advancements in the industry.

Source link

Leave a Comment