CRN announced the 10 hottest AI chips of 2020 so far, based on recent milestones the companies have made including funding rounds, product launches or performance records. FIVE of our member companies are on this list. Incredible news!!! Congrats to all of you!
- Cerebras Systems | CEO: Andrew Feldman | Cerebras Systems said its Wafer Scale Engine processor is the largest chip ever built, measuring at 1.2 trillion transistors and packing 400,000 compute cores. The chip was unveiled last fall at Supercomputing 2019 alongside the processor’s star vehicle, the CS-1 system, which the Los Altos, Calif.-based startup calls the “world’s fastest AI supercomputer.” Since then, the startup has landed big deals to provide its CS-1 systems to U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the National Science Foundation’s Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.
- Graphcore | CEO: Nigel Toon | Graphcore said its Intelligence Processing Unit chip is the first processor designed from the ground up for machine intelligence. Unlike other processors, Graphcore said the IPU can run an entire machine- learning model inside the chip. The Bristol, U.K.-based startup in February announced a $150 million funding round from investors and, a few months later, told CNBC that it had shipped “tens of thousands” of its processors thanks to partnerships with Microsoft and Dell Technologies, the latter of which released the Dell DSS8440 last year that is equipped with 16 Graphcore IPU processors.
- Kneron | CEO: Albert Liu | Kneron is developing artificial intelligence chips for edge devices that can adapt to audio and visual recognition applications on the fly. The San Diego, Calif.-based startup announced in January that it had raised an additional $40 million for its Series A, bringing the round’s total to $73 million, thanks to Horizon Ventures, Sequoia, Alibaba, Qualcomm and other ventures. The startup’s KL520 is a system-on-chip that combines dual Arm Cortex M4 CPUs with Kneron’s neural processing unit to provide high performance inference in low-power devices such as smart home devices. The startup is using the new funding for development and commercialization of its second-generation SoC, the KL720, which is expected to begin sampling with customers by mid-summer.
- SambaNova Systems | CEO: Rodrigo Liang | While SambaNova Systems isn’t alone in working on hardware and software simultaneously to propel artificial intelligence workloads, the AI chip startup said its integrated hardware and software offering stands out in the crowd because of its reconfigurable dataflow architecture. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup said this architecture allows applications to take the lead in driving how hardware is optimized to accelerate performance in data centers and at the edge. In February, the startup announced that it had raised a $250 million Series C funding round from Intel Capital, BlackRock and other investors to further accelerate its software capabilities.
- Syntiant | CEO: Kurt Busch | Syntiant is developing artificial intelligence chips that are purpose-built for voice applications at the edge. The Irvine, Calif.-based startup began shipping its Neural Decision Processors globally at the beginning of the year with the expectation that the first DFP-embedded consumer products will be available before July. The startup’s NDP chips provide always-on deep learning processing for voice and other sensor applications in a wide range of battery-powered devices, from earbuds and laptops to mobile phones and smart speakers. Syntiant said that its NDP100 and NDP101 chips consume less than 140 microwatts and deliver 200 times greater efficiency and 20 times higher throughput in comparison to low-power microcontroller unit solutions.
Source: crn.com | Written by Dylan Martin