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Monday 13 November 2017

'AI chipper' Graphcore secures another $50m


logoAs expected, inde machine intelligence/AI chip maker Graphcore, who secured $30m Series B funding in July this year (see Graphcore – the cool ‘chip’ kid of machine intelligence), has followed up with another funding round, this time taking $50m in new financing by a group led by Sequoia Capital.

The Bristol-based company with its Intelligent Processing Unit (IPU) is one of a pack developing processors tuned to the specifics of machine intelligence. Standard CPUs aren’t up to the job, GPUs do a pretty good job but specialist processors are made for the task. Many of the startups are still in stealth mode, like Cerebras Systems, but Graphcore’s first product is said to be on track for delivery in Q1 2018 to early access customers.

Competition will be intense because the market is attracting investment-attracting startups and big hitters, including leader Nvidia, Google with its TPU which pairs with TensorFlow, IBMARM, Intel who acquired startups Nervana and Movidius, and Qualcomm (who is currently resisting being acquired). Microsoft also has a custom chip, a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), that appears to be useful for AI applications, while Intel also acquired its way into this chip segment with Altera.

This level of development coupled with game changing machine intelligence techniques and intelligent applications means software and IT services suppliers need to get to grips with this aspect of the tech market, sooner rather than later. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:09' - Tagged: funding   startup   hardware   AI   machinelearning   machineintelligence  

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