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Artificial Intelligence is deemed to reshape our lives. Axelera AI is bringing a new approach to AI, trying to ease the way to its adoption.
European ArtificiaI Intelligence – AI – startup Axelera AI announced today the close of its $27 million Series A investment round. The funding will support Axelera AI’s launch and mass production of its first-generation AI acceleration platform, powered by its disruptive in-memory compute and dataflow, writes the company in a press release.
Since its inception and initial funding last year, Axelera AI successfully taped out its first testbench chip, developed entirely in-house, proving the performance and efficiency of in-memory computing for AI computations. The team hails from 11 European countries and includes nearly 70 senior engineers and developers from world-leading AI companies and research centers like Intel, Qualcomm, IBM, and imec. The company plans to expand to the United States and Taiwan this year.
Running neural networks easily
In just 14 months, Axelera AI has already delivered impressive results. Last December, the company taped out its first testbench chip – Thetis Core – delivering 39.3 tera operations per second (TOP/s) with an efficiency of 14.1 TOPs/W at an INT8 precision in less than 9 square millimeters. The company has made significant progress in its software stack as well, which will allow customers to easily run their neural networks on Axelera AI’s accelerator without any model retraining.
“Our extraordinary team merges complementary expertise in deep learning, in-memory computing, dataflow architecture, and AI software with a proven track record of business success. We look forward to launching new AI solutions across the globe that will address the demanding requirements of AI applications at the edge,” said Evangelos Eleftheriou, CTO and co-founder of Axelera AI.
“The closing of this investment round comes just a few months after our announcement of the Thetis Core, which proved to the AI community the advantages of our technology. The strong commitment of our investors only further confirms that there is space and need in the European AI landscape for a leader. We are excited to take on this responsibility and are determined to strengthen Europe’s presence in the global AI sector,” said Fabrizio del Maffeo, CEO, and co-founder of Axelera AI.
The funding round was led by Innovation Industries and joined by imec.xpand and the Federal Holding and Investment Company of Belgium (SFPIM). In addition, the Netherland Enterprise Agency (RVO) awarded Axelera AI with $6.7 million of Innovation Credit (Innovatiekrediet), a special loan reserved for highly innovative and impactful projects, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Two of these investors previously joined the company’s $12 million seed round last September – European deep tech venture capital funds Innovation Industries and imec.xpand.
To its non-executive board, Axelera AI has welcomed Jonathan Ballon, former Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Edge AI and IoT business alongside Cyril Vančura, Partner at imec.xpand. Sander Verbrugge, partner at Innovation Industries, and Valery Vavilov, founder & CVO at Bitfury group, will also serve as a non-executive directors. Marc Ceurremans from the SFPIM will serve as board observer.
New funding series to be announced
Per today, Jonathan Ballon will serve as Chairman of Axelera AI. “Every industry is on the precipice of creating unprecedented breakthroughs in customer value by harnessing the world’s exponentially growing data set. To do so will require technology that is purpose-built for the task. Axelera AI’s groundbreaking AI platforms promise to usher in this new era in computing, and I am privileged to work alongside the leadership team and fellow Board members to accelerate the company’s trajectory.” said Jonathan Ballon, Chairman of Axelera AI.
Axelera AI will shortly announce its first product and begin raising for its Series B later this year.
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