Eindhoven-based “powerful and advanced solutions for AI at the edge” maker Axelera has raised $27 million in a Series A round. According to the company, the funds will be used to, “support Axelera AI’s launch and mass production of its first-generation AI acceleration platform, powered by its disruptive in-memory computing and dataflow.” Since late 2021 the startup has raised $47.5 million.
Axelera’s $27 million was led by existing investor Innovation Industries and joined by, also existing investor, imec.xpand, as well as the Federal Holding and Investment Company of Belgium (SFPIM).
Additional funding was provided by the Netherland Enterprise Agency (RVO) via $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.
“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.
Axelera AI is aiming to produce the world’s most efficient and advanced solutions for AI at the edge. According to the company, its hardware and software product will "concentrate the AI computational power of an entire server into a single chip at a fraction of the power consumption and price of AI hardware today."
Select customers and partners are expected to take delivery of this solution in early 2023.
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 closing of this investment round comes just 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.
On the investment, Innovation Industries’ Sander Verbrugge concluded, “Axelera AI is a unique Dutch start-up on a journey to deliver a disruptive AI chip that will accelerate the application of AI at the ‘edge of IOT’. Affordable AI compute power operating at low power is essential to unlock the full potential of AI in our everyday lives. We are proud to be part of this journey and to support this world-class team achieve its ambitions.”
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