Graphcore raises $30M to develop its dedicated machine learning chips
British machine learning startup Graphcore Ltd. Thursday said it has raised $30 million to push its vision of making chips for machine learning.
The Series B round was led by Atomico and included existing investors Amadeus Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, C4 Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Draper Esprit Plc, Foundation Capital, Pitango and Samsung Catalyst Fund. A number of individual investors with an interest in artificial intelligence also participated in the round, including Demis Hassabis of Google Inc.’s DeepMind; Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, Pieter Abbeel and Scott Gray, all from OpenAI; and Zoubin Ghahramani, chief scientist at Uber Technologies Inc.
Founded in 2016, Graphcore is building “intelligence processing units,” chips that are specifically designed to assist programmers in creating machine learning computer systems that can be used in fields such as with autonomous cars or medical detection devices.
“Our IPU is a real game changer for machine intelligence innovators; in the way they work; in the new approaches they are able to try and in the results they will see,” Graphcore Chief Executive Officer Nigel Toon (pictured, right) said in a blog post. “The IPU delivers a 10x-100x breakthrough in performance even when compared to very latest offerings and proposed products from start-ups and established players. But it’s not just about acceleration. The prospect of a context shift in machine intelligence with the IPU is what is so exciting.”
Building chips dedicated to artificial intelligence and machine learning isn’t a new concept, but the market can best be described as emerging. Google’s Tensor Processing Units are similar to what Graphcore is building in terms of providing dedicated processing power for machine learning, though Graphcore is claiming to deliver a significantly more advanced and quicker processor than Google’s technology.
Including the new round, Graphcore has raised $60 million to date. The company said it would use the new funds to further develop its technology and grow its business “at a faster rate than originally anticipated.”
Since you’re here …
Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!
Support our mission: >>>>>> SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>> to our YouTube channel.
… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.