Graphcore, a UK-based startup that specializes in building chips capable of advanced AI processes, has secured $200m in its latest round of funding. This most recent round brings the company's valuation up to $1.6bn and BMW i Ventures and Microsoft have now joined the existing list of investors. Other investors include Robert Bosch, Dell Technologies and Samsung Electronics.
Founded in 2016, Graphcore developed a new kind of chip called the Intelligence Processor Unit (IPU) PCIe processor card. It is the first processor designed specifically to handle the processing requirements necessary for machine intelligence training. It is capable of speeds anywhere between 10–100 times faster than its competitors.
Visit DATAx Singapore on March 5–6, 2019
In response to the increasing demand for the new chips, the firm begun high volume production of the processor cards at the start of 2018 and has already started making revenue. The capital from this most recent round of funding will be used to accelerate scaling and help it grow its global footprint.
"Machine intelligence marks the start of a new age of computing which needs a radically different type of processor and software tools," commented Nigel Toon, CEO and co-founder of Graphcore. "This new, fast-growing market creates the opportunity for Graphcore to build a major global technology company that can help innovators in AI achieve important breakthroughs."