• The chip developed has an in-memory processing engine based on the RISC-V architecture.
  • Axelera AI claims its original processor can perform 39.3 TOPS, or 39.3 trillion operations per second, under typical conditions.

Axelera AI B.V., a startup company building computer chips focused on artificial intelligence, reported that several additional investors have joined its oversubscribed Series A investment round, bringing the total amount to USD 50 million.

Verve Ventures, CDP Venture Capital, and a group of interested backers known as Fractionelera are among the new investors. This group was formed mainly to make an investment in the company. Innovation Industries, the round’s lead investor, has also increased its investment.

Axelera AI is a 2021-born startup headquartered in the Netherlands. It is creating a specialized computer chip optimized to execute AI software outside data centers or at the network edge. It claims its silicon will be in great demand for coordinating connected systems such as the Internet of Things systems and industrial robots.

The chip developed has an in-memory processing engine based on the RISC-V architecture. The logic circuits of processors do the calculations, and the memory circuits are made to store the data used for those calculations. In-memory computing enables quicker performance than conventional chips since the memory circuits are also used to process data.

Axelera AI claims its original processor can perform 39.3 trillion operations per second (TOPS) under typical conditions. The business claims it is possible to increase that performance to 48.16 TOPS by raising the chip’s clock frequency.

Compared to standard processors, Axelera AI’s chip is touted to be exceptionally energy-efficient, a crucial feature in the connected-device industry it is targeting. Since many connected devices placed at the edge are battery-operated, they require processors that only draw little power to maximize their operational life.

According to the business, the first commercial chip will debut next year. Due to several improvements in its in-memory computing engine, it will scale to deliver performance comparable to “hundreds” of TOPS and is referred to as the Metis AI Platform.

It’s hardly surprising that Axelera AI is receiving much attention, given the enthusiasm and commotion surrounding AI this year due to the popularity of OpenAI LP’s ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms. More than 350 customers have expressed interest in using the startup’s platform.

Over 90 of them have asked for a sample of the company’s chip for testing, and over 50 have applied for its early access program, which still accepts participants. Axelera AI claims that the EAP will assist clients in developing cutting-edge computer vision applications with collaborative hardware design and specialized machine learning (ML) software.

Emma Schepers, Senior Investment Associate at Verve Ventures, said, “We believe that Axelera AI is in a unique position to capture the rapidly developing edge AI market with a strong combination of next-generation hardware and software. The exceptional founding team has been able to constantly attract top-level talent and push the technology to a commercial level at a high pace.”