View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you

UK start-up enters the AI hardware arms race

Company has created a software and hardware based system.

By James Nunns

The artificial intelligence hardware market is getting a new UK-based competitor.

Graphcore, a Bristol-based start-up that creates hardware designed for machine learning applications, raised $30 million in a Series A funding found.

The company says that its mission is to make machine learning faster, easier and more intelligent.

Nigel Toon, CEO, Graphcore said: “Our technology will reduce the cost of accelerating AI applications in the cloud; the same technology will bring AI to low power consumer devices. It will enable recent deep learning applications to evolve more rapidly towards useful, general artificial intelligence.”

The company has created a software and hardware system that it has based on its Intelligent Processing Unit, which it says will accelerate the full range of current and future machine intelligence methods for things like training, inference and prediction.

The company plans to use the money invested to increase its scale and to continue to innovate. The investors in Series A included; Bosch, Samsung, Amadeus Capital, C4 Ventures, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital & Pitango Capital.

Graphcore is basically trying to break into a market that is currently getting a lot of attention thanks to the advances being made in areas such as driverless cars, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Content from our partners
Unlocking growth through hybrid cloud: 5 key takeaways
How businesses can safeguard themselves on the cyber frontline
How hackers’ tactics are evolving in an increasingly complex landscape

The company will have a long way to go before it can call itself a challenger to the likes of Nvidia, Intel, IBM, or Arm, all of which have made significant investments into the

Graphcore CEO Nigel Toon sold his previous company, Icera, to Nvidia for $367m.

Graphcore CEO Nigel Toon sold his previous company, Icera, to Nvidia for $367m.

area.

Intel for example recently acquired a chip start-up called Nervana Systems for $400m.

The aim is to tap into the AI market, which IDC research suggests will be worth more than $70bn by 2020. Hardware spending on deep-learning projects is predicted to account for $41.5bn by 2024, up from $436m in 2-15, according to researchers Tractica.

The opportunity is clear and the Bristol-based start-up will be hoping that its approach will win it market share.

The company said that machine intelligence has a very different compute workload and therefore needs a new approach.

“One of the fundamental questions we have addressed at Graphcore, is how to build highly parallel processors, complete with software tools and libraries, that are much faster, more flexible and easy to use, so that developers can explore machine intelligence approaches across a much broader front,” said Toon.

Graphcore was founded in 2014 and has spent the past two years in stealth mode.

Topics in this article : , , ,
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU