Dutch AI chip startup raises $12m seed funding

September 16, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Dutch AI chip startup raises $12m seed funding
Axelera AI comes out of incubation at blockchain AI company Bitfury and R&D lab imec to develop an multicore edge AI chip using in-memory computing.

Dutch semiconductor startup Axelera AI has emerged from stealth with a seed investment of $12 million. The round was led by emerging technologies leader Bitfury and joined by Belgian nanoelectronics R&D centre imec and deep-tech venture capital funds Innovation Industries and imec.xpand.

The funding will support the company’s development of an edge AI with a custom dataflow architecture with multicore in memory computing with a a power envelope of few watts and flexibility to support multiple networks. In-memory computing is one of the areas identified by CEA-Leti for sustainable electronics.

Axelera AI was incubated by the Bitfury Group in 2019, formerly operating as Bitfury AI until the company came out as an independent entity this year. The company worked with imec on a new computing architecture for high-performance AI and is baed at the AI Innovation Center of the High-Tech Campus in Eindhoven, Axelera AI also has R&D offices in Leuven (BE) and Zurich (CH).

The company has already recruited a team of more than 20 senior engineers and developers from Intel, Qualcomm, IBM and imec. It is advised by Prof Luca Benini, chair of digital Circuits and Systems at D-ITET ETH Zurich and Prof Marian Verhelst, Scientific Director at imec and part of the Micas group at KU Leuven.

“With our launch as a new independent company and the closing of this investment, Axelera AI is now claiming its place as a significant player in the global AI sector,” said Fabrizio del Maffeo (above), CEO and co-founder of Axelera AI who was previously Vice President and Managing Director of Asus Group company AAEON Europe before joining Bitfury.

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