Graphcore, a UK-based start-up firm designing new chips for power machine learning systems, has raised USD 50 million from Sequoia Capital, one of the top venture capital organizations in the UK with an aim to become a global leader in the artificial intelligence (AI) hardware sector. Sequoia has apparently provided funds to Graphcore with the view that it will compete against giant firms such as Intel and Nvidia in the emerging chip manufacturing business. For the record, prior to raising funds from Sequoia, in 2016, Graphcore had raised USD 30 million from Bosch, Samsung, and Amadeus Capital. Its agreement with Sequoia brings its overall fundraising to USD 110 million since last thirteen months.
Experts claim that though the UK has been a global leader in chip designing, the last few years have witnessed the sale of the country’s largest chip-producing firms to foreign firms – Japan’s SoftBank Group acquired Arm Holdings, the UK based semiconductor & software design firm last year, while recently, Canyon Bridge, a Chinese based private equity firm, has purchased Imagination Technologies.
With the swift evolution of artificial intelligence industry, startup firms such as Graphcore have reportedly commenced the production of chips for machine learning applications such as self-driving vehicles, robotics, connected equipment, and cloud computing. It has been observed that organizations make use of standard chips for running artificially intelligent algorithms. However, Graphcore has designed new chips that possess more processing efficiency as compared to these standards processing chips.
With artificial intelligence & machine learning technology becoming a new catchphrase, it is likely that the production of chips supporting & integrating with these technologies will receive an impetus, cite analysts. As per estimates, it is expected that the revenue from AI & cognitive systems will increase from USD 12.5 billion in 2017 to USD 46 billion by 2020. The figures depict the market potential of Artificial Intelligence technology and its impact on the chip production, which experts claim will result in more investments across the chip manufacturing business.