AI chip startup DEEPX secures $80M Series C at a $529M valuation  | TheTrendyType

by The Trendy Type

DEEPX is a South Korean on-device AI chip (NPU, or neural processing unit) startup that makes {hardware} and software program for varied AI purposes in digital units. The corporate introduced this week that it has raised $80 million (KRW 108.5 billion) in a Collection C spherical at a valuation of $529 million (KRW 723 billion), which has surged greater than eight occasions from its Collection B funding, about $15 million, in 2021. 

The Collection C funding, which brings its complete increase to round $95 million, will go towards mass manufacturing of the startup’s inaugural merchandise — DX-V1, DX-V3, DX-M1 and DX-H1 — in late 2024 for world distribution. The startup may even use the brand new capital to expedite creating and launching its subsequent era of huge language mannequin (LLM) on-device options. 

DEEPX was based in 2018 by CEO Lokwon Kim, who beforehand labored at Apple, Cisco Programs, the IBM Thomas J. Watson Analysis Middle and Broadcom. 

The market dimension of worldwide edge AI, additionally known as on-device AI, is projected to reach $107.47 billion by 2029, up from $11.98 billion in 2021, in accordance to a current report. “The on-device AI market, excluding edge servers, requires AI capabilities to be applied, bypassing servers or the cloud,” Kim informed TheTrendyType. “The [on-device AI market] is increasing because of pc imaginative and prescient capabilities like facial and voice recognition, good mobility, robotics, the web of issues and bodily safety methods.” 

Kim mentioned that if its mass manufacturing begins this yr, potential prospects reminiscent of end-product producers will be capable of commercialize their merchandise with DEEPX’s AI chips in 2025. 

DEEPX, which has round 65 staff, is just not the one firm that has developed AI chip options. The Korean outfit competes with Hailo, which landed a $120 million funding spherical final month;, which closed on $70 million, additionally in April; and Axelera, a Belgium-based AI chip startup that secured $27 million in 2022. 

Kim mentioned that his firm’s differentiators embody price effectivity, power consumption effectivity and All-in-4 AI Complete Answer, a complete answer for varied AI purposes. Its All-in-4 AI options embody: DX-V1 and DX-V3, designed for imaginative and prescient methods in house home equipment, surveillance digicam methods, robotic imaginative and prescient and drones; in addition to DX-M1 and DX-H1, that are designed for AI computing bins, AI servers, good factories and AI booster chips. DEEPX now has greater than 259 patents pending within the U.S., China and South Korea, Kim mentioned. 

“Nvidia’s GPGPU-based options are essentially the most cost-effective for giant language mannequin companies like ChatGPT; the full energy consumed by GPUs working has reached ranges exceed {the electrical} power of a complete nation,” Kim mentioned. “This collaborative operation know-how between server-scale AI and on-device massive AI fashions are anticipated to cut back power consumption and prices loads in comparison with relying solely on information facilities.” 

The startup doesn’t have prospects but however is collaborating with greater than 100 potential shoppers and strategic companions, reminiscent of Hyundai Kia Motors Robotics Lab and Korean IT firm POSCO DX, to check DEEPX’s AI chip capabilities. 

SkyLake Fairness Companions, a South Korea-based technology-focused non-public fairness agency, led the most recent funding, with participation from BNW Investments, a Korean non-public fairness agency based by the previous president of Samsung LED and Samsung Electronics’ reminiscence chip unit. AJU IB and former backer Timefolio Asset Administration additionally participated on this spherical. 

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