Graphpcore, a UK-based AI chip producer, raises $222 million in Series E funding led by Ontario Teachers’ Pensions Plan Board, Fidelity International, and Schroders. Existing investors like Baillie Gifford and Draper Esprit also deepened their tie with Graphocre by participating in Series E funding. According to Graphocore, the investment will allow the company to further enhance its AI chips, software, and expand globally.
Founded in 2016, Graphcore is a pioneer in the developing Intelligence Processing Units (IPUs) that have outperformed Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). IPUs are optimized for processing AI-based workloads on the cloud.
Some of the early adopters of Graphocore’s IPU include Microsoft, Dell, Cirrascale, and more. For one, since November 2019, Microsoft has been offering access to Graphcore’s IPUs to selected users to innovate with high-speed processing of AI applications.
Graphocore has been evolving its processors and in July 2020 announced the second generation of GC200 chip. These chips are a part of its M200 IPU Machine that has four 7-nanometer GC200 chips. The latest GC200 chips have 59.4 billion transistors on a single 823 sq mm die, pushing the processing boundaries for projects involving neural networks.
To help developers make AI applications on IPUs, Graphcore has open-sourced PopLibs libraries to simplify the development process. Today, Graphcore’s IPUs currently support TensorFlow and PyTorch to enable developers to leverage ML-based products’ neural networks.