Oxford UK // Salience Labs has raised an initial round of $ 11.5 million to develop an ultrafast multi-chip processor that combines photonics and electronics to accelerate exponential progress in AI. The round featured Cambridge Innovation Capital and Oxford Science Enterprises featuring Oxford Investment Consultants, former Dialog Semiconductor CEO Jalal Bagherley, Silicon Catalyst, the Goh family office in Singapore and Deeptech Labs with Arm support.

AI computing speed doubles every 3.4 months, ahead of standard semiconductor technology. Meanwhile, AI hardware is moving away from general-purpose applications in response to market demands that are increasingly verticalized by usage options. To accelerate the exponential progress in artificial intelligence in various fields, a new computing paradigm is now required – faster and more application-specific.

Salience Labs was created from the Universities of Oxford and Munster in 2021 to commercialize a high-speed multi-chip processor that combines a photon chip along with standard electronics. The technology is highly scalable, capable of combining up to 64 vectors into a beam of light. Utilizing wide light throughput to perform operations, Salience Labs delivers tremendous parallel processing performance within a given power.

Salience Labs uses a patented amplitude-based photonics approach that results in dense computing chips running at 10 GHz. This, combined with massively parallel performance, will enable exoscale computing in a wide range of new and existing AI processes and applications.

The company uses a multi-chip design with photon processing display directly on top of static random access memory (SRAM). This new architecture of “computing in memory” is inherently faster and can be adapted to specific applications of different market verticals, making it ideal for implementing AI use options in communications, robotics, vision, healthcare and other data workloads.

Salience Labs technology was developed from the first principles for mass production and currently manufactures at production-level foundries using standard CMOS processes.

Ian Lane, a partner at Cambridge Innovation Capital, said: “Salience Labs brings together deep experience in photonics, electronics and CMOS manufacturing. Them A unique approach to photonics provides an extremely dense computing chip without having to scale the photon chip to large sizes ”.

Alexis Zervoglos, a partner at Oxford Science Enterprises, said: “Salience Labs offers an innovative but pragmatic solution to widen the gap between AI processing demand and semiconductor industry supply. Using photonics in a new way, Salience Labs is going to make unprecedented advances in computing, transforming existing AI applications and opening new address horizons.

Jalal Bagherley, an investor in Salience Labs and former CEO of Dialog Semiconductor (acc. 2021, Renesas Electronics Corporation, $ 5.7 billion), said: “The Salience Labs team is world-class, combining commercial and technical acumen with a subversive market vision. Their unique “computing in memory” architecture is innovative, with the potential for breakthrough performance and power that exceeds what the installed CMOS roadmap offers».

Vaish Kewada, CEO and co-founder of Salience Labs, said: “The world needs more and more fast chips to develop artificial intelligence capabilities, but the semiconductor industry can’t keep up with that demand. We solve this with our own “computing in memory” architecture, which combines ultra-fast photonics, electronics flexibility and CMOS manufacturability. This will open a new era of processing when supercomputer AI becomes ubiquitous. ”

Editors’ notes

About Salience Labs

Founded in 2021, Salience Labs is developing an ultra-fast multi-chip processor that combines a photon chip along with standard electronics. Using light to perform operations, Salience Labs delivers massive parallel performance of ultra-high bandwidth processing on a single chip, bringing energy-efficient ex-scale computing to a wide range of new and existing AI processes and applications.

The company is headquartered in Oxford, UK, and is funded by a portfolio of investors including Cambridge Innovation Capital, Oxford Sciences Enterprises, Oxford Investment Consultants, Silicon Catalyst, Deeptech Labs and world semiconductor industry leaders including former CEO Dialog Semiconductor and Dialog Semiconductor. Goh Family Office in Singapore.

About Cambridge Innovation Capital

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) is a leading venture capitalist that supports and builds a leading category of deep technology and life sciences companies. The CIC currently manages more than £ 300 million and has invested in more than 30 companies. CIC is the preferred investor for Cambridge University, Europe’s leading source of founders for venture startups.

Cambridge Innovation Capital Manager Limited (FRN: 918898) is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

About Oxford Science Enterprises

We are Oxford Science Enterprises, a builder of scientific business. We want to help more people, in more places, solve the world’s most difficult problems faster. We do this by turning the world’s leading science into a world-changing business by collaborating with the world’s best scientists from the world’s best universities with the best business brains. We develop our companies with care and experience; systematically and on a large scale. We invest to achieve real effects, not just financial returns. And we are reinvesting revenue back into the next generation of original research and business that is changing the world.

Our companies solve problems that affect people’s lives: their health, food availability, survival of the planet. Since 2015, we have received an automatic stake in all research departments at Oxford University – more than 100 companies founded by more than 200 leading Oxford scientists. We have taken the lead in creating and building more than 70 of them, adding +55,000 square feet of laboratory and initial facilities to support them. Today, our businesses are worth more than £ 2 billion and have created +2,000 jobs.

About Deeptech Labs

Deeptech Labs is a venture fund, accelerator and catalyst for deeptech success. Twice a year his cohort of startups comes together in a powerful network of successful entrepreneurs, expert practitioners, leading researchers and deep technology organizations around the world. Deeptech Labs is founded by ARM, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Martlet Capital and Cambridge University – cutting-edge institutions located in the heart of Cambridge and global technology ecosystems. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.

About Silicone catalyst

The point is that Silicon Catalyst is the only incubator in the world focused exclusively on accelerating silicon solutions (including IP, MEMS and sensors), creating a coalition of natural and strategic partners to drastically reduce the cost and complexity of development. More than 600 startups around the world have partnered with Silicon Catalyst, and we have admitted 46 interesting companies. Silicon Power Technology, our joint venture in Chengdu, has admitted 35 additional startups in China. With a network of world-class mentors advising startups, Silicon Catalyst helps new semiconductor companies solve problems in the transition from idea to implementation. The incubator / accelerator provides startups with a path to design tools, silicon tools, networks, access to finance, banking and marketing skills to successfully launch and develop new technology solutions for their companies. Silicon Catalyst has been named the winner of the Semiconductor Review 2021 Top-10 Solutions Company Award. Silicon Catalyst Angels was established in July 2019 as a separate organization to provide access to Series A seeds and funding for Silicon Catalyst portfolio companies.

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Salience Labs secures £9.41 million Seed investment led by Cambridge Innovation Capital and Oxford Science Enterprises

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