On February 21, 2023, London, UK – According to Omdia’s latest report “Top AI Hardware Startups Market Radar”, more than 100 different venture capitalists (VCs) have invested more than US $6 billion in 25 AI chip startups since 2018.
Although 2021 will be remembered as a special year, it is clear that the financing environment has changed. The transition from global chip shortage to inventory crisis, the turning point of monetary policy and the economic recession in 2022 mean that it is more challenging to raise funds now.
“The AI chip start-ups with the most abundant funds are facing pressure to provide developers with the software support they are accustomed to get from the market leader Invista.” Alexander Harrowell, chief analyst of Omdia senior computing, said, “This is the key obstacle for new AI chip technology to enter the market.”
Omdia expects that more than one large start-up company may exit this year, possibly by selling to a super large cloud supplier or a large chip manufacturer through transactions. “The most likely exit route may be through trade sales to major suppliers,” Harrowell said
Omdia also found that during this period, half of the $6 billion venture capital was invested in only one technology – Coarse-Grained Reconfigurable Arrays accelerator, which is usually designed to load the entire AI model onto the chip. However, considering the continuous development of AI models, this method has some problems.
“In 2018 and 2019, the idea of embedding the whole model into the chip memory is reasonable, because this method provides extremely low latency and solves the input/output problem of large AI models. However, since then, the model has continued to develop significantly, making scalability a key issue. More structured and more complex models mean that AI processors must provide more general Programmability. Therefore, the future of AI processors may be in another direction. ” Harrowell concluded.
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