Microsoft invests in UK AI chipmaker

Tech giant is key investor in machine intelligence specialist Graphcore

semiconductor chip

AI chipmaker Graphcore has raised $200 million in funding from BMW i Ventures and Microsoft. 

The latest investment in the company - whose Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) hardware and software is the first processor to be designed specifically for machine intelligence - puts its valuation above $1.7 million.

"We've created a completely new processor that's the first to be specifically designed for machine intelligence workloads -- an Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) that will set a new pace of innovation," Graphcore said on its website.

"The IPU has been optimized to work efficiently on the extremely complex high-dimensional models needed for machine intelligence workloads. It emphasises massively parallel, low-precision floating-point compute and provides much higher compute density than other solutions."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

This new funding brings the total capital raised by Graphcore to date to over $300 million from the world's leading venture capital, financial and strategic investors that also includes big names such as Robert Bosch, Dell Technologies and Samsung Electronics.

The latest investment from Microsoft is a big win for both Graphcore and the UK's tech sector. In July, a report launched on the eve of London Tech Week suggested that London had twice as many AI companies as Paris and Berlin combined.

Further to the report, a survey commissioned by the Mayor of London found that the UK's capital had some 758 firms who cite AI as a central part of their business models.

But it's not just London that's pulling in tech investment as Bristol-based Graphcore has shown. In October, it was revealed the UK as a whole is leading the way when it comes to producing so-called 'Unicorns' - tech companies that are worth $1 billion.

Looking at the North, Newcastle was crowned the fastest growing tech hub outside of the capital by former Minister for Digital Matt Hancock. 

Featured Resources

The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration

Everything you need to know for a successful transition

Download now

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Software-defined storage for dummies

Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challenges

Download now

6 best practices for escaping ransomware

A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacks

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/security/identity-and-access-management-iam/354289/44-million-microsoft-customers-found-using
identity and access management (IAM)

44 million Microsoft customers found using compromised passwords

6 Dec 2019
Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/hardware/354237/five-signs-that-its-time-to-retire-it-kit
Sponsored

Five signs that it’s time to retire IT kit

29 Nov 2019
Visit/business/business-strategy/354195/where-modernisation-and-sustainability-meet-a-tale-of-two
Sponsored

Where modernisation and sustainability meet: A tale of two benefits

25 Nov 2019