EdgeCortix closes $20mn in additional funding round

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EdgeCortix, the Japan-based edge artificial intelligence (AI) fabless semiconductor design company, has closed a $20 million funding round.

While the round was led by Japan’s SBI Investment and Global Hands-On VC (GHOVC), a Japan-US collaboration-focused VC, EdgeCortix also received investment from Renesas Electronics, extending its strategic collaboration with EdgeCortix on AI/ML (Machine Learning) development.

EdgeCortix was founded on the idea of creating a high-speed yet very low-power, flexible edge AI-focused processor with a radical software-first approach. The company’s current suite of proprietary software and AI chip products accelerate AI inference tasks for computer vision, natural language processing and generative AI applications, at very low power and low latency, across the complex world of edge systems.

According to EdgeCortix, its aim is to democratise access to machine learning solutions by solving the fundamental problem of delivering near cloud-level AI performance at the edge while achieving over ten times better performance and energy efficiency versus conventional GPUs, CPUs and other commonly used processors.

The company has leveraged its patented AI hardware and software co-exploration process to design an AI-specific runtime reconfigurable processor from the ground up – an approach that contrasts with the typical methods of the last few decades that have focused on first bringing hardware to market, with software treated as an afterthought.

The need for this type of integrated solution is rapidly accelerating as the capabilities of general-purpose processors like CPUs and GPUs are quickly becoming outmatched by the workload needs found in today's neural networks, especially in deployment of generative AI applications.

According to EdgeCortix the new funds will be used to bring to market the next generation of SAKURA hardware products, while expanding its business by growing its global sales and marketing capabilities.

The company also plans to bolster its engineering capacity in Japan and open a new development centre in India.

The edge AI inference market, EdgeCortix’s key focus area, is growing rapidly across the globe. By 2025, more than 75% of enterprise-managed data will be generated or processed outside the typical data centre (or at the edge), with the total addressable market (TAM) growing to reach $84 billion.

The Asia Pacific region, fuelled by significant demands for energy-efficient AI processing across commercial, defence and aerospace applications, is projected to see the highest compound annual growth rate in the world, at an anticipated 40.8% from 2022 to 2027.

To date, the company has brought three products to market including: MERA, its multiple hardware platform compatible compiler software framework; Dynamic Neural Accelerator (DNA), a scalable, run-time reconfigurable neural network processor intellectual property (IP) and the power-efficient TSMC 12nm technology-based SAKURA AI co-processor device.

Together, these three products form an integrated platform that is especially suited for real-time AI applications with streaming data, such as high-resolution cameras and sensors, autonomous and controlled robotics systems, signal processing, language models and multi-model generative AI-based systems.

In conjunction with the close of this funding round, senior leaders from both Renesas and GHOVC will be joining the EdgeCortix Board of Directors.