Innatera raises €5m as it looks to bring neuromorphic intelligence to the sensor-edge

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Dutch neuromorphic processor company Innatera Nanosystems has raised €5m in seed funding to bring its brain-inspired processing technology to sensors and sensor-based devices.

The company's neuromorphic processing chip closely mimics the brain’s mechanisms for pattern recognition, enabling sensor data to be processed 100x faster and with up to 500x lesser energy than with conventional processors.

These impressive efficiency and performance gains allow advanced AI to be embedded into the sensor-edge, unlocking a wide range of applications including intelligent speech processing in human-machine interfaces, vitals monitoring in wearable devices, target recognition in Radars and Lidars, and fault detection in industrial and automotive equipment. Innatera is a spin-off of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The company's technology relies on a new breed of analogue-mixed signal computing circuits that recreate the behaviour of the brain’s fundamental building blocks – spiking neurons and synapses. Neural networks built with spiking neurons possess a precise notion of time which enables them to be a factor of 10-100x more compact than conventional artificial neural networks, especially for applications involving data with high spatial and temporal correlations. As a result of this approach, Innatera’s architecture delivers a combination of ultra-low power and ultra-short recognition latency, with up to 10,000x higher performance per watt than typical digital processors and conventional AI accelerators.

CEO Dr. Sumeet Kumar said “The most impactful sensor-driven applications today are limited by the efficiency and speed of the processor, and this is more so in small, battery-powered devices than anywhere else. Innatera is reinventing processing for sensors by combining the energy efficiency of analogue-mixed signal neuromorphic silicon with the performance gains of true spiking neural network algorithms, in a single integrated compute solution.”

Innatera has been working together with a number of big international names on applications and the company expects these developments to surface in the consumer, industrial, and automotive markets in the next few years.

Innatera is developing a suite of proprietary algorithms and an extensive software toolchain to realize the full potential of its neuromorphic silicon. The investment that has just been announced, will enable the company to scale up its R&D efforts and accelerate product development to deliver on customer commitments through 2021.