SiPearl announces €90m funding package to support Rhea launch

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SiPearl, the French company building Rhea, the energy-efficient HPC microprocessor, has announced that it has raised €90m in a successful Series A funding round.

This funding round with the participation of key industry partners as well as European and French public investors will allow the company to commercialise Rhea in early 2024. Rhea is the world’s first energy efficient HPC-dedicated microprocessor that has been designed to work with any third-party accelerator (GPU, artificial intelligence, quantum).

Processing huge volumes of strategic data in a fraction of a second with low energy consumption, SiPearl’s microprocessor are expected to help address major challenges in medical research, artificial intelligence, security, energy management and climate change mitigation with a reduced environmental footprint.

Among the key investors in this round were: Arm, a global leader in semiconductor design and silicon intellectual property development; Atos Group, through its Eviden business composed of Atos’ digital, big data and security activities; the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund and the French government via French Tech Souveraineté.

This first funding milestone brings SiPearl’s total financing to €110.5m, including €20.5m worth of European Union and French grants provided through the European Processor Initiative (EPI) consortium project, the EIC Accelerator programme and Ile-de-France region.

Using the Arm Neoverse V1 platform, Rhea is set to become the world’s first HPC-dedicated microprocessor designed to work with any third-party accelerator, and formal cooperation agreements with GPU providers (AMD, Intel, NVIDIA) and artificial intelligence processor provider (Graphcore) have already been announced. Energy-efficiency optimised, Rhea will halve power consumption for equivalent computing power.

While HPC has traditionally been used on premise for medical research, nuclear simulations or weather forecasts, it is now increasingly used in the cloud for artificial intelligence model training and other data intensive applications.

With global markets in sight, Rhea is set to equip European supercomputers to reach exascale power with back-door free security and reduced energy consumption. Consequently, SiPearl will look to contribute to Europe's technological sovereignty by addressing major challenges in medical research, artificial intelligence, security, energy management and climate change mitigation while limiting its environmental footprint.

Fabless, SiPearl will outsource the manufacturing of Rhea to TSMC, the world's leading independent semiconductor manufacturer, for a commercialisation in early 2024.

“Historically lagging behind the US and China, Europe has become a global leader in HPC thanks to the EuroHPC initiative, ranking for the first time two machines among the four most powerful supercomputers in the world, with LUMI in Finland and Leonardo in Italy. The arrival on the market of SiPearl’s microprocessor Rhea, which will power European supercomputers with a limited environmental footprint, will be another decisive step for Europe's technological independence and sovereignty,” said Philippe Notton, CEO and founder of SiPearl.