Artificial Intelligence (AI) chips are an integral part of enabling advanced AI capabilities in devices and systems. Europe is emerging as a key hub for AI chip innovation and manufacturing, driven by significant investments from both governments and private companies. This article provides an overview of the AI chip manufacturers in Europe and other major players in the European AI chip industry, their key technologies, funding sources and founders.
AI chips are specialized hardware designed to accelerate AI workloads such as deep learning, machine vision and natural language processing. Unlike general-purpose CPUs or GPUs, AI chips are optimized specifically for the high-performance, low-power requirements of AI applications.
The growth of AI is fueling rapid innovation and demand for AI chips. Mordor Intelligence estimates the global AI chip market will reach $91 billion by 2025, up from $6.6 billion in 2018. Europe in particular has become a hotbed for cutting-edge AI chip startups and initiatives. The continent’s strong engineering talent, world-class universities and increased government/private funding have enabled the rise of numerous AI chip makers.
Major European AI Chip Companies
Some of the leading companies developing AI chips in Europe are outlined below:
|Company||Location||Funding||Latest Valuation||Key Technologies|
|Graphcore||UK||$450 million||$2 billion||IPUs for data center AI|
|Syntiant||California, Lyon||$65 million||Neural decision processors for edge AI|
|Nnaisense||Slovenia||$10 million||Energy-efficient AI chips for ADAS and IoT|
|AiCTX||Austria||$12 million||Computer vision and autonomous navigation|
|GreenWaves||France||$82 million||Ultra-low power AI chips for edge|
|Hailo||Israel||$100 million||AI chips to accelerate deep learning|
|Prophesee||France||$55 million||Neuromorphic vision sensors and processors|
|Wiliot||Israel||$200 million||AI chips for ambient IoT intelligence|
Graphcore – The UK-based startup has raised $450 million to date and is valued at $2 billion. Graphcore‘s Intelligence Processing Units (IPUs) are designed for large-scale AI computing in data centers and the cloud.
Syntiant – With over $65 million in funding, Syntiant makes neural decision processors for edge devices like smartphones and wearables. The Irvine, California company has an R&D lab in Lyon, France.
Just wrapped up an exciting #TinyML wearable for environmental sound monitoring 👂! Check out the details of the journey in this in-depth part 2 write-up! Powered by @Syntiantcorp's TinyML board and @EdgeImpulse 👇https://t.co/rl6KhYb5QM pic.twitter.com/DcwJmpek26
— Solomon Githu (@sologithu) August 9, 2023
Nnaisense – The Slovenia-based startup has raised $10 million to develop energy-efficient AI chips for automated driving and IoT devices.
AiCTX – Founded in 2016 in Austria, AiCTX makes AI inference chips focused on computer vision and autonomous navigation. It has raised $12 million to date.
GreenWaves Technologies – Founded in 2014, the French startup develops ultra-low power AI chips for edge devices. It has raised over $82 million in funding so far.
Hailo – With $100 million in funding, Israel-based Hailo makes AI chips to accelerate deep learning in edge devices for sectors like automotive and smart cities.
Prophesee – The French neuromorphic startup has raised over $55 million for its event-based vision sensors and processors that mimic the human eye and brain.
Wiliot – An Israeli startup using AI chips to power the ambient intelligence vision of the Internet of Things (IoT). It has raised $200 million to date.
Key Government and Private Sector Funding Initiatives
Governments and private companies in Europe are actively funding AI chip research, talent development and manufacturing initiatives:
- The EU launched a €20 billion public-private partnership on AI chips and edge computing in 2021. It aims to mobilize €120 billion in investment over the next 10 years.
- The €2 billion Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) focuses on increasing Europe’s share of the global market for cutting-edge AI chips to 20% by 2030.
- Germany is investing €3 billion from its stimulus fund to support AI chip research, innovation and manufacturing.
- The UK government has provided £33 million in grants to fund AI chip projects at universities like Imperial College London.
- Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Samsung and BMW have expanded their European AI chip research labs and initiatives.
- Venture capital funding for European AI chip startups reached a record $1.37 billion in 2021 across 150 deals.
Key Technology Focus Areas
European firms are leveraging expertise in physics, material science, neuroscience and chip design to develop innovative AI chip technologies:
- Low-power edge inference chips – Energy-efficient AI chips for edge devices like cars, robots, smartphones.
- Neuromorphic chips – Brain-inspired chips that process information similarly to biological neurons.
- Photonics – Using light instead of electricity to transmit data on chips faster and with lower power.
- 3D stacking – Vertical integration of chips to improve performance, efficiency and scalability.
- Open and customizable architectures – Software-driven chip design for flexible AI acceleration.
Europe’s cutting-edge R&D, abundant engineering talent, government support and private funding have enabled it to become a powerhouse for pioneering AI chip technologies. As AI continues its rapid adoption across industries, Europe is poised to lead next-generation AI hardware innovation and help build an intelligent, connected world.
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