Sam Altman-Backed Brain-Mimicking Chip Designer Secures $25M in Funding | WSAU News/Talk 550AM 99.9FM


By Jane Lanhee Lee

(Reuters) – Rain Neuromorphics Inc., a startup that designs chips that mimic brain function and aims to serve companies using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, said on Wednesday it had raised $25 million.

Gordon Wilson, CEO and co-founder of Rain, said that while most AI chips on the market today are digital, his company’s technology is analog. Digital chips read 1s and 0s while analog chips can decipher incremental information such as sound waves.

“It’s first about examining the brain for clues about how to build a new computational substrate,” Wilson said. “By building neural circuits, we can simultaneously achieve extraordinary efficiency and extraordinary scale.”

The AI ​​market is currently dominated by graphics chips from NVIDIA Corp. Other US startups that have raised include SambaNova Systems, Groq, and Cerebras Systems.

Sam Altman, a well-known investor and AI researcher in Silicon Valley who is an early supporter of Rain, told Reuters via email that “the company’s neuromorphic approach could significantly reduce the costs of creating powerful AI models and hopefully one day helping to enable true artificial general intelligence.

Rain’s chip is designed by adding a circuit called a memristor to wafers of silicon. memristors, originally designed by HP Labs a decade ago, serve as “artificial synapses” that allow processing and memory to occur in the same place, making it possible to run AI algorithms much faster and more power-efficiently than existing digital AI chips, Wilson said.

Funds raised will be used to expand the engineering team as Rain takes his prototype chip to the next stage of development, Wilson said.

The latest funding round was led by Prosperity 7 Ventures, a venture capital fund of Aramco Ventures.

(Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee, editing by Rosalba O’Brien)


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