ArchiTek AiOnIc edge processor goes into mass production, with support from Sparx Group investment

Categories Edge Computing News  |  Hardware
ArchiTek AiOnIc edge processor goes into mass production, with support from Sparx Group investment

Sparx Group upped its investment in ArchiTek Corporation, an edge AI processor startup that is ready to ramp up production of its RISC-V-based AiOnIc processor. ArchiTek’s AiOnIc combines the SiFive’s E3-series RISC-V processor cores with ArchiTek’s Intelligence Pixel Engine to deliver high performance with low power consumption at a cost lower than a typical GPU. The AiOnIc is designed for the growing demand for AR/VR, smart cities and computational AI workloads.

The latest investment comes from Sparx’ Mirai Creation Fund III, which was established in October 2021. ArchiTek has previously been funded by Mirai Creating Fund several times in 2018 and 2020. In the initial funding round, the edge AI startup raised 500 million yen from Mirai Creation Fund I and other sources. Subsequently, ArchiTek collaborated with Toyota Industries Corporation and Socionext Inc. to develop a chip using its proprietary aIPE technology. Two years later, in 2020, the firm raised another 500 million yen from Mirai Creation Fund II and other sources which significantly boosted the prospects of developing samples of the AiOnIc edge AI chip.

The RISC-V-based AiOnIc processor will be commercially available from late 2022 and early next year.

Under the hood of the Pixel Engine

ArchiTek Intelligence Pixel Engine is a programmable, image processing large-scale integrated silicon that combines custom hardware. With traditional GPUs, there are limited simultaneous applications that can run on the software, but with aIPE, the user can accelerate “infinite” applications using user-defined virtual hardware, the company claims.

Architek AiOnIc edge processor uses 12nm TSMC process technology with a die size of 4.5×4.5 mm and power consumption under 1W. The CPU comes from SiFive, the founding member of the RISC-V Foundation and provides tightly integrated 8MB SRAM. The AiOnIc processor is also designed with a high-efficiency general-purpose GPU for parallel processing and computer vision acceleration for ideal use in integrated systems, such as smart security cameras, drones, and robots.

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