SAN FRANCISCO, March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Mythic, an unconventional AI chip company that bases its breakthrough edge computing technology on an analog processor-in-memory design, today announced it has closed a $40 million series B round led by SoftBank Ventures, with participation from existing investors DFJ, Lux Capital, Data Collective, and AME Cloud Ventures, and new investors Lockheed Martin Ventures and Andy Bechtolsheim. Rene Haas, EVP and President of the IP Product Group at Arm, has been appointed to the Mythic board.
Knowing that AI will eat up more and more of the technology ecosystem, Mythic took a radical new design approach that's already paying off in early internal silicon chips. Mythic's chips perform computation inside memory cells – using analog currents and flash memory to perform the arithmetic of AI inference on a massive scale – leading to server GPU performance at 1/100th of the power draw and cost. This will bring the compute power of a datacenter to embedded devices and smart machines (Robots, cars, phones, drones, AR/VR, and more) without the inconvenience of going to the cloud.
Mythic's vision is to be the dominant edge compute platform for any application, with its core compute-in-memory technology that enables the platform to easily scale from a tiny chip for Smart Watches, to a dozen chips on a server card delivering the equivalent compute of a $30,000 GPU cluster at a tiny fraction of the price. This is coupled with a robust software ecosystem that provides an inference solution to popular training frameworks like TensorFlow. Like the chips that powered the PC and mobile revolution, Mythic will power the golden age of AI and enable new smart devices that haven't been dreamed yet.
This round of financing includes a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures, the venture capital arm of Lockheed Martin.
"We have entered an era in which data is a strategic asset," said Chris Moran, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. "Mythic's game-changing technology will allow us to provide our customers with the unmatched ability to obtain timely, actionable information from distributed, power constrained systems."
Mythic was incubated at the Michigan Integrated Circuits Lab at the University of Michigan in 2012 at a time when AI was merely a curiosity for most companies. Co-founders Mike Henry and Dave Fick recognized early on the potential for a disruptive approach to AI compute and begun developing the foundations of the breakthrough technology well ahead of the current wave of newer entrants. Mythic's chips interlace analog, digital, and flash memory into a monolithic compute and storage block, which is tiled many times over to form a truly unconventional parallel computer. This approach required years of development and the formation of entirely new design disciplines within electrical engineering. No other chip company has these skillsets, or comes close to the performance of the Mythic chip, which is 100x faster and burns 100x less power.
"As AI moves increasingly more and more to the edge, I am excited about Mythic and its unique approach to solving this very difficult problem," said Rene Haas, EVP and President of Arm IP Product Group. "I'm thrilled and honored to be joining the Mythic board and look forward to assisting the company in their next phase of growth and market adoption."
"The world will be very different 10 years from now," said Michael Henry, co-founder and CEO of Mythic. "And Mythic will play a major role in the machines, devices, and electronics that make that difference. We are excited to have SoftBank join as an investor. They are committed to building the future vision of AI, robotics, autonomous, and machines that can see and interact with the world. We fill a missing piece in their vision: incredibly powerful compute at the edge that is cost-efficient and low power enough to run on batteries."
"SoftBank Ventures invests to accelerate the Information Revolution and is increasingly interested in the application of artificial intelligence at the edge. Mythic is a clear leader in the rapidly growing AI edge chip market and we are proud to lead this new financing round and support the company's commitment to accelerating its vision," said JP Lee, Managing Director at SoftBank Ventures.
Mythic is working with the top players in high-end consumer electronics, AR/VR, gaming, auto, drones, and robotics and plans to deliver the first product samples at the end of this year and ship in volume in early 2019.
Based in Austin, TX and Redwood City, CA, Mythic has developed a local AI platform, comprised of both hardware and software, that turns devices into secure and trusted intelligent assistants. With local AI, consumer electronics, wearable and security and monitoring manufacturers can deliver the availability, responsiveness, seamless integration and uncompromised privacy that consumers demand. The company's investors include SoftBank Ventures (the early stage venture arm of SoftBank Group), DFJ, Lux Capital, Data Collective, AME Cloud Ventures, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Lockheed Martin. Learn more about Mythic here: http://www.mythic-ai.com