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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

Chip designer Moffett AI raises nearly $16m in Series A round

Moffett AI, a Shenzhen, China-based startup, raised about $16 million in a Series A fundraiser. The company started in 2018, right before the pandemic, and took a toll. But after a few years, business started to pick up, and the semiconductor industry is hotter than ever.

Even if we leave all that, Chinese' chips' are being produced at a scale, so any manufacturing company regarding chips is directly getting help from the nearest figures. Several hundred million yuan was raised in the Series A round financing. We received the title from local reports, later picked up by TechCrunch and Yahoo Finance.



Currently, China is running for chip independence. Going the extra mile makes sense rather than depending on offshore chip designers to supply their manufacturing plans. The semiconductor or chip industry is rising; hence investors such as CoStone Capital Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund raised interest. The Series A round was led by these two.


Shenzhen based AI chip design company did not disclose the exact amount of cash injection. But they mentioned 'several tens of millions.' The theory of conversion comes at $16 million.


Though Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund and CoStone led the Series A injection, significant financing including Grand China Capital, Co-Power also took interest. Even the government is doing its part to make the transition of 'chip dependency free' move as sheeny as possible.


Moffett AI provides terminal and Core AI chip accelerating solutions with the computing power of existing products. Also known as InkCore products, an explanation by Moffett AI supports comprehensive neural network development. InkCore values itself as a global leader in sparse chip architecture as the doubling thinning algorithm technology has bought innovation to the core.


Investors are chasing after chip startups in China like crazy as the country is looking to detach itself from chip dependency. The government is doing their part by subsidies, tax cuts etc., to help boost the initial growth of a very profitable sector.


The strategic fundraisers are initially thought to 'hunt down the next Huawei, Tencent and DJI.' Fundraiser in 2020 March closed at 100 million yuan, and the chart brought in more investors as the portfolio already suits direct funding efforts.


The financial vehicle set to support startups in the GBA economic zone is the country's grand project to integrate serval administrative regions. Among them lies Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau and several other southern province cities of Guangdong.


Why do we need more chips than the production count? Of course, the computing power is not the same as before, calling for more chips. Smartphones smart devices also require chips which are in far more tremendous amount than last year. Another booming sector, electronic vehicles (EVs) and China's native New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), requires powerful chips. Making chips at home is the best move to pull to cope with the demand.


The initial stage may seem challenging, but a plentiful supply of chips and semiconductors will be visible throughout industries once it is over. Being a major exporter has its perks. Business agreements with many countries are already set, and once they hit the initial goal, it would make sense to export them.


Exporting will bring in more revenue faster than supplying to manufacturing dealings, so many opportunities exist.


Chips by Moffett are pretty different; they can utilise the 'sparsification' process that prunes redundant information from a neural network. It leads to faster processing power rather than training on its own. More immediate processing power is needed to survive in the ecosystem of the least nanometers chip made every few months.


According to Moffett, the chip sparsity rate has 32x processing power. On paper, it's 5-10 times higher than 'international flagship' products.

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