France funds sovereign AI with Kalray, Arteris, Secure-IC, Thales

France funds sovereign AI with Kalray, Arteris, Secure-IC, Thales

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By Peter Clarke

A consortium led by fabless chip company Kalray SA (Montbonnot, France) has won funds under a French project to develop secure AI platforms.

This will help Kalray complete its next manycore processor, called Dolomites. It will also provide money for Arteris’ next-generation NoC (Network-On-Chip) intellectual property (IP), Secure-IC’s security IP, and the development of low-power RISC-V processors by Thales.

The IP-Cube project has won the “Technological Maturation and Demonstration of Embedded Artificial Intelligence Solutions” call for projects under the “France Relance 2030 – Future Investments” plan. Kalray’s next-generation high-performance manycore processor is at the heart of the project.

The IP-Cube project has a budget of €36.7 million but it is not clear how much of that will come from the French tax-payer and how much the individual companies will provide. Typically, such projects qualify for up to 50 percent support.

AI at the edge

The move towards AI at the edge is increasing the need for secure AI  for applications telecommunications, manufacturing, IoT, automotive industry, aerospace, and defense. The IP-Cube aims to provide AI platforms that can provide high performance, but also low power consumption, low latency, and security.

Of the €36.7 million IP-Cube budget €10 million is reserved for the development of the Dolomites data processing unit (DPU).

“We are very pleased that the IP-CUBE project has been selected. It will not only allow us to finance a significant part of the development of our fourth-generation DPU processor, but also to develop, in collaboration with our partners, the French know-how and technologies in the strategic semiconductor fields around AI applications,” said Eric Baissus, CEO of Kalray, in a statement.

Kalray added: “In the current geopolitical context, the semiconductor industry has become essential, both in terms of production tools and technological know-how for designing processors. France and Europe need production plants, but they also need companies capable of designing the processors that will be manufactured in these plants, and that will be at the heart of tomorrow’s markets. We are delighted with the strong support from France through the IP-Cube project, and the support from Europe through other collaborative projects, such as the EPI (European Processor Initiative), in which Kalray is also participating, to help us achieve our ambition of making Kalray the future European Nvidia,”

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