Niobium Microsystems Inc. (Dayton, Ohio), a startup founded in 2021 to address fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), has joined the Silicon Catalyst incubator.
FHE is a form of encryption that permits computations on its encrypted data without first decrypting it. FHE is being researched by the US DARPA and Niobium Microsystems has received grant funding for early research.
Niobium claims its current accelerator design is 2,500x faster than FHE on a typical CPU. GPU FHE solutions aren’t yet ready, but are unlikely to be more than 100x faster than a CPU-based ones, the company states.
Niobium is following in the footsteps of Cornami Inc. (Dallas, Texas), an older company that is addressing FHE under the leadership of semiconductor veteran Wally Rhines.
“Niobium is a pioneer in FHE, combining the development of novel hardware and software to create a powerful approach to addressing the important issue of keeping data encrypted at all times, and therefore private,” said Nick Kepler, COO of Silicon Catalyst. “Their team has tremendous strengths and we believe the Silicon Catalyst ecosystem possesses the complementary strengths to help them achieve success.”
Niobium recently appointed Kevin Yoder as CEO. Most recently Yoder was responsible for sales and marketing at Lantronix. Prior to Lantronix, Yoder spent six years at Avago Technologies, now Broadcom.
“We intend to take full advantage of the extensive array of resources provided by the Silicon Catalyst ecosystem comprised of strategic and in-kind partners coupled with nearly 250 season semiconductor advisors to further our commercialization efforts and better understand secure compute market needs,” said Yoder.