Moffett AI raises more funds for sparse computing

Moffett AI raises more funds for sparse computing

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Moxin Artificial Intelligence Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., otherwise known as Moffett AI or Ink Core, has announced it has closed two rounds of financing each worth hundreds of million yuan.

As 100 million yuan is equivalent to about US$14 million this indicates a funding raise in excess of US$50 million.

Moffett AI, founded in 2018, is a major player in China’s AI development track with a focus on sparse computing whereby unnecessary algorithmic complexity is stripped at run-time prior to computation. Moffett’s double-sparse algorithm has more than 30 patents around the world.

The Series A+ and Series B were within six months of each other Moffett said. The Series B was led by Ant Group. Ant is an affiliate of Alibaba Group and owns the world’s largest mobile payment platform Alipay.

Second-generation Antoum

Moffett said the money raised in the two rounds will be used for R&D of the company’s second-generation ‘Antoum’ AI processor, market expansion and the construction of a sparse computing ecosystem.

Moffett was founded in Silicon Valley in 2018 before setting up its headquarters to Shenzhen. It aims to support the development of a comprehensive sparse neural network architecture by optimizing computing models, and provide a universal AI computing platform.

Wang Wei, the founder and CEO of the company, has a master’s degree in electronics and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and spent nearly 20 years working on commercial CPU designs. He worked on Intel processors from the fifth to the tenth generation.

The double sparsification refers to the weight sparsification added to the activation sparsification of the neural network, which can bring greater efficiency gains than using only one kind of sparsification.

Moffett claims its technology can provide an order-of-magnitude improvement in power performance and cost for AI computing services.

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