Sapeon Inc. (Seongnam, South Korea) has launched its X330 AI accelerator chip for data centers implemented in TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process.
The company claimed its latest neural processing unit (NPU) offers twice the performance of competitor products implemented in 5nm technology. It said it plans to conduct prototype testing and verification tests with customers before mass production of the part in 2H24.
The chip has four times the performance of Sapeon’s predecessor chip, the X220, and therefore provides suitable support for large language model (LLM) support.
Sapeon is pursuing a “full-stack” approach to the market and X330-equipped servers will support performance optimization of software stacks based on open neural network exchange (ONNX), while AI inference platform software and software development tools will also be offered.
The X330 has a built-in video codec and video post-processing IP to improve the processing speed of video-related programs. Additionally, four-channel 4K 60fps video input processing is possible through the built-in hardware IP.
Sapeon was founded in 2022 as a spin-off from three companies – SK Telecom, SK Hynix and SK Square – to develop AI processors as a fabless company. It is now targeting AI services by strengthening its cooperation with SK Telecom where it has an NPU farm project.
Sapeon has conducted commercialization tests in various fields, such as image analysis, natural language processing, and image quality improvement through the NPU Farm project. Sapeon said it also plans to introduce AI NPUs for edge devices such as self-driving cars and closed-circuit television.
Soojung Ryu, CEO of Sapeon said, “Since SAPEON launched the X220 – Korea’s first AI semiconductor for data centers – in 2020, we have completed verification in the market by providing a set of basic services and are continuously expanding our commercial service areas into fields such as automobiles, security, and media. Our strategy is to accelerate targeting AI service model development companies and data center markets with the X330, which maximizes the advantages of the X220. By increasing the utilization of AI semiconductors in all industries and making advanced AI technology affordable to everyone, we aim to help create a society where everyone can enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge technological development.”