Synthara raises $11m for in-memory compute, adds Hermann Hauser

Synthara raises $11m for in-memory compute, adds Hermann Hauser

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Swiss semiconductor startup Synthara has raised $5.5m in financing and $5.9m in grants for its in-memory compute technology.

The funding will allow Synthara to introduce its ComputeRAM technology for general-purpose embedded chips with a wide variety of AI applications.

The round is led by leading European deep tech investor Vsquared Ventures, with OTB Ventures, Hermann Hauser’s Onsight Ventures, and Deeptech Labs joining in the round along with existing investors as it shifts focus to edge AI.

Hermann Hauser, founder of Acorn and a significant European investor, also joined the company as an advisor. “The seamless integration of in-memory computing into existing chip designs is a game-changer, significantly enhancing capabilities and performance,” he said.

“This advancement is particularly relevant for AI applications, where the need for faster, more efficient processing is paramount. I believe we are at the knee of the curve, poised to enter an era of unprecedented growth. This technology will serve an ever-expanding market, driving innovation and enabling breakthroughs across various industries.”

Synthara offers ‘easy transition’ compute-in-memory

Synthara was founded in 2019 as a spin-off from the Institute of Neuroinformatics at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich based on the doctoral research of Dr. Manu V. Nair and Dr. Alessandro Aimar and now has a team of 20. ComputeRAM adds computing into conventional on-chip memories and so can boost both energy efficiency and latency by 100x.

In addition to raising venture capital, Synthara is involved in several significant European projects, targeting advanced computing and next-generation AI applications. The company has also secured substantial funding from Innosuisse and SERI, including a recent CHF 2.5m Swiss Accelerator grant to advance next-generation edge AI chips. The team of 20 is based in Zurich. Previous investors include HTGF, DeepIE, Excellis, and ZKB.

“With ComputeRAMTM, we are looking to enable a new breed of feature-rich products that are only limited by the creativity of the developers. This founding round empowers us to work closely with our early adopter community as they develop game-changing chips and devices,” said Manu  Nair, Co-Founder and CEO of Synthara.

The in-memory compute startup is part of the Silicon Catalyst accelerator, which helps with introductions to advisors and finance.

Swiss spin-off to develop RISC-V edge AI chip

Patrick Tucci, Principal at Vsquared Ventures said: “We are about to witness a paradigm shift in computing, with in-memory-computing leading the charge. The bottleneck of data movement is especially noticeable in edge applications. Here, smart devices need to run complex, concurrent algorithms. This problem is compounded by space limitations and low power requirements. To continue advancing and fostering innovation, we require high-performance, drop-in solutions such as Synthara’s ComputeRAMTM. We look forward to partnering with Manu and the team at Synthara as they unlock new opportunities by bringing in-memory-computing to market at scale.”

 Karol Szubstarski, Partner at OTB Ventures, adds: “The emerging in-memory computing (IMC) paradigm is set to transform the industry, enabling it to bypass the data transfer bottlenecks in conventional chip architectures that affect energy consumption, performance & latency. Synthara enables easy integration of the underlying principles of IMC technology into existing chip design without any disruptive alterations to the architecture. As such, the company is very well positioned to spearhead the change within the industry, providing immediate performance gains at a limited energy budget across multiple product categories and unlocking new use cases (e.g. real-time voice processing on the edge in hearing aids). We are super excited to embark on this journey with the Synthara team.”

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