MIT-BORN A.I. HARDWARE STARTUP RAISES $10M LED BY CHINESE TECH GIANT BAIDU

Can the power of light unlock the next advances in artificial intelligence computing?

MIT spinoff Lightelligence is seeking to answer that question with a new kind of AI hardware that is the “world’s first realization of deep learning neural network computing in a photonic integrated circuit,” the company said in a press release.

The Cambridge-based startup announced on Friday that it has raised a $10 million seed financing round backed by “top VC investors and leading industry technologists” to support development. The company said the round was led by Baidu Ventures, which is the venture capital arm of Chinese tech giant Baidu, and a group of U.S. semiconductor executives.

The large seed round for Lightelligence comes as funding for AI hardware startups is red hot, having raised more than $1.5 billion last year, which is more than double from two years ago, according to CB Insights research cited in a recent New York Times article.

Lightelligence is acutely aware of the growing opportunities in the AI hardware space. In its press release announcing the seed round, the startup cited Nvidia’s skyrocketing stock price thanks to companies using its graphical processing units for AI computing. It also references Intel’s six AI hardware acquisitions from the past year.

Can the power of light unlock the next advances in artificial intelligence computing?

MIT spinoff Lightelligence is seeking to answer that question with a new kind of AI hardware that is the “world’s first realization of deep learning neural network computing in a photonic integrated circuit,” the company said in a press release.

The Cambridge-based startup announced on Friday that it has raised a $10 million seed financing round backed by “top VC investors and leading industry technologists” to support development. The company said the round was led by Baidu Ventures, which is the venture capital arm of Chinese tech giant Baidu, and a group of U.S. semiconductor executives.

The large seed round for Lightelligence comes as funding for AI hardware startups is red hot, having raised more than $1.5 billion last year, which is more than double from two years ago, according to CB Insights research cited in a recent New York Times article.

Lightelligence is acutely aware of the growing opportunities in the AI hardware space. In its press release announcing the seed round, the startup cited Nvidia’s skyrocketing stock price thanks to companies using its graphical processing units for AI computing. It also references Intel’s six AI hardware acquisitions from the past year.

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