Semron Raises $7.9 Million for AI Chips with 3D Packaging for Mobile Devices

Dresden, Germany-based semiconductor company Semron has recently secured $7.9 million (7.3 million euros) in funding for its AI chips with 3D packaging technology for mobile devices. The funding round was led by Join Capital and supported by SquareOne, OTB Ventures, and Onsight Ventures. This investment will position Semron as a key player in semiconductor innovation amidst the slowing progress of Moore’s Law.

Setting a New Standard for AI Chips

With the growing demand for advanced AI capabilities in mobile devices, Semron aims to develop state-of-the-art computer chips that power the smallest consumer devices, including smartphones, earbuds, and VR headsets. The company’s breakthrough lies in its 3D semiconductor technology, which offers up to a 20-fold increase in chip efficiency. This increased efficiency allows for the operation of AI models that are up to 1,000 times larger while maintaining the same chip size.

“Our focus is not merely on energy consumption reduction and performance enhancement; rather, we envision a radical shift towards cost reduction, increased flexibility, and the capability to run vast AI models with billions of parameters on a fingertip-sized silicon. This transformation is essential for realizing advanced applications such as smart contact lenses in the near future.” – Aron Kirschen, CEO of Semron

Semron’s proprietary technology, CapRAM, utilizes a novel semiconductor device architecture based on a variable capacitor, or ‘memcapacitor’. This unique approach significantly reduces electron movement, resulting in a 20-fold increase in energy efficiency at the chip level.

Impressive Seed Funding Round and Investors

The recent seed funding round led by Join Capital attracted significant attention from new investors, including SquareOne, OTB Ventures, and Hermann Hauser of Onsight Ventures. Previous pre-seed investors, such as Wolfram Drescher (BlueWonder), Andreas Werner and Sven Sieber (Gigahertz Ventures), and Hans Rohrer, former president at TSMC, also continued their support.

“Computing resources will become the ‘oil’ of the 21st century. With infrastructure-hungry LLMs conquering the world and Moore’s law reaching the limits of physics, a massive bottleneck in computing resources will shape the years to come. Semron will be a key element in solving this problem by providing a revolutionary new chip that is inherently specialized on computing AI models. It breaks with the traditional transistor-based computing paradigm and reduces costs and energy consumption for a given computing task by at least 20x.” – Georg Stockinger, partner at SquareOne

Georg Stockinger, partner at SquareOne, emphasized the importance of computing resources in the future, and how Semron’s innovative chip technology will play a crucial role in addressing the increasing demand for AI capabilities.

Future Plans and Expansion

With the new funding, Semron plans to intensify hardware and compiler development, expand its team, and focus on internationalization. The company aims to quadruple its team by the end of the year. Jan Borgstädt, managing partner at Join Capital, expressed excitement about being at the forefront of the technological revolution by investing in Semron. He believes that Semron’s innovation will redefine the AI landscape in smart devices globally.

“We are confident that Semron will not only lead but also inspire this new era of smart devices.” – Jan Borgstädt, managing partner at Join Capital

When asked how Semron can outperform established rivals like Nvidia, Aron Kirschen explained that their technology’s focus on performance, cost-efficiency, and targeting the edge computing market gives them a competitive edge. Semron’s ability to run significantly larger AI models and provide up to 20 times the efficiency at a lower cost per unit of performance sets them apart. Their paradigm shift to stack multiple compute layers on the same silicon substrate has the potential to revolutionize the industry.

Semron is targeting markets such as edge devices with a strong AI need, including smartphones for digital assistants and video processing, earbuds for voice control and live translation, and VR headsets. With a total raised funding of $10.9 million and a team of 11 employees, Semron is well-positioned for success in the AI chip industry.

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