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Graphcore builds dedicated ML accelerators as alternatives to GPUs

Graphcore has grown rapidly since being founded in 2016 in Bristol, UK, with over 100 staff and $110mn raised in funding, including a $50mn injection from Sequoia Capital, which has big investments in Apple and Google. Its success hinges partly on the pedigree of its cofounders, Nigel Toon and Simon Knowles, the latter having launched semiconductor company Icera in 2002 before selling it to chip-maker Nvidia for $435mn in 2011. Nvidia is in fact a competitor to Graphcore, although the disparity in size means that the target markets, initially at least, will be quite different. Nvidia has to develop chips with wide applicability and therefore cannot dedicate them so much to machine learning (ML). Graphcore is doing exactly that with…

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