Aiming To Be First AI Unicorn From India
To begin with, an agent-based Real AI Processor (RAP) invented by this software engineer, who chose to follow his heart by coming back to India after his higher studies, has created a new benchmark in AI applications.
This is not celebrated as of today because they haven't presented their processor technology for mass adoption. It is a completely new architecture with the aim to decentralise the AI computations that are happening in centrally located servers as of now. edge processing and IoT have a lot of similarity to it's use cases. I find the company very promising if they match up to their specs publicised.
“We are the only AI chip company with complete R&D in India. If we are successful, it gives society a larger ambition to create more cutting-edge technology ventures,” Nagaraja shares with BW Businessworld.
I consider this completely true. The current computer science curriculum is completely focused on service oriented sectors. The zeal and passion to get to the nitty gritties is not seen neither in industry nor in academia to build 'AI oriented chips'. In their website
they have quoted "5X-15X Better Performance than current state-of-the-art Co-Processors". It is monumental do 5X improvement over the state of the art. I look this startup similar to ARM processors (started as a small company based out of UK, now it's processors are present in most of the mobile phones that you use). At the moment from what I comprehend, they are trying to show it's potential to businesses rather than common consumers to start it's adoptability and find product-market fit.
“Our company is growing very rapidly, as in the last 18 months we have got two products working. We are now the world leaders in AI processor technology,” he proudly adds.
Nagaraja, along with Vinod Dham and Prashant Trivedi, founded AlphaICs in 2016 in Bangalore. With 25-plus team of scientists, hardware and software engineers, AlphaICs today is ready to capitalise on the newest opportunities at their India R&D centre. According to him, AlphaICs has launched three new platforms with potential to disrupt the AI market. There is alphaDrive for the automotive platform. It will ensure better safety and autonomous driving, and drive the next generation of transportation.
For those who don't know about Vinod Dham, he is often called as the father of pentium processors. He has been a successful serial entrepreneur, who lead the team at Intel to bring the pentium processors and later joined a startup Nexgen (later merged in AMD), to beat the benchmarks set by Intel at that time. Later again he joined a startup Siliconspice and successfully took it to new heights. He has the precedent and the experience to build a successful hardware based startup. He is the COO of the startup.
Nagendra, who studied engineering in Bangalore, Chicago and hold a Ph.D from Coventry University in the UK, has worked for 18 years with companies like Lucent Microelectronics, Qualcomm ST and Nvidia. He has 30 ‘filed’ patents and 27 ‘granted’ patents in wireless, security, multimedia and artificial intelligence.
“Chanakya is my idol. I am inspired by his focus on achieving goals. In order to build my company, we require all the knowledge from Chanakya. It is not easy to build a hardware, let alone a processor company. My mantra in life is to dream of great things in technology and convert those dreams into great outcomes. Going forward, we will find AlphaICs to be the first unicorn from India in the area of AI processor five years down the line,” signs off Nagendra.
Nagendra the main founder also has stellar work record both in terms of qualifications and patent filings etc. It the first time I have heard someone from the tech industry say Chanakya to be his/ her idol in this world of teslas, bezos, bansals. It is also the first time some founder is already proposing his company to be unicorn in coming years (possible that it might be masala added by the publication). In terms of funding, it has raised $2.4mn in Series A and an undisclosed Seed round by endiya partners (brilliant portfolio among indian vc's). Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that the startup finds new zeniths of achievement.
Disclaimer: I am neither affiliated to any of the named companies. Just an avid follower of Indian startup scene.