Pimchip Technology, a PIM (Processing in Memory) chip designer, has completed round-A financing of more than $10 million, led by Primavera Venture Partners and followed by existing shareholders, including Redpoint China Ventures, Sequoia China and Zhen Fund, 36Kr reported on August 1.
Founded in 2021, Pimchip focuses on the research and application of AI chips for in-memory computing, hoping to break through the storage wall caused by traditional “John von Neumann structure” through the SRAM technology route, thus providing the underlying computing power support for multiple scenarios within the AI industry.
According to an IDC Report, by 2025, the global data volume will increase tenfold compared with 2016, reaching 163 ZB. Massive data requires higher computing speed and efficiency, yet the traditional John von Neumann structure has bottlenecks, with separate computational and storage units, which restrict computational efficiency.
Processing in memory computing technology, which integrates storage and computing and calculates directly on the storage unit, has become one of the most promising methods of breaking through the storage wall in academic circles and industries.
Yang Yue, the CEO of the company, said: “There are many technical paths based on different storage media for in-memory computing. The reason why we chose the technical route of verifying PIM infrastructure based on SRAM and developing new memory expansion is that SRAM has high process maturity, which can achieve lossless accuracy and short read-write delay in calculation, and is suitable for scenarios with high requirements for calculation accuracy and response speed, such as automated driving.”
At present, the three chips completed by Pimchip mainly focus on accelerating matrix addition and multiplication. In 2021, it released the 28nm SRAM PIM accelerator, which enables its chips to achieve high efficiency, high performance, low cost and light volume, and its product functions can support smartwatches, wireless headphones, smart homes, intelligent manufacturing and other fields.
The company’s next generation of fully integrated chips is now being designed. This chip will be based on the intelligent sensing and decision-making system, which will pre-process the collected video, audio and other data on the chip to further improve the energy efficiency ratio.
Pimchip Technology has cooperated with leading electronic enterprises, large business groups and other customers in China and abroad, meeting their needs for one-button deployment of in-memory computing.
The firm’s team members come from Tsinghua University, Peking University, Beihang University and many other well-known universities, with R&D personnel accounting for more than 85%. At present, the company has R&D facilities and offices in Beijing, Hsinchu and Singapore.