Rigetti Computing, a leading quantum computing startup and pioneer in hybrid quantum-classical computing systems, has announced it closed a $79M Series C financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Franklin Templeton joins the round with participation from Alumni Ventures Group, DCVC, EDBI, Morpheus Ventures, and Northgate Capital. "This round of financing brings us one step closer to delivering quantum advantage to the market," said Chad Rigetti, founder and CEO of Rigetti Computing. The company is dually focused on building scalable, error-corrected quantum computers and supporting high-performance access to current systems over the cloud. Rigetti offers a distinctive hybrid computing access model designed for practical applications.
The challenge is that the math behind it is somewhat complicated, and that it has to be run, over and over, across vast quantities of data to suss out the statistical weights and biases of a particular system. The work will get done; it might just take a long time. Data scientists and machine learning researchers have long used graphics processing units (GPUs) because of their highly parallelized architecture and relatively abundant on-chip memory available. But as industry and research groups alike seek more efficiency and need to accommodate ever-larger quantities of information, more specialized computing hardware is required for the task. Headquartered in Bristol, U.K., Graphcore is in the business of producing silicon purpose-built for munching through machine-learning math at high rates of speed and using less electricity than GPUs.
Alphabet is broken out into its core Google business and a number of other subsidiaries, which it deems "Other Bets." The majority of Google's business comes from advertising revenues, which the company generates through its search engine as well as a number of other Google-affiliated and partnership websites. Outside of search and advertising, Google generates revenue from products including cloud and enterprise, consumer hardware, mapping, and YouTube. In addition to Google, Alphabet encompasses a host of other subsidiaries called "Other Bets." These companies are more experimental in nature, and as a result are not material to Alphabet's bottom line.
Graphcore emerged from stealth mode today with news of a $30 million Series A round to help finance ongoing development of its machine learning (ML) and deep learning acceleration solutions, including a PCIe card that plugs directly into a server's bus. The company says the combination of its development framework, called Poplar, and its PCIe-based Intelligent Processing Unit (IPU) can speed up ML and deep learning workloads by 10x to 100x. The IPU card plugs into the PCI buses of standard X86 servers to provide a processing boost. Armed with multiple IPU cards, a company could enjoy the benefits of "massively parallel, low-precision floating-point compute" at "much higher compute densities" than other solutions. Graphcore is positioning its IPU cards to take on the workloads that some are looking to run on more exotic hardware, such as graphics processing units (GPUs) or field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).