South Korean AI chip intellectual property startup valued at $81.4 million

By Max A. Cherney

(Reuters) -The South Korean chip startup Panmnesia has raised a seed round that values it at $81.4 million, the company said.

Panmnesia’s business is focused on developing intellectual property around a technology called Compute Express Link (CXL), which allows big data center operators to pool devices such as AI accelerator chips, processors and memory.

Memory is often a bottleneck for crunching data for AI applications, and pooling it with CXL technology could make it substantially more efficient, the company says.

“We do not have a standard interface, so it’s very difficult to accommodate all the different AI accelerators in the data center,” Panmnesia CEO Myoungsoo Jung told Reuters on Tuesday.

Jung said the company’s technology could be of interest to chip design software makers such as Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems. Synopsys and Cadence declined to comment.

The company raised $12.5 million led by Daekyo Investment. Other investors included SL Investment, Smilegate Investment, GNTech Venture Capital, Time Works Investment, Yuanta Investment and Quantum Ventures Korea.

The South Korean government aims to spur the domestic AI chip industry and plans to spend $800 million over the next five years in an attempt to increase the share of Korean AI chips in domestic data centers to 80% in 2030 from essentially zero.

(Reporting by Max A. Cherney and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Miral Fahmy)