|Bill Gates just backed a chip startup that uses light to turbocharge AI|
Advances in computing, from speedier processors to cheaper data storage, helped ignite the new AI era. Now demand for even faster, more energy-efficient AI models is driving a wave of innovation in semiconductors.
Luminous Computing, which recently raised $9 million of seed funding from prominent investors including Bill Gates and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, has an ambitious plan to accelerate AI with a new chip. While conventional semiconductors use electrons to help carry out the demanding mathematical calculations that power AI models, Luminous is using light instead.
Many industries are trying to pack an increasing amount of AI into their machines, including makers of autonomous cars and drones. But widely used electrical chips like central processing units aren’t ideal for those tasks because they use a lot of power and may not be able to process data fast enough.
These limitations can cause lags and delays—annoying if you’re waiting for some machine-learning results for a research paper, but far more serious if you’re relying on an AI algorithm to guide a car down a busy street.
Read More $ MIT Technology Review