AI Chip Startup Axiado Closes Another Funding Round

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Silicon Valley-based Axiado has closed a series B funding round totaling $25 million and led by business tycoon Dennis Uy, along with existing investors Orbit Venture Partners. Uy, the founder and CEO of Coverge ICT Solutions based in the Philippines, will join the company’s board of directors.

“Axiado’s [chip] is a key part of the strong technological foundation that will make data centers in Philippines safer and more resilient as we build gateways from the United States to an interconnected Asia,” Uy said, in a statement.

The company’s trusted control/compute unit (TCU) security processor remains in the development phase. Tape out is targeted for Q1 2022, Axiado CEO and President CEO Gopi Sirineni told EE Times.

Axiado CEO Gopi Sirineni
Gopi Sirineni (Source: Axiado)

“In 2020, Axiado taped out a test chip to validate its key security features and mitigate risk for the production tape out,” Sirineni said. “While Axiado awaits its production silicon, the company is busy developing an FPGA-based solution to get customers in end-product development.”

The company is already partnered with Cisco, Cloudflare and AMI, partnerships Sirineni said are “crucial to helping us refine the product and achieve a dynamic product-market fit in the cloud-first markets.”

Axiado’s TCU will be integrated with server and network equipment in cloud and enterprise data centers as well as cell-tower basestations.

The processor is designed to mitigate attacks on network infrastructure on the rise due to increasing remote administration. The company’s IP resides in its Secure Vault and Secure AI technologies, both of which contribute to securing networks both at boot and runtime. They also provide protection for data-at-rest, -transit and -in-use.

The TCU also leverages AI to detect unusual behavior that could signal an attack. AI tools enable real-time attack detection, improving chances of stopping exploits as they occur. The framework is implemented via a secure AI pipeline on the chip, including a 4-TOPS AI accelerator. Accelerator IP was licensed from a supplier, Sirineni said, in order accelerate development.

“Axiado has licensed the AI accelerator blocks as this allows for faster time-to-market for silicon rollout as well as faster AI application development thanks to established tools associated with the licensed IP,” he said.

Axiado is developing AI models for network security and attack detection as part of its Secure AI technology, but Sirineni said the hardware will also work with customer models. Evolving attack vectors will be mitigated via updates to the models, implemented via in-field updates.

Axiado has raised $48 million to date. Production tape out is expected during the first quarter of 2022.

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