August 4, 2020
TDK Ventures adds AI accelerator Groq to its investment portfolio
Silicon Valley-headquartered Groq accelerates machine learning architecture and developed the world’s first PetaOp chip, capable of one quadrillion operations per second
TDK Corporation’s wide range of high-performance passive components and power management solutions, and deep expertise in automotive and at-scale manufacturing, will deepen the impact of TDK Ventures’ first investment in the artificial intelligence (AI) space
Groq’s AI solutions help reduce CO2 and drive down energy requirements for high compute power, contributing to TDK Ventures’ investment efforts in sustainability
TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. adds Groq to its growing investment portfolio, a world leader in the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms that offer twice the inference performance and drastically reduced infrastructure costs. TDK Ventures Inc. was launched with a mission to invest in innovative startups that focus on digital and energy transformation and contribute to sustainability. As TDK Ventures’ seventh investment since its July 2019 launch, Groq is its first investment in AI chipset solutions, with a solution that drastically drives energy requirements down at the highest compute power possible.
Data centers use an estimated 200 terawatt hours (TWh) each year, or about 1% of global electricity demand, and contribute 0.3% to overall carbon emissions. The carbon footprint for data center construction, upkeep and use, is set to reach double-digit percentage of the world’s electricity by 2025.
“In line with TDK’s environmental transformation mission, it is critical we support and invest in solutions that drastically reduce energy needed for very high levels of compute power,” said Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director, TDK Ventures. “Groq brings the highest AI compute for a given amount of energy, typically measured as Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) per watt, demonstrated by its first product, the TSP100, with further projected improvement in their next gen platform.”
Groq’s TSP100 solution is ideal for customers who need predictable, reliable, low-latency. automotive ADAS solutions that can react quickly to changing road conditions, pan across connectivity with 5G, support low-latency sensor fusion, and require heavy in-car local computing. Groq’s runtime latency and throughput, known at compile time and without the need to profile code nor worry about power spikes, is a clear benefit to novel use-cases such as ADAS, that require incredibly reliable and predictable performance within a given latency budget, sometimes mandated in SLAs.
“Groq's architecture enables a whole new class of innovations in power and energy,” said Jonathan Ross, CEO of Groq. “Through its investment and support, TDK is helping Groq bring these capabilities to customers concerned about ML compute power demands and energy consumption. We're excited to work with TDK to deliver uniquely-scalable, high-performance ML, while driving sustainability and lowering total cost of ownership. We’re delighted that TDK has recognized the power and potential of Groq, making them an ideal partner to continue deepening integration of our technology across automotive, data center and other key industry verticals.”
TDK Ventures specifically sought out AI inference chipset solutions with the highest TOPS/Watt performance metrics, as inference use-cases exponentially increase. “The world cannot wait for 20% of our energy to be used for inference use-cases,” Sauvage added. “Groq offers twice the inference performance while drastically reducing infrastructure costs. At TDK, we believe that we need to invest right now for an attractive future tomorrow and Groq technology supports this strategy.”
About TDK Corporation
TDK Corporation is a world leader in electronic solutions for the smart society based in Tokyo, Japan. Built on a foundation of material sciences mastery, TDK welcomes societal transformation by resolutely remaining at the forefront of technological evolution and deliberately “Attracting Tomorrow.” It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's comprehensive, innovation-driven portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in automotive, industrial and consumer electronics, and information and communication technology. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2020, TDK posted total sales of USD 12.5 billion and employed about 107,000 people worldwide.
About TDK Ventures
TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or email@example.com.
Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Groq delivers industry leading performance, accuracy and sub-millisecond latency with efficient, software-driven solutions for compute-intensive applications. Groq redefines compute by focusing on key technology innovations: software-defined compute, silicon innovation and developer velocity. For more information, visit: https://groq.com.