Celestial AI raises $56m in series A to disrupt the AI chipset industry

David Lazovsky, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Celestial AI's

Celestial AI, an AI-accelerator with a proprietary hardware and software platform for machine learning chipsets closed a $56m Series A investment led by Koch Disruptive Technologies.

The Series A investment attracted Temasek’s Xora Innovation fund, The Engine, the venture firm spun out of MIT, Tyche Partners, Merck’s corporate venture fund, M-VenturesIMEC XPand and venture capital investor in the Princeton University ecosystem, Fitz Gate.

The capital will be used for expanding the global team, product development and strategic supplier engagements like Broadcom, to build their Orion AI accelerator products.

Celestial AI cutting edge technology advancement

Celestial aims to transform computing with a new processing system with proprietary Photonic Fabric tech that uses light for data movement within chip and between chips.

Driven by advancements in data communications, robust silicon photonics technology and volume manufacturing ecosystems have been established.

The industry is ripe for commercial implementation of Machine Learning and high-performance computing tools that leverage integrated silicon photonics for data movement.

Considering Artificial Intelligence computing applications, data movement is the most dominant contributor towards system power, and the most leading competitive architectures are trading off moderate power reductions for increased system and software complexity.

The Photonic Fabric enables optically addressable memory and compute (within chip and chip-to-chip) that decouples them from the limitations of electronics and slowdown of Moore’s Law.

Their proprietary architecture enables elegant, low-complexity system software, allowing highly efficient mapping of data and compute without the need for complex optimizations.

Celestial AI’s market reach

The advantage extends to multi-chip exascale systems as the Photonic Fabric democratizes optical access to limitless memory and compute. Celestial AI’s Orion AI accelerator products serve an addressable market that is projected by Omdia to exceed $70 billion in 2025.

David Lazovsky, Celestial AI’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer expounded further. “We are addressing the problem of our time in computing and efficient data movement.”

“Celestial AI allows us to use the strengths of electronics for high-performance precision computing and photonics for high-speed, low-power, high-bandwidth data movement.”

“The result is transformational performance advantages relative to electronic-only systems.”

“The ML application benefits extend beyond performance and low power to latency, user friendly software, and low total cost of ownership. Our competitive differentiation will increase with time, as AI model complexity increases, driving increased data movement.”

Domain architectures targeted to Artificial Intelligence workloads can make up for some of the slowdown in CMOS advancements, but that approach also has its issues and limits.

By integrating photonics into accelerators for Artificial Intelligence workloads, Celestial’s AI enables step-change advancements in Artificial Intelligence computation. Chips and server systems are limited in the current market via power budgets (Thermal Design Power or TDP).

The Photonic Fabric allows a redistribution of the fixed power budget from data movement to compute, thus, a sustainable performance advantage over all electronic-only solutions.

Every Joule of energy saved on data movement can be spent on compute.

Koch Disruptive Technologies fascinated by Celestial AI

Isaac Sigron, the Managing Director of KDT and Celestial AI Board Member offered insights.

“Photonics is poised to be the technology to usher in the next era of rapid growth in Artificial Intelligence and high-performance computing. We, therefore, believe that the Celestial Artificial Intelligence team has the experience and vision to drive this industry transformation.”

“It was their software advantages that ultimately drove our decision to lead this financing.”

“Their system architecture enables unparalleled software simplicity, which translates to ease of use for customers and reduced time to market. Software is the pathway to revenue, and Celestial AI’s solution changes the game in this large and rapidly expanding market.”

Phil Inagaki, the Managing Director at Xora Innovation also offered additional insights.

“Celestial AI has developed an architecture that uniquely scales across multi-chip systems, and greatly diminishes the development burden on AI teams bringing new applications to market.”

“As the world continuously moves towards increasingly complex Artificial Intelligence models, we believe that Celestial AI’s competitive advantage will only certainly grow over time.”