© Upmem Components | September 19, 2017

Western Digital invests in French in-memory chip startup

French fabless semiconductor startup company, Upmem, has secured EUR 3 million in a financing round from C4 Ventures, Partech Ventures, Supernova Invest and Western Digital Capital.
The company has announced Upmem Processing In-Memory (PIM), which is what the company describes as the next generation hardware solution for data intensive applications in the datacenter, solving server-level efficiency and performance bottlenecks.

“The new generation of data intensive applications can no longer be easily handled by traditional CPUs,” said Gilles Hamou, CEO and co-founder of Upmem. “Initial benchmarks by our partners validate the game-changing added-value of Upmem PIM technology, as well as the strong fit of its programming model for a large scope of real world data-intensive applications.”

The PIM chip, integrating Upmem’s proprietary RISC processors (DRAM Processing Units, DPUs) and main memory (DRAM), is the building block of this efficient, scalable and programmable acceleration solution for big data applications. Associated with its Software Development Kit, the Upmem PIM solution claims to be able to accelerate data-intensive applications in the datacenter servers 20 times, with close to zero additional energy premium.

The financing round will enable the company to produce and bring to market its Processing In-Memory (PIM) chip-based solution. At the same time, Upmem will accelerate its evaluation programs with top tier global big data customers and IT labs, using available programming and simulation tools.

Upmem obtained this series A financing from actors engaged in semiconductors and with a strong footprint in Europe and the US: C4Ventures leading the round, Partech Ventures, Supernova Invest, Western Digital Capital, Crédit Agricole bank, and entrepreneurs from the data center and micro electronics industry led by Etix CEO Charles-Antoine Beyney. Reza Malekzadeh from Partech Ventures and Charles-Antoine Beyney will join the Upmem board of directors.

“Data intensive use cases are severally constrained by the Memory Wall issue,” explains Olivier Huez, Partner at C4 Ventures. “We’ve looked far and wide and Upmem’s founders have built the only company on the market which can address this seamlessly and deliver such an impressive uplift in performance.”
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