AI startup EdgeQ raises $75M to fuse AI compute and 5G within a single chip
The present-day framework for connectivity and computation relies on outdated networks that are predominantly self-contained and monolithic. As more advanced and new devices such as drones, autonomous vehicles, and robotics are integrated into the network, it becomes increasingly important to ensure dependable connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI) compute at the edge.
Traditional, purpose-built fixed hardware can no longer scale efficiently and economically to support 5G service-oriented applications. Therefore, a new modern approach is required to harness fast connectivity and AI compute at both the device and infrastructure levels. This is the problem that one artificial intelligence startup is on a mission to solve.
EdgeQ is a Silicon Valley startup that aims to deliver a converged 5G and AI silicon platform that is open and software programmable for both devices and edge infrastructure. By introducing open programmability to the baseband, EdgeQ provides a new software-driven development model for OEMs and operators that can support existing cellular protocols, such as 4G, 5G, and beyond. EdgeQ is the first company to deliver the world’s first 5G Base Station-on-a-chip.
We covered EdgeQ back in 2020 when the startup emerged from stealth with $51 million in funding to fuse AI compute and 5G within a single chip. Since then, the EdgeQ team has been working around the clock to commercialize their product.
Fast forward almost three years later, EdgeQ announced today it has raised $75 million in new funding to help ramp up production as the company starts selling its technology to customers, including telecom operators. Alongside the funding, EdgeQ also announced that Lattice Semiconductor Corp CEO Jim Anderson is joining EdgeQ’s board of directors.
Founded by Vinay Ravuri, the Santa Clara, California-based EdgeQ is a 5G systems-on-a-chip company. EdgeQ aims to address the untapped 5G infrastructure market as the first company to converge 5G connectivity and AI compute onto a system-on-a-chip. The company is led by executives from Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom, EdgeQ is pioneering converged connectivity and AI that is fully software-customizable and programmable.
EdgeQ is led by a team of executives who have previously worked at Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom, and are now pioneers in developing a converged connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI) platform. The company is using an open RISC-V architecture that is completely software-customizable and programmable to achieve this goal. EdgeQ is also backed by leading investors including Threshold Partners, Fusion Fund, and AME Cloud Ventures, among others.
CEO Ravuri stated that the company’s semiconductors are used to power base stations for 5G telecommunication towers and 5G access points, which can be installed inside locations such as factories to enable the wireless operation of robots and autonomous vehicles.
“WiFi is considered best effort, meaning it isn’t guaranteed,” said Ravuri. “If it’s a precise welding machine and it needs to move exactly this much, that has to happen within a microsecond or a millisecond, and you can’t do that in a best-effort way.”
Despite the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the resultant turbulence in the banking sector in March, promising startup companies like EdgeQ have been able to secure financing. This successful fundraising indicates that investors are still willing to invest in viable startups, even though many other businesses have struggled to obtain funding.
Ravuri said the company has a valuation of “hundreds of millions of dollars,” adding it was “definitely less than” $1 billion.