AI accelerator Hailo bags $120M in funding

Big companies like Intel, Google, Meta are continuing to develop new chips that accelerate specific AI processes, but the group of start-ups that pioneered the AI accelerator segment continue to draw interest and funding as well. Case in point: Hailo Technologies recently announced a $120 million extension of its Series C funding round.

The new funding round was led by current and new investors including the Zisapel family, Gil Agmon, Delek Motors, Alfred Akirov, DCLBA, Vasuki, OurCrowd, Talcar, Comasco, Automotive Equipment (AEV), and Poalim Equity. 

The additional funding gives the company more than $340 million in total funds to draw on as it develops chips dedicated to improving AI processing in everything from automotive systems to security cameras to emerging generative AI applications. Regarding the latter, Hailo just announced its Hailo-10 high-performance generative AI (GenAI) accelerator family for companies that want to own and run GenAI applications locally without registering to cloud-based GenAI services.

The Hailo-10 follows the company’s Hailo-8 AI accelerators and its Hailo-15 AI vision processors, the latter of which was announced a little over a year ago for smart security camera environments.

“The closing of our new funding round enables us to leverage all the exciting opportunities in our pipeline, while setting the stage for our long-term future growth. Together with the introduction of our Hailo-10 GenAI accelerator, it strategically positions us to bring classic and generative AI to edge devices in ways that will significantly expand the reach and impact of this remarkable new technology,” said Hailo CEO and Co-Founder Orr Danon. 

The Hailo-10 is capable of up to 40 TOPS (tera operations per second), a new performance standard for edge AI accelerators. Hailo-10 is faster and more energy efficient than integrated neural processing unit (NPU) solutions and delivers at least 2X more performance at half the power of Intel’s Core Ultra NPU, according to what Hailo described as recently published benchmarks.

“As GenAI on the edge becomes immersive, the focus turns to handling large LLMs in the smallest possible power envelope — essentially less than five watts,” Danon continued. The company added that among popular GenAI platforms, Hailo-10 can run Llama2-7B with up to 10 tokens per second (TPS) at under 5W of power. In processing Stable Diffusion 2.1, a popular model that produces images from text prompts, Hailo-10 is rated at under 5 seconds per image in the same ultra-low power envelope.

Early applications of Hailo-10 GenAI accelerators will be targeting PCs and automotive infotainment systems, empowering current and future CPUs that cannot by themselves power the chatbots, copilots, personal assistants, and speech-operated operating systems that have become standard today. Hailo will begin shipping samples of the Hailo-10 GenAI accelerator during the current quarter.

Hailo was founded in 2017 in Israel and over the last few years has emerged with a handful of other start-ups dedicated to AI acceleration products that can be deployed alongside other processors to efficiently handle specific AI tasks.