Synthara raises USD 11 million to increase compute performance of embedded chips

Swiss semiconductor startup Synthara announces the closing of over USD 11 million in equity and grants to bring, ComputeRAM, to the market to enable seamless integration of in-memory computing to existing embedded chips, delivering a 100x boost to speed and energy efficiency. These high-performance and flexible microcontroller chips can address a broad set of AI-rich applications, thereby lowering costs, and time to market.

The funding includes USD 5.5m equity from a financing round led by Vsquared Ventures, with participation from OTB Ventures, Hermann Hauser’s Onsight Ventures, Deep Tech Labs, along with existing investors such as High-Tech Gründerfonds, DeepIE, Excellis, ZKB and Synthara's first investor and early believer Sandeep Raju. The additional USD 5.9M was secured as grants provided by European and Swiss organizations including Innosuisse and SERI and Swiss Accelerator (CHF 2.5 million). The funding will enable Synthara to introduce its groundbreaking patent-pending product, ComputeRAM, to embedded computing applications.

ComputeRAM by Synthara aims to address the current limitations of embedded chips, an industry worth over $200B today and growing at over 15% CAGR. While there is an explosion of AI-rich embedded applications such as robotics, sensing, and wearables, these applications are too complex for conventional embedded chips. Embedded device makers are sorting through an increasingly complex ecosystem of hardware and software products, resulting in increasing costs and time to market. These problems cannot be addressed without a paradigm shift in computing technology.

By enhancing conventional on-chip memories with computing capabilities, Synthara’s ComputeRAM enables micro-controllers that are 100x better, both in terms of energy efficiency and latency. These high-performance and flexible microcontroller chips can address a broad set of AI-rich applications, thereby lowering costs, and time to market, creating new opportunities for the chipmakers and device makers. Beyond autonomous robotics, Synthara aims to integrate its technology in real-time personalized wearable devices and smart sensor networks.

Founded in 2019 as a spin-off from the Institute of Neuroinformatics at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, Synthara is based on the doctoral research of Dr. Manu V. Nair and Dr. Alessandro Aimar, along with a team of 18 employees. “With ComputeRAM, we are looking to enable a new breed of feature-rich products that are only limited by the creativity of the developers. This founding round empowers us to work closely with our early adopter community as they develop game-changing chips and devices,” said Manu.

Hermann Hauser, founder of Acron Computers and ARM has joined Synthara’s advisory board. He said: “The seamless integration of in-memory computing into existing chip designs is a game-changer, significantly enhancing capabilities and performance. This advancement is particularly relevant for AI applications, where the need for faster, more efficient processing is paramount. I believe we are at the knee of the curve, poised to enter an era of unprecedented growth. This technology will serve an ever-expanding market, driving innovation and enabling breakthroughs across various industries."

(Press release/RAN)
Image ZKB Pioneerpreis: Synthara CEO Manu V Nair