South Korean start-up Rebellions Inc has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) chip named ATOM, joining the race to win government contracts as South Korea seeks to promote local companies in the rapidly growing AI industry.
Targeting Specific AI Tasks
South Korean start-ups believe they can compete with global leader Nvidia Corp. by targeting specific tasks instead of providing a wide range of AI functions. Rebellions' ATOM is designed to excel in running computer vision and chatbot AI applications, with the chip consuming only about 20% of the power of an Nvidia A100 chip on those tasks.
Seoul's Plan to Promote Korean AI Chip Industry
Seoul's plan to put out a notice for two data centers, called neural processing unit farms, with only domestic chipmakers allowed to bid is set to promote the Korean AI chip industry. In a country whose firms supply half the world's memory chips, the authorities want to create a market that can be a test bed for AI chipmakers, aiming to foster global competitors.
Fostering Competition and Reducing Dependency on Foreign GPU Suppliers
Rebellions will seek to participate in the government project in a consortium with KT Corp, a Korean telecom, cloud, and data center operator, in the hopes of weaning Nvidia customers off the U.S. supplier. The start-up raised 122 billion won ($96 million), including 30 billion won from KT in a funding round joined by Singapore's Temasek Pavilion Capital and 10 billion won grant from the South Korean government. This move is part of South Korea's ambitious plan to create a market that can be a test bed for AI chipmakers and foster global competitors, rather than relying on foreign GPU suppliers.
Rebellions' AI chip venture, supported by government incentives, is part of South Korea's ambitious plan to promote local AI chip-making companies in a rapidly growing industry. This move could affect market share within Korea and create a market that can be a test bed for AI chipmakers, aiming to foster global competitors.