NIGEL TOON Graphcore


Nigel Toon

CEO, Graphcore

AI-chip startup Graphcore is a darling of the British startup scene, with the potential to become the next ARM.

Graphcore’s intelligence processor unit (IPU) is combined with software, and the startup reckons its AI chips compete with the best in the business, namely Nvidia, Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm.

A veteran of the chip industry, CEO Nigel Toon ought to know. His previous firm Icera was acquired by Nvidia. He also worked at Altera, which went on to be bought by Intel.

With Graphcore, Toon is looking to a world where computers may think like humans, and need the requisite underlying technology.

"When we created Graphcore, we were designing products that would outperform the best available technology on the tasks of the day,” Toon tells Business Insider. “We were also building systems that would excel at the far more challenging AI of tomorrow — including models with billions of parameters and highly sparse data.”

The $2 billion startup has been making strides ever since with major clients like Microsoft and JPMorgan making the most of the company’s technology.

"Our mission has always been to let innovators create the next breakthroughs in machine intelligence,” Toon says. “That means Graphcore customers get to approach problems asking ‘What does my imagination make possible?’ instead of ‘What does my technology make difficult?’”