Cloud is ubiquitous. The globally distributed nature of the computing backbone created by the planet’s data centers and the neural IT hubs between them form a virtually ubiquitous network of interconnectivity and access to computing power and data services.
This reality has had a leveling effect.
Given the ability to access massively scalable computing resources from almost anywhere (still Yemen and Equatorial Guinea) difficulty connecting), where there is human ingenuity, new things happen. This has led to the emergence of a new kind of Silicon Valleys (plural) everywhere from London to Utah to the UAE to Israel and across India.
An AI eye on the Holy Land
In the Holy Land in particular, homegrown technology development from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv has been particularly strong in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Standing up for much of the development in this space is: OurCrowda dedicated Jerusalem-based global venture investment platform organization led by an enigmatic, direct-talking CEO Jon Medved†
OurCrowd is now backing NeuReality, an Israeli AI systems and semiconductor company (for the second time), in addition to another injection of support and interest from Samsung Ventures. But this is not an investment and financing story, this is a story that focuses on how smart NeuReality is with so-called ‘inference technologies’ (a part of an IT system that applies logical rules to a particular knowledge base to derive new information) ie such as computer vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and recommendation engines.
NeuReality is working to make these system elements easier to implement for a wider range of less tech companies.
More than just chips
Claiming to be more than just a chip company, NeuReality’s solution includes hardware, software, and tools that work together to simplify and accelerate AI deployment. The company currently employs more than 30 engineers and other staff and plans to double its size and recruit talent in VLSI chip design, AI, software and hardware.
“We see a substantial and immediate need for increased efficiency and easy-to-deploy inference solutions for data centers and on-premises [cloud] use cases. The company’s disaggregation, data movement and processing technologies improve compute, compute storage and in-storage computing — all of which are critical to its ability to adopt and grow AI solutions,” said Ori Kirshner, head of Samsung Ventures in Israel.
The adoption and growth of AI solutions face several hurdles, which prevent retail, manufacturing, healthcare and other industries from deploying AI inference capabilities in business workflows. This challenge is clearly what NeuReality wants to solve with its core technology proposition.
System level ie complete package
While the company is new, the NeuReality team draws on decades of experience in AI, data center systems, hardware design, and software development. As a result, NeuReality uses a “systems level approach” (a more holistic view of creating a fully functioning product or service to make mass deployment easier) that combines software with highly efficient hardware for deep learning and data processing.
Focusing on the growth of real-life AI applications, NeuReality’s solutions are purpose-built for a wide variety of industries including public safety, e-commerce, social networking, medical and healthcare, digital personal assistants, etc. targets cloud and enterprise data centers, in addition to carriers, telecom operators, and other near-edge computing solutions.
NeuReality has signed an agreement with IBM to develop high-performance AI inference platforms designed to deliver good cost and power improvements for deep learning use cases. NeuReality is also partnering with chipmaker AMD to deliver its first-generation AI-centric FPGA-based (Field Programmable Gate Array) platforms for inference acceleration to customers.
NeuReality also creates purpose-built AI platforms for ultra-scalability of real-life AI applications and positions itself as a pioneer in the market for deep learning and AI solutions.
Great show of confidence
Moshe Tanach, CEO and co-founder of NeuReality, explained that Samsung Ventures’ support is a “great vote of confidence” in NeuReality’s technology.
†[This will] help us take the business to the next level and our NR1 SoC [see below] to production. This will enable our customers to evolve their system architecture and this evolution will make it easier for them to scale and maintain their AI infrastructure, be it in their data center, in a cloud or on-premises,” said Tanach .
The company’s NR1 is an integrated circuit device based on its AI-centric architecture. The System-on-a-Chip (SoC) improves the use of AI compute resources currently deployed by removing existing system bottlenecks, lowering the latency of AI operations, and saving overall system cost and power consumption.
The company also develops free software tools and software runtime libraries intended to make it easy for customers of different skill levels and different deployment topologies to adopt new AI-based services in their business workflows.
How did Israel get AI smart?
This (above) story may make some wonder, yes okay – Israel is a bright young nation with a track record of showing unwavering focus and a steadfast belief in itself – but how did it get so AI smart?
Part of the answer is due to a young motivated educated population… and part of the answer is due to foresight.
quoted on the Jerusalem Post here this year, Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, director of the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (ICRC) at Tel Aviv University, said: “AI is the dominant technology of the next five, ten years; Israel is capable of being one of the global hubs for AI technology as we are for cyber technology.”
It was Ben-Israel who formally wrote to then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1999 urging him to invest in Israel’s IT development, with cyber (and later AI) as the main focus areas.
What all this teaches us is that the next Silicon Valley (or at least the next Silicon Ravine — but maybe the next Silicon Canyon) could be emerging anywhere in the world. Anyway, even if it’s just a ravine or a gully, the results can be beautiful.