Brainchip: Our software design is complete. Next stop – Brainchips for everyone
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Brainchip (ASX:BRN) says the design of its Akida Neuromorphic processing chip is complete.
The company said it has wrapped up design work on the Register-Transfer Level — defined as the flow of digital signals between hardware registers — and sent them off to its manufacturing partners.
It marks the first piece of production news flow for a couple of months, after BRN said it had completed hardware testing for its device — the Neuromorphic System-on-Chip (NSoC) design with functional silicon — in mid-September.
That accompanied a torrid run in BRN shares, following news of a tie-up on September 2 with Texas-based semiconductor company VORAGO Technologies.
BRN shares topped out at 94c in early September, marking an eye-watering rally of almost 20x from its March lows in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
By the end of the month, BRN shares were back below 40c where they’ve since traded in a narrower range. The stock rose by around five per cent following this morning’s announcement to 36.5c.
Brainchip says its Register-Transfer Level (RTL) designs have now been sent to its manufacturing partners, Socionext America (SNA), the US division of Japanese conglomerate Socionext.
SNA will now complete the design and send instructions to BRN’s other partner, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, for “mask creation and wafer fabrication”.
In electronics, a wafer is a thin slice of semiconductor material used to make integrated circuits.
BRN’s neuromorphic mask set will be used to manufacture wafers as well as “support qualification testing and parametric testing of the Akida device”.
CEO Louis DiNardo said the wafers will be used to meet “potential customer requirements in 2021 and beyond”.
While BRN says its neuromorphic technology includes an AI function that’s modeled on the human brain, the company’s broader goal is to develop a semiconductor technology that can function at the “edge”, without reliance on a central CPU or memory processor.
Brainchip said its target markets for the completed NSoC will be across various sectors in connection with the Internet of Things (IoT) such as remote controls, security cameras and autonomous vehicles.
The company’s 4C filing for the September quarter showed it booked $US10k of cash receipts from customers with operating cash outflows of $US2.2m, largely comprised of $US1.1m in R&D costs.
BRN closed the September quarter with $US12.2m in the bank. Post-quarter end, it said the cash balance rose to $US20.3m after investor LDA Capital exercised a Put Option Agreement.