To strengthen its efforts to create an ecosystem of AI development tools, libraries, and models around its hardware, AMD bought Nod.ai, an open-source AI software vendor, yesterday.
According to CNBC, the deal should be finalized this quarter. AMD withholds certain information about the purchase.
According to an announcement by AMD SVP Vamsi Boppana, the acquisition of Nod.ai will “significantly” improve AMD’s capacity to offer clients “software that allows them to easily deploy highly performant AI models tuned for AMD hardware.”
The brilliant Nod.ai team’s arrival hastened the advancement of open-source compiler technology and enabled portable, high-performance AI solutions across the AMD product line, according to Boppana. The technologies of Nod.ai are already widely used in the cloud, at the edge, and on various endpoint devices.
Anush Elangovan and Harsh Menon collaborated to create the Santa Clara-based company Nod.ai in 2013. Elangovan was a top engineer at Cisco and a member of the original Chromebooks team at Google. Menon was formerly employed by Kitty Hawk, the now-defunct electric aircraft business financed by Larry Page, a co-founder of Google.
Nod.ai’s first goal was to create motion-tracking and gesture-recognition hardware for video games. However, it eventually shifted to providing modules for AI model tools, reducing the requirement for AI developers to manually tune and deploy AI models to run across the data center and edge computers, including AMD-powered machines.
AMD’s rival, Nvidia, provides similar software-based methods for boosting AI models. However, most are closed-source, proprietary, and made to work with the business’s GPUs.
Before being acquired by AMD, Nod.ai received approximately $20 million in venture capital funding from companies like Atlantic Bridge, Square Capital, PointGuard Ventures, and Walden International. Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced businessman and co-founder of FTX, co-led Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency company, and is said to have taken part in a capital round for Nod.ai. The Financial Times, meanwhile, was informed in December by Elangovan that Nod.ai “[wasn’t] a recipient of FTX/Alameda funding.”
According to a news release by Elangovan, the CEO of Nod.ai, “We’re a team of engineers focused on problem-solving — quickly — and moving at pace in an industry of constant change to develop solutions for the next set of problems.” In some of the most significant AI repositories in the world, our company’s journey has solidified our position as the principal keeper and critical contributor. By collaborating with AMD, we can offer this knowledge to a broader range of clients on an international level.
Nod.ai will join AMD’s AI division, which the company established earlier this year and currently has 1,500 engineers working for it. As AMD tries to catch up to Nvidia in the expanding market for AI chips, the group is anticipated to grow by about 300 personnel by the end of the year.