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UCL spinout bags £10M to make AI ‘super brains’ for 100x faster LLM training

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Oriole Networks, a UCL spinout, has raised £10mn in seed funding to build AI “super brains” that promise to accelerate the training of Large Language Models (LLMs). 

Founded in 2023 by UCL scientists, the startup has developed a new method that harnesses the power of  light to connect thousands of AI chips. This results in a network of chips, where the power of each individual GPU is combined to form a “super brain.” 

According to James Regan, CEO at Oriole Networks, this “enables the direct connection of a very large number of nodes enabling it to function as a single machine.” 

The novelty of the approach lies in the deployment of custom light-based transmission and switching protocols. 

“These protocols deliver a significant reduction in the power consumption required for equivalent scale network implementations,” Regan told TNW.

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“This network implementation will increase the efficiency and interconnectivity of the network, thereby providing a significant improvement to the compute performance of a given AI compute system.” 

Oriole Networks says that this super brain can train LLMs 100x faster and with a thousandth of the latency, while improving energy consumption by 40 times.

Oriole Networks team