It's hard not to appear to be jumping on the Brain Train but I've held BrainChip (BRN) since Feb 18 and I've watched it fall from $0.20 down to $0.033 in March and since climb up to $0.27 in the past 6 months. Here's why I'm finally excited about the prospects of BRN.
BRN is the only pure-play ASX-listed AI company. Their flagship product is BrainChip Studio — an AI-powered video analytic software suite delivering high-speed object search and facial classification for law enforcement, counterterrorism and intelligence agencies. Their anticipated Golden Egg however is Akida. Akida is a neural processor system-on-chip designed to mimic the human brain. Akida is designed to provide a complete ultra-low power and fast AI Edge Network for vision, audio, olfactory and smart transducer applications.
Akida has had an active timeline this year:
- April: Wafer fabrication begins
- 14th June: Early Access Program announced. "BrainChip has established an EAP for select partners to ensure availability of initial devices and evaluation systems for key applications. ultiple customers have committed to the advanced purchase of evaluation systems for a range of strategic Edge applications including ADAS/AV, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Edge vision systems and factory automation.". Confirmed partners so far are Ford and Valeo.
- 2nd July: Wafer fabrication completed. "In conjunction with Socionext and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) wafer fabrication of the Akida device has been completed as planned and the Company is moving to complete assembly and test operations. The primary use of the initial devices will be internal evaluation and support of those customers that have signed agreements for the Early Access Program."
- 12 August: VP Worldwide Sales. "As the Company executes on plans to deliver its groundbreaking technology with both intellectual property licenses and as an integrated circuit provider, Rob Telson will lead the worldwide sales organization as well as build an applications engineering team to best support customers and augment the Company’s design, development and research groups located in Aliso Viejo, California, Toulous, France and Perth, Western Australia."
- 17 August: Partership with Magik Eye. "This partnership is for one year and can be extended by mutual consent of the parties. It starts with joint marketing services to promote compatibility that could lead to customers for each company. The agreement does not define any material conditions that need to be satisfied by either company."
The market hype is building in anticipation. More joint agreements are expected to be announced but ultimately it will be the success or failure of the chip that will determine the eventual outcome. There's a number of exciting applications so let's hope for a successful outcome!
Valuation hard to stack up greater than $1bn for a company not yet earning revenue and no certainty whether the business will be viable.
Also the Directors and Management are paid insane amounts for a company not earning revenue (compare to any other start up). Another capital raise has to be on the horizon very soon.
I was stuck with this stock for years and was happy to get out on the recent pump. Be cautious straws.
Brainchip today announced that Vorago Technologies has signed the Akida Early Access Program Agreement. Vorago provide radiation hardening and extreme temperature solutions for aerospace and defense. Most importantly, they provide these solutions for NASA.
The collaboration is intended to support a Phase I NASA program for a neuromorphic processor that meets spaceflight requirements. The Akida neuromorphic processor is uniquely suited for spaceflight and aerospace applications. The device is a complete neural processor and does not require an external CPU, memory or Deep Learning Accelerator (DLA). Reducing component count, size and power consumption are paramount concerns in spaceflight and aerospace applications. The level of integration and ultralow power performance of Akida supports these critical criteria. Additionally, Akida provides incremental learning. With incremental learning new classifiers can be added to the network without retraining the entire network. The benefit in spaceflight and aerospace applications is significant as real-time local incremental learning allows continuous operation when new discoveries or circumstances occur.
Bear in mind we still don't have any confirmation that the chip will perform as expected yet
BrainChip reports that NASA has placed order for their Akida Early Access Program. BRN's CEO has stated, "We are both excited and proud that NASA has procured Akida as part of our Early Access Program. The recognition that neuromorphic computing may play an important role in spaceflight applications is an important milestone for our industry.
We hope that the potential benefits from the Akida neuromorphic processor for use in spaceflight and aerospace applications may provide a valuable contribution to further NASA’s primary mission to benefit humanity."
BRN has also signed an intellectual property license agreement with Renesas Electronics America Inc. The deal will include a single-use design license, implementation support services (at an agreed cost), royalty payments per unit, and software maintenance services for 2-years. BRN's CEO has further commented, "This is an exciting and significant milestone in obtaining the Company’s first IP licensing agreement. Furthermore, this is a market validation of our technology.
Licensing Akida IP also provides us with an opportunity for recurring revenue over the lifetime of our customer’s SoC product. We are equipped to help additional customers integrate Akida technology into their products, which benefit from low power and real-time performance, as well as extend capabilities to provide AI solutions to IoT devices at the edge without the need for cloud connectivity."
The Akida 'system-on-chip' is a small, low cost and low power product that makes it ideal for cutting edge applications. These include advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles, drones, vision-guided robotics, surveillance and machine vision systems.
BRN had a webinar today with transcript/slides to be posted soon.
AI edge market expected to grow to $50b by 2025 (“Tractica report”)
Over 100 NDAs with potential partners/customers
Cash balance now $US17.6m
Costs running at around $2m/Q, capital expense $1.3m in Q4
Monthly podcasts planned
BrainChip Confirms Validation of the AkidaTM Neural Processor
This announcement is a follow up to the successful wafer fabrication accouncement and testing commencement in Augest 2020. 'Validation' indicates that the chip can be integrated with other components and perform as expected.
Now the focus is on continued development of software and firmware drivers. BRN expect to produce a production mask set in the fourth quarter of 2020 and then move forward with volume production wafer fabrication, assembly and test operations
BrainChip Demonstrates Company’s Event-Based AI Neural Processor at Embedded Vision Summit
BrainChip Appoints Christa Steele to the Board of Directors
Christa Steele has joined the board of directors of the Company, joining Emmanuel (Manny) Hernandez and Steve Liebeskind as Non-Executive Directors, and Louis DiNardo and Peter van der Made as Executive Directors
Ms. Steele currently serves on the board of directors for OFG Bancorp [NYSE: OFG], Recology, Tanimura & Antle, NACD NorCal and PCBS.
Ms. Steele was a partner and board member of FIG Partners, a full-service boutique investment bank, until its sale in April 2019 to Janney Montgomery Scott. Prior, she spent two decades (1995- 2015) in senior level positions within the financial services industry where she led the execution of strategic initiatives, streamlined operations, implemented technology, led digital transformation, underwrote, structured and managed retail and commercial credit functions, grew new markets and oversaw M&A activity. Steele’s most notable role was as President and CEO of Mechanics Bank (MCHB 2013-15) where she led a significant financial turnaround, doubled the value of the company in less than two years, and successfully led its sale for a premium in 2015. Prior, she served as EVP and other various roles of F&M Bank, responsible for Wholesale Banking activities (FMCB 2002- 2013).
Assume below is common knowledge prior to today, but it's the first I've heard of NASA. An organisation of that size verifying the technology sounds good ...
The Company has entered into several agreements for its Early Access Program (EAP) including The Ford Motor Company, Valeo, Vorago Technologies and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The EAP provides engineering samples, evaluation boards and dedicated support to manufacturers that will evaluate the groundbreaking Akida neuromorphic processor. Fees to participate in the EAP are intended to cover the Company’s expenses related participants individual requirements.
My intended post only went in as a note against valuation instead of as a straw,
here it is now where (i hope) it should have been.
BRN is a potential game-changer in AI sensor related applications. Its key feature is not heavy power computing with data centre stacks, rather it is at the edge of mobile devices where low power aka battery power is required.
It is way ahead of anyone else in getting to wafer ready test production.
Expect high volatility. Not for the faint-hearted. DYOR.