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 Signs Joint Development Agreement with Tier-1 Automotive Supplier
•BrainChip to collaborate on the development of neural network processing solutionsfor Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicles (AV) •Evaluation to integrate the AkidaTM System-on-Chip (SoC) as a neural network processor
Signing of a joint development agreement utilizing BrainChip’s Akida neuromorphic SoC with Valeo Corporation, a Tier-1 European automotive supplier of sensors and systems for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicles (AV).
The Agreement provides for specific performance milestones and payments that are expected to cover the Company’s expenses. The term of the Agreement is defined by the achievement of performance milestones and the availability of the Akida device. The Agreement was binding upon execution. Either party can terminate the Agreement for convenience with specific notice. Thevalidation of the Company’s Akida device by a Tier-1 supplier of sensors and systems to the automotive industry is considered to be a significant development.
In ADAS and AV applications, real-time processing of data is critical for the safety and reliability of autonomous systems. Suppliers and manufacturers in the automotive industry have recognized that the advanced and highly efficient neuromorphic nature of the Akida SoC makes it ideally suited to process data at the “Edge” for their advanced system solutions. By combining the Akida neural network processor with sensors, the resulting system can achieve ultra-low power, minimum latency, maximum reliability, and incremental learning. This is a major advancement over current architectures which require large amounts of data to be transmitted to a Central Processing Unit (CPU) or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which has the burden of processing all data from all sensors and then combining the results to make a decision or retrain the network for new classifiers.
Another exciting announcement today. This one is even better than the recent announcement of their evaluation agreement with Ford Motor Company. The revenue isn't flowing in but BRN is finally beginning to hit some significant milestones.
Akida TM Neuromorphic System-on-Chip (NSoC) Wafer Fabrication Completed
• Wafer fabrication completed on schedule
• BrainChip moving to assembly and test of the Akida NSoC
• Evaluation boards for Early Access Program are in fabrication
• Software tools are based on the Akida Development Environment
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
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 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).
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.
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.