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Data center processor startup Pliops Ltd. said today it has closed on a $100 million Series D funding round that will help it to take on giants like Nvidia Corp. and Oracle Corp. in an effort to make information processing more efficient.

Today’s round was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with participation from SK Hynix, Lip-Bu Tan, the chairman of Walden International and State of Mind Ventures Momentum, as well as existing investors. It brings Pliops’ total amountr raised to more than $200 million since launching in 2017.

Pliops has attracted big money from its backers because it’s focused on solving a big problem with big data. Its processor technology is designed to make data centers run faster and more efficiently. Specifically, its Extreme Data Processor helps to simplify the way data is processed and flash storage is managed. This helps it to overcome storage inefficiencies and accelerate performance while reducing overall infrastructure costs for data-hungry applications. In other words, Pliops helps companies to squeeze more from their growing data volumes and storage infrastructure, resulting in lower costs and less energy consumption.

Pliops says its XDP chips are designed to improve the performance of databases and other apps that typically run on flash memory. They provide drive fail protection for solid-state drives as well as in-line compression, which is a technique that shrinks data by finding identical sequences and eliminating those that follow the original. This helps it to reduce drive space and expand capacity, mapping variable-sized objects to reduce the amount of storage space that’s wasted.

“The ability to monetize data faster and get much more while paying much less is the core priority of every organization, especially in times of market volatility,” said Pliops Chief Executive Uri Beitler. “Our transformative product offers this exact unique capability, making it imminent that Pliops XDP will be the cornerstone of every modern data center.”

That is a bold statement from the CEO considering some of the rivals Pliops is going up against in the data center. It isn’t the first company to come up with a processor that’s especially designed for data analytics. Nvidia is perhaps its most noted rival, having launched its BlueField-3 data processing units. On top of that, Marvell Technology Inc. has come up with its Octeon chips, and Oracle’s SPARC M7 chip comes with a data analytics-focused co-processor that has a specialized set of instructions for data transformation tasks. There are also startups such as Speedata to worry about.

There may well be room for multiple players in the data processing space though. Pliops cites a survey by International Data Corp. that found organizations collect only 56% of the available data from their business, and of that 56%, they only use 57% of it, on average. One of the reasons for this underutilization of data is that such workloads require a lot of compute and storage resources, and these can be expensive for companies to maintain.

“Accessing and using your data efficiently is critical to business success – particularly in a world of exponential data growth and storage requirements,” said Eli Groner, managing director at Koch Disruptive Technologies. “Pliops brings novel solutions to this enormous industry-wide challenge that address real pain points.”

Pliops said it has made strong progress. Though it didn’t name any, it said it has secured customers in multiple market segments, including some global cloud service providers, enterprises and high-performance computing organizations.

The company will use the funding from today’s round to build out its chip hardware and software according to its roadmap, while aggressively marketing its vision to customers and partners. At the same time, the company said it will streamline its global operations teams in recognition of a changing business landscape.

Image: Pliops

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