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NVIDIA Veteran Dr. Taner Ozcelik to Lead AI Chip Company Mythic as CEO

Friday, July 5, 2024

AI processor company Mythic has named veteran semiconductor executive Dr. Taner Ozcelik, the founder and former VP & GM of NVIDIA’s automotive division, as its new CEO.

Ozcelik will lead Mythic as the company leverages its ultra-efficient analog compute-in-memory technology to fuel new markets for AI inference, which is currently restricted to high-cost applications because of the severe memory and energy limitations of digital computing.

Mythic’s next-generation product is poised to bring order-of-magnitude improvements in power and cost efficiency while providing previously unseen levels of performance scalability. Drawing from the experience of the first generation, Mythic’s next-generation processor has a brand new software toolkit and a streamlined architecture making analog computing easier to use than ever. This combination of performance, scalability, and ease of use will transform the economics and power consumption of AI in products ranging from low-cost consumer devices at the edge to high-performance computing in data centers.

Ozcelik is a pioneer in the commercialization of autonomous technologies, having spent 10 years with NVIDIA, where he founded and built the company’s automotive chip division into several hundred million dollars in revenues and accumulated billions of dollars of business. Dr. Ozcelik developed the first NVIDIA-based systems in autonomous driving and built the world’s first Jetson systems, which later became the foundation of DrivePX and DriveCX systems as well as many robotics systems that are used by customers worldwide.

Following NVIDIA, Dr. Ozcelik was the SVP & GM of the Intelligent Sensing Group at onsemi for seven years, where he built a series of divisions spanning numerous edge industries with approximately $1 billion in group revenues, and achieved global leadership positions in robotics, machine vision, advanced driver systems, and automotive cameras. Most recently, Ozcelik served as EVP & GM for Luminar Technologies, where he led semiconductor companies and R&D, developing a next-generation product with 50x better performance, cost, size and power, and winning new business from major OEMs for several billion dollars.

“I have followed Mythic’s progress for years, and I’m joining now because the technology has reached a pivotal point. Mythic is poised to transform the industry, particularly with their next-generation product. Energy consumption and cost are the biggest problems facing AI as its rapid expansion fuels a dramatic surge in the demand for memory and power. Analog computing is the only way to bring affordable and orders-of-magnitude more energy-efficient inference AI to every level of the economy, and Mythic is uniquely positioned to lead the charge with their brand new analog computing platform. In terms of energy efficiency, Mythic’s architecture is closest to the human brain in neural network performance and decision making, with unprecedented, femtojoule level consumption per unit of operation, which is a game changer in the new world of AI,” said Ozcelik.

Mythic co-founder and current CEO Dave Fick will move to CTO. “Taner is one of the most respected operators in semiconductors. I’ve admired his leadership for years, and I’m thrilled to work together to satisfy the AI revolution’s voracious appetite for memory and performance,” said Fick.

The AI industry sits at a pivotal point when demand for computing is far outpacing supply. Energy efficiency is crucial because AI models have billions to trillions of parameters, all of which must be stored in memory and bussed to and from processing in digital chips, creating latency. By contrast, Mythic’s analog architecture features compute-in-memory without bussing, sidestepping memory, power, and price bottlenecks.

“The industry has spent the last decade developing powerful AI models that we can’t even run at a profit with today’s digital computing technology. The next decade will be focused on new AI inference markets – actually implementing these models in everyday life and business. Taner is the ideal leader to bring this transformative level of speed and performance to a huge range of new edge devices at dramatically lower price points and power levels,” said Matt Ocko, Mythic board member and co-founder and Managing Partner of DCVC, a Palo Alto–based deep tech venture capital firm that has backed Mythic since 2016.

Ozcelik will lead Mythic as the company works to make inroads with mission-critical application system builders like Lockheed Martin Ventures, a Mythic partner and investor. Robotics, smart cities, security, and defense applications that are currently limited by digital computing power and cost will be possible with Mythic’s technology.

“The true benchmark of progress for AI semiconductors is performance per milliwatt: the amount of computing performance we can generate given energy constraints. Performance per milliwatt will determine how far AI can go in the next decade, and thanks to Dave Fick and his team’s engineering, it’s how Mythic differentiates itself from every other AI chipmaker. With superior performance at far lower costs and power, we’re going to open the floodgates for edge AI,” said Ozcelik.

Dr. Ozcelik holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ozcelik’s appointment as Mythic CEO is effective immediately.

By: DocMemory
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