Arm Newsroom Blog

Expanded Arm Flexible Access for Startups Contest Offers $250,000 Winning Prize of Arm Technology Credit

Contest now open to early-stage startups looking to build the silicon solutions of the future on Arm's technologies.
By Arm Editorial Team

Building on the success of last year’s contest, Arm and Silicon Catalyst, the world’s only startup incubator focused exclusively on accelerating semiconductor solutions, are delighted to announce an expanded Arm Flexible Access for Startups Contest for 2024. Across our industry-leading ecosystem, Arm is committed to companies at all stages of their growth, and this includes the thriving silicon startup community. The contest is open to eligible early-stage startups that are part of or considering to be part of Arm Flexible Access for Startups, which enables the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to build the system-on-chip (SoC) solutions of the future.

The Arm Flexible Access for Startups program allows early-stage startups to move fast, experiment with ease, and design with confidence through free of charge to design access to a huge catalogue of market-leading compute and system IP as part of the Arm Flexible Access business model. Alongside an open and accessible route to optimize their silicon design, startups can also take advantage of the world’s largest software ecosystem to grow their business.

The contest provides a boost to early-stage startups, helping them get their first silicon products to market faster. The winner will be awarded $250,000 of Arm technology credit towards an Arm Flexible Access commercial tape-out. This is an increase of $100,000 from last year’s contest and signals Arm’s commitment to empowering and accelerating innovation across the silicon startup community. Also new this year, the runner-up of this year’s contest will be awarded $150,000 of Arm technology credit.

The $250,000 and $150,000 of Arm technology credit provide significant investments into the SoC development process. These could cover IP fees for a complete embedded system or significantly contribute to the cost of a higher performance application.

Alongside the Arm technology credit, both the winner and runner-up will receive:

  • Detailed technical feedback that will further enhance the product through an Arm Design Review where Arm extensively reviews the design specification; 
  • Opportunities to network with industry leaders through a ticket to Arm’s invite-only ecosystem event; and
  • Advice to enhance the investment pitch through a pitch review session hosted by the Silicon Catalyst Angel investment group.

Arm technology is for everyone, and, through this contest, we are recognizing and supporting the next wave of innovators to grow their business and accelerate their SoC designs. We know that time to product and access to the largest possible market are critical for startups, with Arm providing free access to design with IP that will maximize their chance of success,” said Paul Williamson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IoT Line of Business at Arm. “The Arm Flexible Access for Startups program provides easy, open access to a vast range of proven IP throughout the product development process, with this supported by world-leading technical and ecosystem support. To date, more than 100 silicon startups have benefited from this access to Arm technology.”

The winning and runners-up prizes of Arm technology credit through the contest represent significant investments for start-ups, so they can accelerate the commercialization of their products. This is a game-changer for silicon startups looking to design the next innovative SoC through the Arm Flexible Access for Startups program,” said Pete Rodriguez, CEO at Silicon Catalyst. “As a key strategic and in-kind partner, we are delighted to be supporting Arm through the contest and assisting the next leading silicon startups to deliver commercial success and business growth.”

Pete Rodriguez, CEO, Silicon Catalyst, on Arm Flexible Access for Startups

The 2024 Arm Flexible Access for Startups Contest is open to privately owned startup companies in pre-seed, seed, and Series A funding that have raised a maximum of $20 million in funding. All contest applicant organizations will be considered for acceptance to the Silicon Catalyst Incubator/Accelerator. Judges for the contest include senior executives from both Arm and Silicon Catalyst.

The contest will run from March 11th through to May 17th 2024. The contest winner and runner-up will be announced in June 2024. Contest rules and application details can be found here.

Last year’s contest winner was Equal1 Labs, a pioneering Ireland-based startup dedicated to making quantum computing more affordable and accessible. Its entry stood out among an incredibly strong field of applicants across a broad range of technologies and applications.

Equal1’s highly innovative Quantum System-on-a-Chip (QSoC) processors, which are powered by Arm IP technology, integrate entire quantum computing systems onto a single chip. These are targeting the core of the world’s most powerful, compact quantum computers, designed for deployment into standard high-performance computing (HPC) environments.

Equal1, which is one of the top patent holders for quantum computing worldwide, put the winning prize of $150,000 of Arm Technology credit towards the tape-out of its fourth-generation quantum silicon solution, which is one percent the size of the competition.

Jason Lynch, CEO, Equal1, says: “Arm’s support, partnership and technology credit through winning the silicon startup contest are invaluable to the development of our QSoC processors. Due to the focus on power efficiency and performance, alongside proven IP reliability and a robust supporting ecosystem, it is clear that the new era of quantum computing will be powered by Arm technology.”

Silicon startup spotlight: Equal1

The two runners-up of last year’s contest also put forward innovative proposals, with both designing silicon solutions that process a variety of AI-based workloads targeted across different technology markets.

SpiNNcloud systems, a German-based start-up, entered its second-generation hybrid AI processor that enables large-scale AI across HPC for a variety of use cases. The SpiNNaker 2, which is due for tape-out imminently, enables the construction of brain-like supercomputers with a large mesh of interconnected microcontrollers powered by Arm Cortex-M4 processor cores. This provides up to 10x more efficient large language model (LLM) processing compared to a high-end GPU.

Silicon startup spotlight: SpiNNcloud

The other runner-up, Scotland-based weeteq, entered its innovative AI enabled power and control system optimization technology that is focused on saving energy, costs and data and increasing productivity across multiple industries, including industrial IoT and automotive. The startup is utilizing Arm Cortex-M55 and Ethos-U55 for SoC edge AI processing, which, when combined, will provide a 480x AI performance uplift. 

Silicon startup spotlight: weeteq

Equal1, SpiNNcloud and weeteq are all members of the Arm Flexible Access for Startups program. Qualifying silicon startups with less than $20 million in funding and $1 million in revenue can apply to be part of Arm Flexible Access for Startups here.

Article Text
Copy Text

Any re-use permitted for informational and non-commercial or personal use only.

Editorial Contact

Brian Fuller & Jack Melling
Subscribe to Blogs and Podcasts
Get the latest blogs & podcasts direct from Arm

Latest on Twitter