NVIDIA Invests in WekaIO’s Speedier Data Transfer for AI

Israel-born, Silicon Valley-bred startup offers high-performance file storage management, a boost to GPUs.
by Scott Martin

NVIDIA today made a strategic investment in WekaIO, whose technology speeds data transfer for performance-hungry AI applications.

The startup, which is based in San Jose, with engineering offices in Tel Aviv, offers high-performance file storage software that accelerates data transfer between network-attached shared flash storage and GPUs.

Founded in 2014, WekaIO offers high-throughput, high-bandwidth, low-latency data access to GPU-based servers.

“We have developed a flash-native parallel file system with a low-latency storage protocol that natively leverages 100 Gigabit Ethernet and InfiniBand to make sure that customers get faster than local storage performance,” said Liran Zvibel, co-founder and CEO of WekaIO.

Today’s AI workloads aren’t just exceeding the limits of Moore’s law for CPUs. They’re now requiring a host of new technologies — like smart interconnects for faster networking — to eliminate bottlenecks in the data center.

Data center customers use WekaIO’s market-leading Matrix software-defined storage system to handle data-heavy input and output workloads found in AI, machine learning, high-velocity analytics and high performance computing. Customers include TuSimple, Tre Altamira, Untold Studios and San Diego Supercomputer Center.

“As GPU performance has continued to grow, data movement becomes increasingly important and WekaIO has pioneered an impressive modern parallel file system that delivers important capabilities to accelerate AI and workloads at scale,” said Jeff Herbst, vice president of business development at NVIDIA.

The WekaIO investment is the latest addition to an expanding portfolio for NVIDIA’s GPU Ventures program, which has invested in 11 companies in the past two years. This brings the portfolio to 24 companies, including three investments in Israeli startups. Below are some of the investments:

  • Deep Instinct, based in Tel Aviv and New York, uses deep learning against cyberattacks.
  • DeepMap, in Silicon Valley, develops HD mapping and localization for autonomous vehicles.
  • ElementAI is a Montreal-based startup that integrates AI capabilities.
  • Fastdata.io, based in Santa Monica, develops software for fast data processing.
  • H2O, in Silicon Valley and Prague, offers an open source machine learning platform.
  • OmniSci, in San Francisco, is a pioneer in GPU-driven analytics.
  • TuSimple, based in Beijing and San Diego, is an autonomous truck startup.
  • WeRide, a Beijing- and Silicon Valley-based startup, develops on NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus.