Research Foundation News

March 11, 2020

Acquisition of Purdue-affiliated startup propels computer intelligence to the next level

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Technology that combines machine learning with artificial intelligence from Purdue University has taken its next giant leap toward powering more Internet of Things and edge computing devices.

FWDNXT, a software and hardware startup that spun out of Purdue, was acquired in October by Micron Technology Inc., an industry leader in innovative memory and storage solutions. Micron is integrating FWDNXT’s artificial intelligence hardware and software technology with its advanced memory to explore deep learning solutions for data analytics, particularly in IoT and edge computing.

“Purdue provided the entrepreneurial resources to help me achieve my vision of taking our work on machine learning and deep learning technology to a much wider audience where we can have a bigger impact,” said Eugenio Culurciello, Micron fellow and chief machine learning architect. “Micron has the leadership in memory, long history of innovation and drive to deliver power and performance capabilities that address the most complex and demanding edge applications at scale.”

Culurciello founded FWDNXT while working as an associate professor in Purdue’s College of Engineering. Based in the Purdue Research Park, FWDNXT designed next-generation hardware and software for deep learning aimed at enabling computers to understand the world in the same way humans do.

Culurciello worked closely with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to secure and develop an intellectual property rights strategy for the AI technology that he developed at Purdue, which Micron licenses today.

“The FWDNXT acquisition is another strong show of confidence by industry in Purdue technology designed to make a difference for Indiana and beyond,” said Brooke Beier, vice president of the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Culurciello worked with the Purdue Foundry, an internationally recognized startup hub. Since its creation in 2013, the Purdue Foundry has generated more than 250 startups, nearly $400 million in funding and investments and nearly 350 new jobs.

“FWDNXT and Eugenio Culurciello are prime examples of entrepreneurs using Purdue’s ideas to impact ecosystem to find success,” said Greg Deason, the foundation’s senior vice president for entrepreneurship and place making.

The Office of Technology Commercialization and Purdue Foundry are both now located in the Discovery Park District, a 400-acre, $1 billion-plus purpose-driven community adjacent to the Purdue campus.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

Writer: Chris Adam, 765-588-3341, cladam@prf.org 

Source:
Greg Deason, gwdeason@prf.org


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