Top Neuromorphic Computing Stocks for 2024: The Next AI Frontier

The quest for smarter, faster AI is relentless. Our world is generating a staggering amount of data, and traditional computers are struggling—and guzzling energy to keep up. Neuromorphic computing offers a novel solution. By emulating the brain’s network of neurons and synapses, the goal is to unleash lightning-fast AI that’s also energy efficient. This bleeding-edge technology could be critical for growing markets like edge computing. In this article, we’ll explore the top neuromorphic computing stocks for 2024, ranked by pure-play focus. 

Neuromorphic Computing - Brain-Inspired AI Chips
Neuromorphic computing chips aim to mimic the brain’s structure. Credit: ArtemisDiana/Adobe

Tier 1: Pure-Play Neuromorphic Computing Stocks

These companies have placed their bets squarely on the neuromorphic computing revolution. Investors seeking the most direct exposure to this technology should focus on these specialized neuromorphic computing stocks.

BrainChip Holdings (BRACH): The Akida Advantage

BrainChip Holdings (BRACH) focuses on ultra-efficient, adaptable neuromorphic chips, designed to bring AI to power-sensitive devices.

BrainChip Holdings is all-in on neuromorphic computing, making them a true pure-play contender in this space. Their focus lies with their Akida AKD1000 neuromorphic processor, designed for low-power, event-based AI applications. Here’s where BrainChip stands out:

  • The Efficiency Crown: Akida is remarkably efficient. It offers a claimed 5-10x improvement in performance-per-watt over traditional AI accelerators, making it ideal for battery-powered devices, edge computing, and in-sensor intelligence – expanding the applications of AI where it wasn’t feasible before.
  • Adaptability is Key: Akida isn’t limited to pre-programmed solutions. It’s designed with on-chip learning capabilities, enabling AI systems to adapt to changing environments and data without needing to communicate with the cloud.
  • Proven Partnerships: BrainChip has actively partnered with companies like Mercedes-Benz (for in-car AI functions like driver attention and gesture control) and space technology leader Vorago Technologies for radiation-hardened solutions in space. These partnerships show their commitment to real-world deployment.

Investor Takeaway: BrainChip’s focus on specialized neuromorphic chips puts them squarely at the forefront of this technological revolution. Their emphasis on efficiency and adaptability hints at the potential to unlock innovative AI use cases, making them a fascinating, albeit inherently riskier, choice for investors seeking pure-play neuromorphic computing stocks.

Computer Vision AI and self driving cars in a smart city.
Neuromorphic chips are ideal for machine vision, edge AI, and smart cities. Credit: Alexander/Adobe.

Tier 2: Tech Giants with Neuromorphic Ambitions

Tech titans are taking notice of this technology’s potential. These neuromorphic computing stocks offer a chance to invest in established players who have neuromorphic research or pilot projects, though it may not be their core business focus.

Intel (INTC): The Chip Giant’s Neuromorphic Gambit

Intel (INTC) is exploring the potential of neuromorphic computing with its Loihi research chip, potentially integrating this technology into their future products.

Intel, the established leader in traditional computing, has taken notice of the potential in neuromorphic technology. The centerpiece of their neuromorphic endeavors is Loihi, a research chip designed to mimic the brain’s spiking neural networks. Here’s what makes Intel’s approach noteworthy:

  • Research Powerhouse: Intel isn’t simply dipping a toe in the water. They’ve established the Intel Neuromorphic Research Community (INRC), which boasts over 150 global members. This collaborative effort and focus on research could yield breakthroughs with wide-ranging applications.
  • Loihi’s Learning Curve: Loihi isn’t designed for immediate commercialization. Instead, it serves as a platform for exploration. Intel has demonstrated Loihi’s ability to learn and solve complex problems, including gesture recognition, odor classification, and even learning to play the game “Lava”.
  • Scaling Up: Intel recently unveiled Pohoiki Springs, a large-scale neuromorphic system featuring 768 Loihi chips. This system offers a glimpse into Intel’s ambition for scaling up neuromorphic computing power for future research and development.

Investor Takeaway: Intel’s neuromorphic play carries the weight of a major industry player. While their current focus seems to be on research, positive developments with Loihi could lead to intriguing possibilities down the line. Investors should view Intel’s position in neuromorphic computing stocks as a calculated, long-term bet on the potential of this technology, rather than an immediate payoff.

IBM (IBM): TrueNorth – A Neuromorphic Pioneer

IBM (IBM) was an early player in neuromorphic computing with its TrueNorth chip, but its commercialization strategy remains unclear.

IBM has been a long-time player in the neuromorphic computing space. Their TrueNorth neurosynaptic processor demonstrates their ambition to tackle AI challenges with brain-inspired hardware. Here’s what distinguishes IBM’s approach:

  • Historic Vision: IBM’s neuromorphic exploration stretches back years, showcasing their enduring commitment. TrueNorth, initially unveiled in 2014, offered a very early glimpse into what neuromorphic chips could achieve.
  • Extreme Efficiency: TrueNorth is engineered for remarkably low power consumption. Boasting a mere 70 milliwatts of power draw while running workloads, its promise was to process data using a fraction of the energy required by traditional computers, making it ideal for edge applications.
  • Beyond the Hype: Despite TrueNorth’s initial buzz, widespread commercialization hasn’t materialized yet. This highlights the challenges of taking a bleeding-edge technology from lab to market.

Investor Takeaway: IBM’s neuromorphic venture represents a calculated gamble by the established tech giant. While they hold valuable intellectual property in this domain (including designs that could potentially scale to a million neurons), investors should be aware it remains unclear how IBM will leverage this in the competitive AI landscape. They might be more likely to integrate neuromorphic concepts into their wider portfolio, rather than focusing on pure-play neuromorphic products.

Phase Change Neurons for Neuromorphic Computing - IBM
IBM is one of the early pioneers in neuromorphic computing. Credit: IBM Research

Qualcomm (QCOM): Neuromorphic Potential on Mobile and the Edge

Qualcomm (QCOM) has powerful mobile chipsets that make them a potential powerhouse for low-power neuromorphic AI acceleration in everyday devices.

Qualcomm, best known for its dominance in mobile chipsets, is showing interest in the potential of neuromorphic computing. Their focus on mobile devices and edge computing hints at intriguing possibilities for applying neuromorphic concepts, where low power consumption could be a game-changer. Here’s how they stand out:

  • Smartphone Smarts: Qualcomm’s AI capabilities are already in millions of hands via their Snapdragon chips, with their latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform boasting significant AI performance gains. This focus on optimizing their AI Engine for on-device performance lays a foundation for potential neuromorphic advancements.
  • Not Just Phones: Qualcomm’s presence in areas like automotive (with their Snapdragon Ride Platform) and IoT devices opens up opportunities to apply neuromorphic acceleration in power-sensitive scenarios, such as always-on sensors or self-driving car applications.
  • The Road Ahead: Qualcomm hasn’t explicitly revealed concrete plans for specialized neuromorphic chips. However, their active AI research teams and constant iteration in the AI space suggest they’re keeping a keen eye on neuromorphic developments.

Investor Takeaway: Qualcomm’s position in neuromorphic computing stocks is less defined than pure-play companies. Investors should see their interest as a potential signal for the future direction of edge AI. If Qualcomm successfully integrates efficient neuromorphic capabilities, it could provide a significant competitive advantage across their wide range of products.

Tier 3: Chipmakers with Hybrid Neuromorphic Potential

Investors looking for a more measured approach should consider these neuromorphic computing stocks. As we’ve explained elsewhere, one of the earliest ways neuromorphic chips could be used is in hybrid systems alongside classical CPUs and GPUs. Chipmakers in this tier are in prime position to provide those hybrid “bridge” solutions.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): Neuromorphic Synergies

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is exploring how to integrate neuromorphic capabilities into existing chip designs, offering a potential hybrid solution.

AMD, a major competitor in the chip market, is acknowledging the potential of neuromorphic computing. Their acquisition of Xilinx, with its Versal AI Edge series of adaptive chips, signals their intent to enter this space. Here’s what sets AMD’s approach apart:

  • Hybrid Potential: AMD might not be developing standalone neuromorphic processors, but their focus could lie in integrating neuromorphic capabilities into their existing chip designs. The adaptive nature of Xilinx’s Versal chips, with their mix of programmable logic, AI Engines, and powerful ARM processors, could be key to this strategy.
  • Real-World Focus: AMD has demonstrated interest in real-world applications of AI, including areas like machine vision for manufacturing and data center acceleration. Integrating neuromorphic efficiency into these domains could offer them a competitive edge.
  • The Long Game: AMD’s neuromorphic ambitions might be less immediate than those of pure-play companies. Investors should be aware that their path may involve gradual integration of technologies rather than the rapid development of entirely new chipsets.

Investor Takeaway: AMD’s position in neuromorphic computing stocks is characterized by a cautious, but calculated approach. While they’re unlikely to disrupt the market with a purely neuromorphic product in the near future, their commitment to AI innovation and the potential of their Versal AI Edge platform makes them a company to watch in this evolving space.

Private Neuromorphic Companies to Watch

Neuromorphic computing is an incredibly young field, and many of the most promising startups are still private. In addition to BrainChip (which is already public), we cover five other innovative startups—SynSense, GrAI Matter Lab, Prophesee, Innatera, and MemComputing—on this page.

What we see today with neuromorphic computing is just the tip of the iceberg. The most compelling applications likely haven’t even been thought of yet. Investing in neuromorphic computing stocks is a bet on the ingenuity of researchers and companies who are unlocking a new language for computing – one with the potential to rewrite the rules of what we think AI can do.

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