From the blog

Rescale Raises $50M Series C to Power Intelligent Computing for Digital R&D

Today we are excited to announce a new $50M round of funding from both existing and new partners who have joined Rescale’s mission to accelerate the digital transformation of R&D-driven organizations through intelligent computing.

From Computing Bits to Atoms

When we founded Rescale a decade ago, we saw the opportunity computing offered to empower the minds of the world’s best scientists and engineers driving innovation.  In 2010, as cloud and big data were starting to hit their stride to power commodity computing, we envisioned a “big compute” future without computational barriers to accelerate new chip designs, enable computational drug discovery, power the design of new rockets and supersonic jets, and build a sustainable energy future.

Today, Rescale is delivering on this vision — building a better future through intelligent computing for digital R&D.  

The Computing Challenge of Our Time

Over the past decade, the algorithms involved in R&D have been underserved by the focus on scale-out hyperscale and big data architectures that leverage commodity computing, and then further compounded by the slowdown of Moore’s law.  Computational advancement for complex algorithms in R&D, from the physics of rocket science to the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, has come from specialized hardware architecture optimizations.  The result has been an explosion of specialized purpose-built hardware architectures to drive the continued computing advancements upon which the future of software is built.

Organizations dependent on R&D are thus dealing with a daunting challenge of migrating complex software built on legacy on-premises fixed datacenters to the new paradigm of dynamic cloud environments with new cloud-based specialized architectures. 

The Rise of Intelligent Computing

The only way to help R&D-driven companies realize the benefit of specialized computing capabilities in the cloud is through intelligent automation.  Specifically, through software-defined infrastructure accompanied by workload-specific hardware performance intelligence, along with the orchestration needed to make the infrastructure invisible to end users in R&D.  

Any intelligent system has a way of interacting with the world, and uses data to inform its decisions.  Rescale builds on the advancement of virtualization and public cloud by establishing a control plane that can work with any cloud or datacenter to run anything from decades-old physics computations to the latest machine learning or containerized applications.  Rescale’s intelligence layer includes embedded software and hardware performance benchmark metrics combined with pricing and budgeting intelligence.  These capabilities ensure R&D organizations are allocating optimal resources to projects that matter most, and that each project is utilizing resources most effectively.

But we haven’t stopped there. 

The power of connectedness, collaboration, and continuous integration that we’ve seen in the software development space extends to R&D operations as well. This is the promise of digital R&D – where the R&D model, such as a digital twin, becomes the product.  While digital tools for R&D have existed for decades (e.g., computer-aided design, product lifecycle management), the overall R&D cycle has not been fully digitized. For many of our leading customers, Rescale is enabling their digital transformation journey to a digital R&D operating model.  It starts with bringing key R&D processes to the cloud, and continues with cloud-based collaboration, data sharing, and completely automated computational pipelines.  We’ve only just seen the beginning of what will become possible with the digitization of R&D.  

Open Ecosystem Platform Strategy

Four key elements have been critical for our success as an open ecosystem platform thus far.

Firstly, intelligent computing requires innovation in processor architectures and complementing technologies.  NVIDIA, whose venture arm participated in the Series C, is one of the leading players in specialized computing, not only through their innovations in GPU architectures and deep learning, but also with their recent portfolio additions of leading networking solutions from Mellanox and chip design technologies with their pending acquisition of ARM.  Many of today’s bleeding edge digital R&D capabilities on Rescale are enabled by embedded machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities powered by NVIDIA’s technologies.

Second is the foresight of cloud providers to invest in specialized hardware architectures to broaden the scope of workloads that can be addressed in the cloud.  For instance, Microsoft, whose venture arm, M12, participated in the Series C, has built an impressive set of low latency and specialized architectures pushing the entire cloud ecosystem forward in price, performance, and capacity for specialized computing.

Third is the collaboration of software vendors and developers who have embraced cloud deployment and licensing models.  Rescale’s partnership ecosystem has grown to over 80 commercial partners serving over 680 turnkey applications in our software catalog.  Platform capabilities built into Rescale have also enabled open source partners and developers to publish their own software, opening up the ecosystem to all.

Lastly, and most importantly, are the customers and design partners working with Rescale to chart a path towards digital R&D operations – leveraging cloud not only as a place to run applications, but as a way to change how scientists and engineers collaborate and how they accelerate commercializing new product innovations.  Samsung, whose venture arm, Samsung Catalyst, participated in the Series C, is a great example of bringing digital R&D capabilities to their fabless customers through Samsung Foundry’s cloud design platform, revolutionizing the chip design and fabrication industry.

Focusing on What Matters

In 2020, the world witnessed the pivotal role that science and engineering plays in all of our lives. In the blink of an eye, the world’s economy was devastated, with lives lost in the millions. While medical practitioners held the front line, we turned to our scientists and engineers to develop our weapons against this deadly disease.  To do our part, Rescale was the first to launch a global coalition with our cloud provider partners, enabling all researchers to access millions of dollars of free supercomputing resources to tackle COVID-19. Again, our scientists & engineers delivered. 

As we emerge from the challenges of 2020, we must empower our engineers and scientists with intelligent computing and digital R&D capabilities that will help us accelerate innovation and build a better future.  We are still in the early days of realizing the impact the next generation of computing will have as it powers R&D to solve some of the most impactful and important problems of our future.  In the years ahead, scientists and engineers will continue to help us not only tackle disease, but also to drive the new innovations that power the future of space exploration, autonomous driving, personalized medicine, and sustainable energy.  We are in service to their success, and they deserve the best we can provide.

 

Joris Poort,

Founder & CEO

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