BrainChip (ASX:BRN) share price up 20% and hits $3bn market capitalisation

BrainChip has somehow become a $3 billion company today…

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Key points

  • BrainChip shares jumped 20% in response to press release
  • This took the company’s market capitalisation to $3 billion
  • BrainChip competing with tech behemoths spending billions each year on just a tiny budget

The BrainChip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN) share price has been a remarkably strong performer on Tuesday.

In afternoon trade, the artificial intelligence technology company’s shares are up 20% to $1.78.

Why is the BrainChip share price shooting higher?

Investors have been bidding the BrainChip share price higher today despite there being no announcements released to the market.

However, it is worth noting that the company issued a press release overnight. While this release wasn’t deemed material enough to be released as an ASX announcement, it has managed to catapult the BrainChip share price higher and added a cool $500 million to its market capitalisation.

The latter now stands at ~$3 billion, which means the company is larger than the likes of Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE), Link Administration Holdings Ltd (ASX: LNK), and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) despite recording revenue of less than US$800,000 during the first half.

What was announced?

According to the press release, BrainChip has begun taking orders for the first commercially available Mini PCIe board leveraging its Akida advanced neural networking processor. It notes that this rounds out its suite of AKD1000 offerings.

The release explains that the AKD1000-powered Mini PCIe boards can be plugged into a developer’s existing system to unlock capabilities for a wide array of edge AI applications. These include Smart City, Smart Health, Smart Home, and Smart Transportation.

BrainChip advised that it will also offer the full PCIe design layout files and the bill of materials (BOM) to system integrators and developers to enable them to build their own boards and implement AKD1000 chips in volume as a stand-alone embedded accelerator or as a co-processor.

BrainChip CEO, Sean Hehir, commented: “I am excited that people will finally be able to enjoy a world where AI meets the Internet of Things. We have been working on developing our Akida technology for more than a decade and with the full commercial availability of our AKD1000, we are ready to fully execute on our vision.  Other technologies are simply not capable of the autonomous, incremental learning at ultra-low power consumption that BrainChip’s solutions can provide. Getting these chips into as many hands as possible is how the next generation of AI becomes reality.”

Given the company’s $3 billion valuation, expectations are incredibly high for BrainChip and its technology.

Whether it can compete effectively against behemoths such as Intel and Nvidia remains to be seen. But as they have multi billion dollar budgets to invest in research and development (R&D) each year, BrainChip may have an uphill battle on its hands.

In 2020 Intel spent US$13.56 billion on R&D and in FY 2021 Nvidia spent US$3.9 billion on R&D. Whereas BrainChip spent just $4.4 million on R&D during the first half of FY 2021.

Food for thought for investors as the BrainChip market capitalisation hits $3 billion.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended Link Administration Holdings Ltd and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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