UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


Prof Zervas Secures £10M for AI Energy Efficiency Startup

9 April 2024

Professor George Zervas secures £10 million seed funding for Oriole Networks, a game-changer in AI training efficiency.

Professor George Zervas posing with colleagues from Oriel Networks

Oriole Networks, a dynamic spinout from University College London (UCL), has achieved a remarkable milestone. Led by Prof George Zervas (top left) of Optical Networked Systems in UCL’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Oriole Networks recently secured a substantial £10 million seed round. This infusion of capital is positioned to propel Oriole Networks’ groundbreaking work at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and energy efficiency.

Oriole Networks tackles a critical challenge: the energy-intensive nature of AI training. As AI models grow in complexity and scale, so does their power consumption. Oriole Networks aims to revolutionise this landscape.

Prof Zervas' work leading a research team in the Optical Networks Group can be viewed below (from 1:12):

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84pa37_krww


At the heart of Oriole Networks’ innovation lies an optical infrastructure. Prof Zervas and his team have harnessed light to directly connect thousands of AI Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). These interconnected “super-brains” promise unprecedented gains in AI performance while addressing energy inefficiencies.

Key advantages include:

  • Speed: Oriole’s technology accelerates Large Language Model (LLM) training by up to 100 times compared to conventional methods.
  • Efficiency: with a remarkable 40-fold improvement in power efficiency, Oriole Networks slashes energy consumption.
  • Latency: machine learning algorithms can now run with a thousandth of the latency, enabling time-critical tasks.
  • Sustainability: by using a fraction of the network power, Oriole Networks contributes to a greener AI ecosystem

The recent £10 million seed funding round, co-led by the UCL Technology Fund, Clean Growth Fund, XTX Ventures, and Dorilton Ventures, underscores the significance of Oriole Networks’ breakthrough. 

As Oriole Networks advances toward sustainable, efficient AI solutions, Prof George Zervas’ vision resonates with the demand to support AI development. UCL’s commitment to innovation is realised through the work of this exciting spinout.