Emilio Billi’s journey started back in 1996 when he was a nuclear engineering student and became passionate about AI and computer-assisted calculus. He specialized in mathematics and devoted himself to the study of supercomputers. At that point of time, Emilio realized that computer power was essential to exploit AI and make it a reality. He felt that just as a human brain possesses an enormous amount of computing power, which is higher than most supercomputers, it was essential to arrive at a computing power that at least came close at a reasonable price to that of a brain to operate the AI systems. So, he started studying how to transform commercial computers into real supercomputers at a very reasonable price and within reach of many. Emilio eventually developed faster hardware computing engines and interconnection systems, which can connect thousands of processors extremely efficiently. At this point of time, he designed very low latency communication protocols. Emilio was also involved in creating the HyperTransport bus, which all AMD processors later used; then, in 2012, it was used by Cray, one of the first supercomputers manufacturers in the world. Driven by the obtained results, Emilio conceived several variants that are still being used in modern processors today.
The Inception Story
Later in 2012, with Antonella Rubico, Emilio Co-founded San Jose-based A3Cube Inc. to transform ordinary servers into extraordinary supercomputers. With his tremendous industry experience, Emilio designed his supercomputers while also dedicating himself to developing increasingly complex algorithms for artificial vision in the industrial field and accelerating access to data in large distributed systems. Along with his company, A3Cube, Emilio created hardware database accelerators like Hadoop and Spark for market forecasting, predictive machine, early diagnostics, etc.
Two years ago, Emilio got a great idea and leveraged his tremendous experience in peripheral interconnect technologies; he designed GRIFO, a supercomputer the size of a rack cabinet with the computing power of a large data center dedicated to data analysis and AI.
“We are living in a historical and technological moment where knowledge will make the difference between being a protagonist or a mere follower, and I want to continue to be a pioneer and protagonist in new technological challenges”
“GRIFO, which today is my real workhorse, has the power of 3 million traditional servers when used for data analysis and the power of many thousands of ordinary computers when used for artificial intelligence while being compatible with standard software on the market.”- says Emilio. “This achievement has been so exciting that it has given me new energy: it is an incredible idea that has opened the door to collaborations with the Department of Defense, large industrial groups, and top-tier companies worldwide.”
Under his leadership, A3Cube is revolutionizing the marketplace for high-performance data analysis and overcoming the challenges of scalable data center architecture and technologies. Before founding the organization, Emilio used to run his own firm for a decade and developed HIDRA personal supercomputer and software suite, the first practical and commercialized compact professional personal supercomputer.
A Different Organization
Emilio feels that A3Cube is a unique company in many ways. It successfully looked beyond the financial and Venture Capitalist trends; it always wanted to play where others had no interest. “I love my job, I love challenges, and I love speed because, for me, computing power is speed. It’s like human intelligence: the smarter you are, the faster you think, the more things you can do, the more successful you can be, and the more problems you can solve.”– he explained.
He has realized that the market also agrees with A3Cube’s vision, and everyone is slowly moving in its direction. With its groundbreaking products, A3Cube is still at the forefront of technology, growing its revenue quickly. As a leading technology tailor, the firm can produce unique systems for solving problems that are nearly impossible for other firms.
A Moment of Reflection
Emilio feels that Covid has been a moment of reflection for him and his company, a reflection on the way of doing business and, at the same time, an opportunity to renew the way of thinking about business and business organizations.
“Today, we can concretely think of a liquid company where it is no longer the physical place that makes the company itself, but the ideas, values, and people are the real wealth. We have been accustomed to thinking that profit is the only purpose of work; today, I think you have to give more than you get paid, thinking of work as a way to improve yourself by improving the lives of others.”– states Emilio.
He feels that in this way, one can end up with much more than he/she would have gotten by only chasing profits. However, to do that, one needs to create relationships with customers and listen to and help them solve problems like partners or associates.
Gearing up for the Future
As the leader of A3Cube, Emilio wants his company to become the new leader in applications of extreme complexity and a problem solver in the AI space, starting right from neural vision, to the application of general AI, to evolutionary AI.