Intel, Dell-backed Startup Raises $250M to Build AI Chips

Rivos is finalizing its first hardware product to power large language models

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

April 18, 2024

2 Min Read
Futuristic microchip processor with lights on the blue background
Getty Images

Chip startup Rivos has raised $250 million in series A-3 funding to build high-performance hardware for AI workloads.

Founded in 2021, Rivos is building RISC-V-based AI server chips to power large language model training and inferencing.

Matrix Capital Management led the round, joined by Intel Capital, Dell Technologies Capital and Koch Disruptive Technologies. Cambium Capital, Hotung Venture Group and MediaTek also invested in the chipmaking startup.

Rivos will use the funds to finalize its first silicon product. The startup will also expand its manufacturing operations and software engineering efforts.

“The rapid changes in large language models and the merger with the data analytics stack makes it vital that accelerators be easy to program and debug, and that data can seamlessly move between CPU and accelerator,” said Puneet Kumar, Rivos co-founder and CEO. “Rivos addresses this need through our recompile-not-redesign approach.”

The Santa Clara-based startup offers server chips that merge an AI accelerator with a CPU, with the hardware optimized for running AI models and powering data analytics applications.

Rivos is also developing software solutions to support its chip’s open source architecture, similar to Nvidia’s CUDA toolkit.

"Expanding the application of data analytics and large language models to encompass not just traditional data types such as text, images, and video, but also genomic and medical data, unlocks unprecedented opportunities for innovation in research and treatment," said David Goel, Matrix Capital Management’s managing general partner. "The Rivos team has adeptly integrated the groundbreaking new RISC-V architecture with an inventive accelerator, effectively bringing this vision to life.

Related:Korean Startup Raises $72M to Build Custom Large Language Models

Rivos’ founders boast big tech backgrounds. Kumar was previously a senior director at Google and a director at Apple. Fellow co-founders Mark Hayter and Belli Kuttanna were formerly of Apple and Intel, respectively.

Away from California, the startup has offices in Austin, Fort Collins and Portland. Outside of the U.S., it has presences in Cambridge, U.K., Bangalore, India and Hsinchu in Taiwan.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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