AI Chip Startup Backed by Intel and Dell has Raised $250 Million

A $250 million series A-3 fundraising round has been secured by chip firm Rivos to develop high-performance silicon for AI applications.

Dedicated to the development of RISC-V based AI server chips for massive language model training and inferencing, Rivos was founded in 2021.

The investment was led by Matrix Capital Management and included participation from Koch Disruptive Technologies, Intel Capital, and Dell Technologies Capital. The semiconductor firm also received investments from MediaTek, Hotung Venture Group, and Cambium Capital.

The money will help Rivos complete its first silicon product. Additionally, the business will increase the scope of its software engineering and manufacturing activities.

“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,” stated Puneet Kumar, CEO and co-founder of Rivos. “Rivos addresses this need through our recompile-not-redesign approach.”

The Santa Clara-based business provides server chips with technology geared for AI model execution and data analytics applications. These chips combine a CPU and an AI accelerator.

Similar to Nvidia’s CUDA toolkit, Rivos is also creating software to support the open source design of their processor.

According to David Goel, managing general partner of Matrix Capital Management, 
“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,” “The Rivos team has adeptly integrated the groundbreaking new RISC-V architecture with an inventive accelerator, effectively bringing this vision to life.”

The founders of Rivos have extensive IT expertise. Prior to this, Kumar held the positions of director at Apple and senior director at Google. Mark Hayter and Belli Kuttanna, two other co-founders, were previously employed by Apple and Intel, respectively.

The startup maintains offices outside of California in Austin, Fort Collins, and Portland. It is present outside of the United States in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Bangalore, India, and Cambridge, United Kingdom.