Nvidia has a serious competitor21. April 2021
Nvidia has a serious competitor
San Francisco, 4/21/2021
SambaNova, a developer of AI hardware and software systems, has raised $676 million in funding that values the startup at more than $5.1 billion. The Nvidia competitor makes chips for AI processes, which it uses to build servers and AI software that it leases to other companies.
SambaNova’s chips are manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. SambaNova has been able to escape the global chip shortage by securing production capacity at TSMC through investment. SambaNova develops integrated systems that run on hardware.
CEO Rodrigo Lang said the purchase of its integrated hardware and software platform, which runs AI apps from the data center to the edge, eliminates the need to hire many machine learning experts.
Liang, a longtime Oracle executive, founded the company in 2017 with Stanford professors Kunle Olukotun and Chris Re.
SambaNova launched Dataflow-as-a-Service as an on-demand service in December. Companies pay for a subscription to access SambaNova’s AI system. Customers using the offering include Argonne National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The latest funding – the third-largest VC deal in chips in the past 20 years – was led by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund 2, the Japanese investment firm’s AI-focused tech investment fund. The Silicon Valley startup has raised more than $1 billion to date. It has more than 350 employees and plans to reach more than 500 by year’s end.