Funds flood hardware startups, SambaNova raises $250 million

Funds flood hardware startups, SambaNova raises $250 million

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

This is the latest in series of announcements of venture capital heading toward the legions of next-generation processor hopefuls. Only a day or so ago the UK’s Graphcore pocketed an additional $150 million, which by its own account it scarcely needs. Graphcore has said it is now holding $300 million in cash (see Graphcore nears ‘double-unicorn’ status with extra funding).

SambaNova Systems’ Series C comes on top of its own Series B worth $150 million and a Series A worth $56 million. In other words VCs have ventured nearly half-a-billion dollars on a company that claims it is going to change computing.

The round was led by accounts managed by BlackRock and with participation from existing investors including GV, Intel Capital, Walden International, WRVI Capital and Redline Capital.

SambaNova Systems Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) was founded in 2017 by Rodrigo Liang and Stanford Professors Kunle Olukotun and Chris Ré. The company offers an integrated hardware and software solution with an architecture optimized for dataflow from algorithms to silicon, enabling a broad range of compute-intensive applications to run from the datacenter to the edge. SambaNova Systems’ reconfigurable dataflow architecture enables applications to drive optimized hardware configurations. Software will no longer be confined by the constraints of fixed hardware, the company states.

What remains unclear is whether SambaNova’s business model will have it sell services based on the use of its own datacenters; or sell computers to datacenters, or sell chips to computer builders, or all of the above.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Graphcore nears ‘double-unicorn’ status with extra funding

NovuMind benchmarks tensor processor

SambaNova heads to ‘unicorn’ status, raises $150 million

Intel pays $2 billion for AI chip firm

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