High-performance RISC-V processor startup Rivos Inc. has hired Tim Ramsdale, formerly CEO of analog IP licesor Agile Analog Ltd., as the manager of its UK subsidiary.
Rivos (Mountain View, Calif.), is a processor developer with impressive credentials in terms of its founding team and early recruitment, is now expanding in Europe and India. Given the self-declared high-performance RISC-V description it would seem the company is going after datacenter market.
The company was founded in May 2021 by Puneet Kumar (CEO) and Mark Hayter (chief scientific officer), two executives who have been with previous processor design startups sold to Apple and Google.
The two worked together at SiByte back at the turn of the millennium before it was sold to Broadcom. They then both worked at PA Semiconductor before it was sold to Apple in 2008. They then were involved in Silicon Valley startup Agnilux which never got out of stealth-mode before it was acquired by Google in 2010.
Rivos already has US offices in Mountain View, Austin, Portland, and Colorado. It has a Bangalore-based subsidiary, Rivos Systems India Pvt Ltd., and Rivos Systems UK Ltd. based in Cambridge. The presence in Austin and Cambridge probably represents a desire to tap into the wealth of Arm processor design capability in those two cities (see Arm to lay-off up to 1,000 workers as it preps for IPO).
Prior to becoming CEO of Agile Analog Ramsdale had been general manager of the imaging and vision business unit of Arm. He is now chartered with building out the Rivos software, systems and hardware team in Cambridge, UK.
There are similarities between Rivos and another startup Nuvia, now acquired.
Nuvia was formed by executives previously with Apple and Google. The company raised a considerable amount venture capital to achieve ‘unicorn’ status. It was then acquired by Qualcomm for $1.4 billion in 2021 (see Qualcomm buys data centre chip unicorn Nuvia to take on Apple).
Rivos has not gone public on its funding to date. Its founders’ track records suggest that after first proof of architecture a company sale would be considered.
It is not clear yet what the company’s business model will be: fabless chip company or IP licensor. But that does not necessarily need to be decided until some-way down the development cycle.
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