Semifive raises $109m for silicon design platform

Semifive raises $109m for silicon design platform

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Korean design house Semifive has raised $109m to add high performance computing, automotive and IP blocks to its system-on-chip (SoC) design platform.

The company works closely with Samsung Foundry using a template-based platform SoC approach to significantly reduce chip development cost and project time. The platform allows chips to be developed from standardised blocks of IP with code developed early in the process on virtualised models.

The company has a deal to use the Cortex-A, Cortex-R and Cortex-M CPUs, Mali GPUs, Ethos NPUs and various system and subsystem IP from Arm in its templates. Arm is also pushing the use of virtual models to speed up chip development, particularly in AIoT.

Several AI-based semiconductor startups such as FuriosaAI, Rebellions and Mobilint have used the design services, built on Samsung’s FinFET process nodes. Semifive also offers design platforms for edge compute, AIoT, and data acceleration and plans to add high performance compute and automotive platforms to its portfolio.

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The Series B funding brings the total capital raised to $147m with investments from BonAngels, Game Changer, Korea Investment Partners, LB Investment, Mirae Asset Venture Investment and Pavilion Capital (a subsidiary of Temasek).

The cash will be used to accelerate deployment of the design platform, adding the new technologies and methodologies, scale R&D and engineering teams and build up new capabilities in IP.

“Our key focus is to enable innovation by making custom silicon accessible and affordable. We envision ourselves as the new global hub of custom silicon,” said Brandon Cho, CEO and founder of Semifive. “With the strong support from our investors, we are accelerating our strategy in the U.S. which is a pivotal base for business expansion and added capabilities. Anticipating strong growth, we are scaling our sales, customer and technical support organizations.”

In December, the company acquired Hanatec, an official Samsung Foundry Design Solution Partner (DSP) and provider of ASIC design services. This combines Hanatec’s design, turnkey, and platform services with Semifive’s SoC platform and ASIC capabilities and was the company’s third acquisition following Sesol Semiconductor, another Samsung Foundry DSP, and Dahsim in 2020.

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