HomeWinBuzzer NewsRivos Secures $250 Million for RISC-V Chip Development Aimed at AI and...

Rivos Secures $250 Million for RISC-V Chip Development Aimed at AI and Data Analytics

Rivos, a RISC-V chip startup, got $250 million to build an AI accelerator for data analysis and large language models.


Rivos, a RISC-V chip designer based in California, has successfully secured $250 million in a series-A funding round. The startup, established in 2021, is channeling these funds into the production of its inaugural accelerator, specifically designed for and data analytics workloads. The company's ambition is to create RISC-V-compatible chips that are proficient in running large models, similar to those that power AI services like . Rivos's approach combines high-performance RISC-V CPUs with a data parallel accelerator, integrating general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU). This architecture facilitates a shared memory domain across both DDR and HBM memory types, supporting workloads that demand terabytes of memory.

Technical Innovations and Market Positioning

The specifics of Rivos's chip architecture, including the precise role of the RISC-V cores within the design, remain under wraps. It is speculated that these cores might serve a function akin to the SiFive cores found in some of Google's Tensor Processing Units, managing the hardware and ensuring a continuous feed of data for matrix multiplication tasks. Manufactured using TSMC's advanced 3nm process technology, the same technology utilized by Apple for its latest silicon, Rivos's chips are poised for integration into multi-chip Open Compute Project reference servers. This strategic choice underscores Rivos's intent to cater to datacenter applications, positioning its products as viable alternatives for potentially smaller installations where solutions from companies like might not be cost-effective.

Legal Challenges and Software Ecosystem Development

Rivos's journey has not been without its challenges. In early 2022, the company found itself in a legal tangle with , which accused Rivos of poaching employees knowledgeable in A- and M-series system-on-chip (SoC) designs. The dispute was eventually settled earlier this year, clearing a path for Rivos to attract investment. Beyond hardware, Rivos is also focusing on developing an open software stack to support its RISC-V-based compute platform. Recognizing the importance of a mature ecosystem for attracting developers, Rivos aims to support AI applications and databases that are compatible with frameworks like PyTorch, JAX, Spark, and PostgreSQL.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.