Newcomer NUVIA Raised $53 Million In Effort To Beat AMD And Intel In The Data Center

Data Center
A chip design startup founded by a trio of former Apple semiconductor architects just raised $53 million in funding. The company is called NUVIA and it hopes to make a splash in the data center by "reimagining chip design to deliver industry-leading performance and energy efficiency." Should Intel and AMD be worried?

That remains to be seen, and will depend on NUVIA's ability to execute its vision. The data center is where the big money in chip design is at, though, and it is currently dominated by Intel's Xeon processors. Meanwhile, AMD is making a spirited run with its latest generation EPYC processors, and NVIDIA has a stake as well, with its GPU accelerators.

Competing with established heavyweights is no easy task. At the same time, though NUVIA is a newcomer to the field, its founders John Bruno, Manu Gulati, and Gerald Williams III collectively bring experience from engineering leadership roles at some pretty big technology firms, including AMD, Apple, ARM, Broadcom, and Google.

"The world is creating more data than it can process as we become increasingly dependent on high-speed information access, always-on rich media experiences and ubiquitous connectivity," said Gerard Williams III, CEO, NUVIA. "A step-function increase in compute performance and power efficiency is needed to feed these growing user needs. The timing couldn’t be better to create a new model for high-performance silicon design with the support of a world-class group of investors."

Between the three founders, they have helped design 20 chips, with more than 100 patents granted to date. It looks as though at least part of the funds raised will be used to hire additional talent—NUVIA has several job postings, and is in search of a thermal engineer, lead SoC power management architect, SRAM circuit design engineer, CPU physical design engineer, and various roles.

According to Reuters, NUVIA's goal is to apply the lessons its founders learned from designing small and powerful mobile chips, such as those found in Apple's iPhones, and apply the knowledge to larger and more powerful data centers.

"We are witnessing a renaissance of silicon, as with the end of Moore’s Law, new semiconductors are required for a cloud-native, data-dominated, AI-powered IoT world," said Navin Chaddha, Managing Director of Mayfield. "It is an honor to partner with John, Manu, Gerard and their team as they put silicon back into Silicon Valley."

It's an ambitious goal for sure. At the same time, there are some really smart minds at NUVIA. This is one to keep an eye on.