SiFive Inc., a startup chip designer that harnesses open-source and proprietary technologies to develop semiconductor solutions, announced on May 5th that it has raised $175 million in a funding round that values the company at $2.5 billion. SiFive, founded in 2015, is best known for its RISC-V architectures and provides an open-source platform that enables developers to customise chips with required features.
This new round of funding will help the company capitalise on the growing demand for semiconductors in emerging markets such as IoT, AI and ML (machine learning) applications.
The money was raised through an electronic private placement of common stock representing 9.9% of equity stakeholders at a pre-money valuation of $2 billion. The latest funding, led by Faithful Ventures with participation from existing investors SMD, TSVC and Intel Capital as well as new investors D1 Capital Partners and SK Hynix Valley Fund along with strategic investors Qualcomm Ventures and Western Digital Capital, will be used to fuel growth opportunities for SiFive in various fields including system design tools such as SiFiverice for customization of RISC‑V processors implementations.
Additionally, the funds will help support research into additional processor IP cores to serve the expanding range of applications driving today’s embedded market requirements across autonomous vehicles systems, industrial automation machine learning applications and 5G wireless communications networks just to name a few examples.
RISC-V chip designer SiFive raises $175M at a $2.5 billion valuation
SiFive is a California-based chip designer focusing on system-on-chip (SoC) designs using the open source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA).
Founded in 2015, SiFive has recently seen a meteoric rise and is at the forefront of the RISC-V revolution. Recently, SiFive has announced the closing of a $175 million Series D funding round, valuing the company at an impressive $2.5 billion.
What is RISC-V?
RISC-V is an open source instruction set architecture (ISA) based on Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC), a type of instruction set used in computer processors. It is a free and open alternative to proprietary processor architectures such as ARM and x86. The RISC-V ISA provides an extensible instruction set that allows different vendors and research teams to implement customised solutions for embedded systems and general purpose CPUs, with minimal changes to the programming model.
RISC-V chips are designed for flexibility, making them suitable for various applications from embedded devices to high-performance desktop or server processors. In addition, they are efficient, cost-effective, easy to program, and offer custom control over system design decisions such as clock speed and power consumption.
It has seen significant global adoption since its release in 2011, with industry giants like Google, Qualcomm, Microsoft and IBM implementing the ISA into their products. In addition, more chipstartups have recently raised money by adopting RISC-V technology, including SiFive Inc., which just closed a $175 million round of venture funding at a $2.5 billion valuation – the highest amount ever invested in a chip company based on RISC-V technology alone.
What is SiFive?
SiFive is a San Mateo-based semiconductor company that offers processors and system-on-chip (SoC) products based on the open source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA). Founded in 2015, SiFive is considered an innovator in the RISC-V space, having built the first commercial processors based on the technology.
SiFive has been backed by several billion dollar venture capitalists and strategic investors since its series A funding round. Its current $2.5B valuation results from its most recent Series D funding round, during which SiFive raised $175M. This brings its total raised funding to date to nearly $280M.
The company aims to be a leader in the chip design space by continuing to build advanced designs and solutions for customers in various industries including 5G, IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing and more. By introducing RISC-V technology with reduced costs and increased safety assurance for customers’ hardware projects, SiFive is well positioned to profoundly shape the future of processors with custom silicon innovation for all kinds of applications.
RISC-V chip designer SiFive recently raised a whopping $175M in a funding round, valuing the company at $2.5B. SiFive designs and manufactures custom silicon chips for high performance and low-power consumption customers.
Led by Intel and Koch Strategic Platforms, the round also included SK Hynix, Naver, Qualcomm Ventures, and newcomers to the SiFive ecosystem including CPT Capital, Craft Ventures, and Hatcher.
Details of the Funding Round
RISC-V chip designer SiFive Inc. announced it has completed a $175 million funding round at a post-money valuation of $2.5 billion. This latest investment marks the second largest venture capital financing round in the semiconductor industry and the largest ever for an open-source hardware technology company.
Baillie Gifford led the financing alongside existing investors Intel Capital, SK hynix, Qualcomm Ventures, Western Digital, Glade Brook Capital Partners, Huami, Sozo Ventures and TUS Holdings. This new funding comes from SiFive’s recent acquisition of NGCodec to bring AI video encoding to its high performance RISC-V cores.
The funds will be used to accelerate product development in SiFive’s high performance core IP portfolio with aims to offer customers faster time-to-market; expand partnerships and programs engaging the design and developer communities; continue R&D initiatives focusing on bringing access increasingly powerful AI capabilities to edge applications; increase its global presence; and maintain its leadership position in RISC-V commercialization efforts.
SiFive is also building a platform for developers to easily access industry leading tools, SDKs and development boards based on central RISC-V core IP and application using kit specific TCP IP/E mixes optimised for AI/ML workloads at every node along the edge compute continuum. These offerings are designed to enable developers from all sorts of companies—whether startups or big players—gain better IO optimization which is central for most cloud workloads by utilising more efficient silicon design technology like URISC microarchitecture with an even mix of ease of use first principals throughout their entire development cycle.
Impact of the Funding Round
The funding round is a major milestone for SiFive, the leading provider of core system-on-chip (SoC) solutions built around the novel RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA). The funding round included investments from existing venture capital firms and household names such as Intel Capital, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Western Digital Capital, Spark Capital and Qualcomm Ventures.
The new influx of capital provides SiFive with the resources to expand its product portfolio to include RISC-V based chip designs in various markets such as data centres, infrastructure and industrial computing applications. In addition, the new funds allow SiFive to continue its track record of providing innovative products that address customer needs through advanced design technologies and high performance SoCs.
The impact of this funding round also extends beyond just additional resources for growth. The $2.5 billion valuation reflects a vote of confidence from investors in the success SiFive has had thus far in the emerging market for low power RISC-V chip solutions. Moreover, it shows potential for significant growth in this area as companies increasingly focus on RISC-V complementary and alternative solutions as an agnostic platform when building complex systems on chips. This trend is expected to continue as more companies recognize the cost savings associated with using RISC-V compatible chips while also achieving superior performance than traditional architectures can provide.
RISC-V chip designer SiFive has seen a significant increase in its valuation following its $175M funding round. The company has now achieved a valuation of $2.5 billion, making it one of the most valuable semiconductor companies in the world.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why SiFive has achieved such a high valuation.
Reasons for SiFive’s High Valuation
RISC-V chip designer SiFive has made headlines after a successful $175 million funding round that set the company’s valuation at $2.5 billion — an impressive feat for a company only seven years old. This high valuation is due to several factors, including SiFive’s leadership within the RISC-V market, its technology innovations, and strong market adoption of its products.
SiFive is the world’s leading provider of RISC-V processor IP. Its innovative technology allows OEMs to quickly design tailored chips and expand their functionality as needed. This capability provides OEMs immense flexibility in developing new products/applications across multiple industries and geographies while reducing development costs associated with proprietary processors. Additionally, SiFive offers robust tools and support capabilities that enable customers to take advantage of RISC-V-based solutions’ scalability.
In addition to its technological capabilities, strong market adoption of its products has contributed to SiFive’s high valuation. The company offers processors with varying degrees of complexity for multiple applications such as embedded systems, autonomous vehicles, healthcare devices, communications infrastructure and numerous other hardware/software applications—making it attractive for expansion into new markets as well as for existing markets with varying budget constraints or requirements for customization or tailored chipsets . This widespread customer base makes SiFive well positioned for long term success in multiple industries worldwide even when confronted with shifting market dynamics due to changing technologies or customers’ needs.
Finally, strong interest from leading venture capital firms and backing from Intel Capital are additional indicators demonstrating confidence in SiFive’s vision and performance thus far, which further boosted the company’s high pre-IPO evaluation before going public, a rare feat in today’s business environment.
SiFive’s $2.5 billion valuation came largely from a recent $175 million funding round led by Coatue, LG Technology Ventures, and Baillie Gifford. SiFive is a custom chip designer that uses the open source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA). The company is the largest independent provider of RISC-V based Processors and IP worldwide, supplying customers with customizable high-performance processor cores and subsystems to enable product differentiation.
tags = RISC-V, SiFive, chip designer, raises $175M, riscv sifive 175m series 350m takahashiventurebeat, alternative processor architecture, major global compute platforms, catalyzing the RISC-V ecosystem