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The 10 Hottest Semiconductor Startups Of 2020

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
According to CRN:

Ampere Computing
CEO: Renee James
Founded and led by former Intel executive Renee James, Ampere Computing is building Arm-based server CPUs with a focus on high-performance, power efficiency and total cost of ownership. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup revealed two processors this year: the 80-core Ampere Altra, which the company pitched as the “first cloud-native CPU for modern cloud and edge computing data centers,” and the 128-core Ampere Altra Max, which provides the “industry’s highest socket-level performance and I/O scalability.” More recently, Oracle, which has invested $40 million in Ampere, announced that it will launch cloud instances based on 80-core Ampere Altra processors.

Astera Labs
CEO: Jitendra Mohan
Astera Labs provides “system-aware” integrated circuits, boards and services for enabling the next generation of PCIe connectivity in data centers.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup announced in April that it had raised a Series B funding round from investors, including Intel Capital. The company used that investment to enter mass production for its Aries Smart Retimers for PCIe 4.0 and begin sampling for its Aries Smart Retimers for PCIe 5.0. Both products are meant to enable next-generation PCIe connectivity in server systems.

Ayar Labs
CEO: Charlie Wuischpard
Led by former Intel executive Charlie Wuischpard, Ayar Labs aims to solve data center bottlenecks in throughput and power with high-speed, high-density, low-power optical-based interconnect chiplets to replace traditional I/O components. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup announced in November that it had raised a $35 million Series B funding round from several investors, including Globalfoundries and Intel Capital. The company claims that its technology, which moves data using light instead of electricity, can drive an improvement of 1,000 times the interconnect bandwidth density at 10 times less power.

EdgeQ
CEO: Vinay Ravuri
EdgeQ wants to enable the next wave of edge computing and networking by converging 5G connectivity and AI compute onto a system-on-a-chip. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup emerged out of stealth mode in November with $51 million in funding from investors, which included a $38.5 million Series A funding round. The company’s team includes semiconductor, 5G, Wi-Fi and AI industry veterans such as former Qualcomm executive Vinay Ravuri, who is the company’s CEO and founder. The company said its system-on-a-chip will have open programmability and drive a software-driven development model for OEMs and operators as a result, for existing cellular protocols and beyond. The company’s target markets include manufacturing, construction, energy and automotive.

Fungible
CEO: Pradeep Sindhu
Fungible wants to power next-generation data centers with its Fungible data processing unit, which it says can remove costly inefficiencies for workloads like virtualization and storage. After revealing the Fungible DPU in August, the San Jose, Calif.-based startup revealed its first line of data-centric platforms, the Fungible Storage Cluster, which provides a high-performance, secure, scale-out, disaggregated data storage platform. The company says the rack solution can help consolidate workloads, increase utilization of storage media and improve footprint as well as dollars per IOPS by at least three times over existing software-defined solutions. The company has raised more than $300 million from investors, including a $200 million Series C round that was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund.

Kameleon Security
CEO: Jorge Myszne
Founded by Intel, Qualcomm and Microsoft veterans, Kameleon Security has developed what it calls the first “proactive” security processing unit that enforces security for a system’s lifetime. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup announced in November that it is collaborating with Xilinx to release the Kameleon ProSPU, a cyber protection chip for servers, data centers and cloud computing that combines the company’s security processing unit with Xilinx FPGAs. Kameleon Security is designing the Kameleon ProSPU, which is set to launch in 2021, to be compliant with Open Compute Project standards, and the company plans to release the chip’s source code.

Nuvia
CEO: Gerard Williams III
Nuvia aims to make the “world’s leading server processor” by redefining performance, energy efficiency, scalability, compute density and total cost of ownership in the data center. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup announced in September that it had raised a $240 million Series B funding round from investors, which included Dell Technologies Capital and Marvell Technology Group founders Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai. The company was founded by former Apple semiconductor executives Gerard Williams III, Manu Gulati and John Bruno. In August, the company said it is aiming to provide 40 to 50 percent higher performance for single-threaded workloads over AMD’s Zen 2 architecture with its Phoenix CPU core.

Pensando
CEO: Prem Jain
Pensando aims to help companies take on Amazon Web Services with a custom, programmable P4 processor that delivers edge services at scale with low-power requirements. The Milpitas, Calif.-based startup announced in November that it had received an investment from Qualcomm Ventures after raising a $145 million Series C round last year led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Pensando also has the backing of former Cisco CEO John Chambers, who is the chairman of the company’s board. The company over the summer announced that its Pensando Distributed Services Platform is available on HPE servers as a factory-requested option as part of its strategic OEM relationship with the IT giant.

Pliops
CEO: Uri Beitler
Founded by flash storage industry veterans from Samsung, M-Systems and XtremIO, Pliops aims to shake up data center storage economics with a hardware accelerator.
After raising $30 million in a Series B funding round from Intel, Western Digital and Xilinx in 2019, the San Jose, Calif.-based startup announced in July that its Storage Processor had been tested by more than 10 tier-one cloud and enterprise companies and proved to boost storage performance by more than 10 times, reduce latency by up to 1,000 times and increase flash price-performance by more than 90 percent. Use cases for the Pliops Storage Processor include application acceleration, dynamic capacity expansion, drive fail protection and extended life for SSDs.

SiFive
CEO: Patrick Little
SiFive is building processor cores and custom silicon solutions for AI, high-performance computing and other growing markets based on the open and free RISC-V instruction set architecture The San Mateo, Calif.-based startup announced in August that it had raised a $61 million Series E funding round led by SK Hynix, with participation from several other investors, including Western Digital Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Intel Capital. A month later the company appointed former Qualcomm executive Patrick Little as its new CEO. The company has achieved several other milestones this year, including the introduction of a new RISC-V processor architecture, a massive update to its processor IP portfolio and the launch of a custom silicon business unit dedicated to building domain-specific systems-on-chip.

I would also add:

Cornami
CEO: Wally Rhines
Cornami started as a software company with an innovative programming environment developed by Fred Furtek and Paul Master. They attacked the “tyranny of non-deterministic p-threads” with a C-like programming environment that generated independently executable streams of data and control. The result was at least an order of magnitude performance improvement in multi-core processor systems. To gain maximum advantage from the software, however, they designed a multi-core processor for machine learning. Emulation of the chip verified a one or more order of magnitude performance improvement over the best promised results of all the new post Von Neumann chip architectures as well as the Von Neumann architectures like nVidia, Ampere, and others listed above.
I Have Seen the Future – Cornami’s TruStream Computational Fabric Changes Computing


 
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