Nuvia, an HPC chip startup founded by former Apple executives, raises $240 million

Nuvia, an HPC chip startup founded by former Apple executives, raises $240 million.
Image: YouTube | Coreteks

Nuvia, Inc., a chip startup founded by three former Apple executives, recently secured $240 million in Series B funding. The firm will use its new capital to develop its high-performance computing (HPC) data center processors.

Though it only came into existence last year, the company plans to sell its first products by 2022.

A Promising Chip Industry Newcomer

Nuvia’s co-founders, CEO Gerard Williams and senior vice presidents John Bruno and Manu Gulati, intend to take on server component industry leaders with a “reimagined” HPC chipset.

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Before forming their own company, the trio helped develop the chips that power Apple’s smartphones, tablets, and computers. The group is harnessing that experience to craft cutting-edge central processing units (CPUs) for the server arena. The firm stated its hardware will outperform current generation data center products with a greater level of energy efficiency.

Despite its youth, Nuvia has already laid out an ambitious road map.

Williams recently told Forbes his firm would use its Series B funding to fabricate its product by 2021. Subsequently, the startup intends to make its silicon and two varieties of its reference platform available commercially the following year. The company plans to target corporations using Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel’s x86 data center system-on-a-chips (SoCs).

Can Nuvia Compete with Chip Sector Heavyweights?

Since Nuvia’s products will not be hitting the market for another few years, it is hard to gauge its prospects.

That said, the details the company has released about its offerings are intriguing. Williams said his startup’s SoC, codenamed “Orion,” will beat competing server chips on “efficiency, scalability, density, and TCO (total cost of ownership).” The firm is also developing a single thread CPU dubbed “Phoenix” that will offer superior performance even though it’s a single-thread processor without boost clocks.

Nuvia’s vision of a new type of data center SoC has impressed investors enough to fill its coffers. Before its latest fundraising round, the startup secured $53 million in Series A capital. In addition, the company has recently attracted the interest of some major technology industry players.

Mithril Capital, an investment firm co-founded by Facebook’s Peter Thiel, led Nuvia’s $240 million Series B round. Dell’s venture capital department also poured money into the startup, as did Marvell Technology co-founders Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai.

The firm received financial backing from those high-profile organizations and individuals because they all want the same thing: a revolutionary server chipset. The company’s investors know that long-established industries can be massively disrupted and moved forward by one innovative startup.

While there is no guarantee Nuvia will be such a firm, the pedigree of its founders and potential of its technology indicate it just might.


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