…a slew of new startups, are racing to develop new, AI-specific chips that could fundamentally change how computers are built.
Perhaps none of the startups is better positioned to go to battle with the giants than Cerebras Systems. Little is known about what kind of chip the Los Altos, California-based startup is building. But the company has quietly amassed a giant war chest to help it fund the expensive business of building chips. In three rounds of funding, Cerebras has raised $112 million, and its valuation has soared to a whopping $860 million, according to fundraising documents pulled by PitchBook.
Campbell, California-based startup Wave Computing recently revealed details of its architecture showing it has 16,000 cores in a chip dubbed the Wave Dataflow Processing Unit.
Bristol, England-based startup Graphcore said its chip will have more than 1,000 cores in its Intelligence Processing Unit.
Both Wave Computing and Graphcore have raised $60 million.
Chinese startup Cambricon recently raised $100 million in a Series A round led by a Chinese government fund for its AI chip development.
I think that it will take a while to perfect any of these technologies. Then the companies must scale up manufacturing and demonstrate working applications. Next, they must offer a complete product solution like NVDA has; NVDA has developed CUDA to support its GPUs and they will also have world class support not to mention an ecosystem.
If any of these potential companies begins to show traction and to take market share then they will likely become acquisition targets for NVDA, AMD, and Intel. I think that any disruption would take a while (several years) to play out.