AI chip developer Tenstorrent has successfully closed a $100 million strategic financing up-round, co-led by Hyundai Motor Group and the Samsung Catalyst Fund. The funding round was announced on August 3, 2023, and includes participation from other investors such as Fidelity Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, Maverick Capital, and more.
Tenstorrent, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with global offices in various locations, specializes in selling AI processors and licensing AI and RISC-V IP to customers who wish to own and customize their silicon. The company’s CEO, Jim Keller, has previously developed AI chips for major tech companies like Apple, Intel, and Tesla.
The funding details reveal that $30 million came from Hyundai, $20 million from Kia, and $50 million from the Catalyst Fund by Samsung and other participating investors. The funds will be used to “accelerate the company’s product development, the design and development of AI chiplets,” and further advancements in its machine learning software roadmap.
Heung-soo Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of the Global Strategy Office at Hyundai Motor Group, commented on the investment, stating that the Group expects to “develop optimized but differentiated semiconductor technology that will aid future mobilities and strengthen internal capabilities in AI technology development.”
The investment comes at a time when developers are competing with Nvidia, the current market leader in AI chip development. The growing demand for high-powered semiconductor chips to develop AI systems has led to increased competition in the market, with companies like AMD also announcing details of forthcoming AI chips.
Tenstorrent’s collaboration with industry giants like Hyundai and Samsung highlights the growing interest in AI technology and the potential for innovation in the field. The investment also aligns with Hyundai Motor Group’s aggressive adoption of technology, including their acquisition of Boston Dynamics and joint venture with Aptiv.
Samsung Catalyst Fund’s EVP, Marco Chisari, expressed excitement about the opportunity to work with Tenstorrent, stating that the company’s “industry-leading technology, executive leadership, and aggressive roadmap motivated us to co-lead this funding round.”
The strategic investment in Tenstorrent is indicative of a broader trend in the automotive and electronics industries, where AI and semiconductor technologies are playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of mobility and computing. The collaboration between Tenstorrent, Hyundai, and Samsung may pave the way for new developments in AI technology, positioning them as key players in the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
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