Rivos Inc., a fabless Silicon Valley chip developer, has secured over $250 million in funding as it progresses toward the launch of its first product. This underscores the growing demand for innovative hardware to meet the evolving needs of artificial intelligence. The latest funding round saw Matrix Capital Management emerge as the primary contributor, with Intel Capital and MediaTek Inc. joining as new backers. Rivos aims to address the needs of AI users who seek optimized performance without the high costs associated with top-tier chips like those offered by Nvidia Corp.

The company targets customers engaged in data analytics and generative AI, seeking to capitalize on the increasing demand for AI technologies following the emergence of ChatGPT. Rivos has developed a chip leveraging the open-standard RISC-V architecture, positioning itself to compete directly with industry heavyweight Arm Holdings Plc.

Despite withholding specific details about its chip's structure, product release timeline, and valuation, Rivos plans to use the fresh funds to produce chips using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s 3NE process technology, which is among the most advanced in mass production. Notable participants in the latest funding include TSMC’s strategic partner VentureTech Alliance, along with existing supporters such as Walden Catalyst, Dell Technologies Capital, and Koch Disruptive Technologies.

Lip-Bu Tan, the founding chairman of Rivos and an early backer, expressed confidence in the long-term potential of RISC-V, specifically in the realms of data analytics and generative AI applications.

The leadership team, including CEO Puneet Kumar with a background at P.A. Semi Inc., has steered the company through legal challenges, including a lawsuit by Apple for alleged trade secret theft, and a subsequent countersuit by Rivos, citing restrictive employment agreements imposed by the tech giant. A settlement agreement reached by Apple in February has paved the way for the latest funding round, signifying a new chapter in Rivos's growth trajectory.