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Hyundai and Samsung $100 Million Investment in Tenstorrent

AI chip developer Tenstorrent raises $100 million in a funding round led by Hyundai and Samsung Catalyst Fund to accelerate AI chip development and machine learning software.

Key Points

  • Tenstorrent secures $100 million in strategic financing led by Hyundai and Samsung Catalyst Fund for AI chip development.
  • Hyundai aims to strengthen AI technology development and support future mobilities through the investment.
  • Funds will be used to accelerate product development, including AI chiplets and machine learning software.
  • Collaboration with Hyundai and Samsung highlights growing interest in AI technology and potential for innovation in the field.

AI chip developer Tenstorrent has recently closed a successful strategic financing up-round, securing a total of $100 million.

The funding round, which was announced on August 3, 2023, was co-led by Hyundai Motor Group and the Samsung Catalyst Fund, with participation from other investors including Fidelity Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, and Maverick Capital.

Tenstorrent’s Expertise in AI Processors

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Tenstorrent specializes in selling AI processors and licensing AI and RISC-V IP to customers who want to customize their own silicon.

The company’s CEO, Jim Keller, is renowned for his previous work developing AI chips for major tech companies such as Apple, Intel, and Tesla.

According to the funding details, Hyundai contributed $30 million, Kia contributed $20 million, and the remaining $50 million came from the Samsung Catalyst Fund and other participating investors.

The funds raised will primarily be used to accelerate product development, including the design and development of AI chiplets, as well as advancements in machine learning software roadmap.

Hyundai’s Expectations

Heung-soo Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of the Global Strategy Office at Hyundai Motor Group, expressed his views on the investment, stating that the group aims to develop optimized but differentiated semiconductor technology that will support future mobilities and strengthen their internal capabilities in AI technology development.

This investment in Tenstorrent comes at a time when companies are competing with Nvidia, the current market leader in AI chip development. The increasing demand for high-powered semiconductor chips for AI systems has intensified competition, with other players like AMD also announcing upcoming AI chip releases.

Collaboration with Giants like Hyundai and Samsung

Tenstorrent’s collaboration with industry giants like Hyundai and Samsung underscores the growing interest in AI technology and the potential for innovation in the field.

This investment aligns with Hyundai Motor Group’s aggressive adoption of technology, as evidenced by their recent acquisition of Boston Dynamics and joint venture with Aptiv.

Marco Chisari, Executive Vice President of Samsung Catalyst Fund, expressed excitement about the opportunity to work with Tenstorrent. Chisari mentioned that the company’s industry-leading technology, exceptional executive leadership, and ambitious roadmap motivated them to co-lead this funding round.

Concluding Thoughts

The strategic investment in Tenstorrent reflects a broader trend in the automotive and electronics industries, where AI and semiconductor technologies are playing pivotal roles in shaping the future of mobility and computing.

The collaboration between Tenstorrent, Hyundai, and Samsung could potentially drive new developments in AI technology, positioning them as key players in the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and machine learning.