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Esperanto Technologies Secures $58 Million in Series B Investment for AI Chips

Will Accelerate Development of 7nm Semiconductor Solutions for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Esperanto Technologies, a developer of high-performance, energy-efficient computing solutions for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) applications, announced that it has closed its Series B funding round of $58 million, with investments from several strategic and venture capital investors. This Series B round brings the total investment in Esperanto to $63 million.

Esperanto’s mission is to deliver the most energy-efficient, high-performance computing solutions for AI and ML applications leveraging the open standard RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and other open standards such as the Open Compute Platform (OCP), Pytorch ML framework, Glow ML compiler, and the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX).

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This investment will accelerate Esperanto’s product development of its first generation 7nm solutions which will include more than a thousand energy efficient ET-Minion™ RISC-V cores on a single 7nm chip. Currently the company has a staff in excess of a hundred engineers, including AI experts, processor architects, chip designers, software developers and system engineers.

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Esperanto president and CEO Dave Ditzel stated, “Despite still operating largely in stealth mode, we appreciate this strong show of support from strategic and VC investors who had confidential briefings about our plans and believe we have a compelling solution for accelerating ML applications. Esperanto has assembled one of the most experienced VLSI product engineering teams in the ML industry, and we believe that will be a differentiating factor as we drive toward our 7nm products.”

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“Next-generation applications in machine learning, AI, and real-time analytics require the highest levels of performance and optimization for these advanced workloads,” commented Martin Fink, CTO of Western Digital. “The RISC-V platform, and Esperanto solutions, free developers to innovate and optimize for special-purpose computing.” In November 2017, Western Digital announced that it had made a strategic investment in Esperanto, and that it intends to transition its own consumption of processors  two billion cores per year to RISC-V.

Esperanto was founded by Dave Ditzel, well-known entrepreneur and visionary in the computer and semiconductor industry and co-author of the seminal paper, “The Case for RISC,” with professor David Patterson, recent recipient of the Turing Award – the Nobel Prize of computing. Ditzel previously founded and was CEO of Transmeta, maker of low-power x86 microprocessors using Code Morphing Software; was vice president and chief architect for Intel’s Hybrid Parallel Computing; and was Sun Microsystems CTO for their SPARC Technology Business.

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