By Max A. Cherney
(Reuters) – Samsung’s contract chip manufacturing arm picked up a new artificial intelligence chip customer, a Canadian startup called Tenstorrent, the company said on Monday.
Tenstorrent is among a number of startups looking to challenge Nvidia, which dominates the market for AI chips. The company produces chips and intellectual property for data centers, but is also working on supplying other markets such as automotive.
As part of the deal, Tenstorrent plans to use one of Samsung’s advanced manufacturing processes, known as 4nm, to produce the chips. The Tenstorrent product manufactured by Samsung is a chiplet, and is designed to sit alongside other chiplets inside a single package.
Neither company disclosed the value of the deal, or the quantity of chips to be manufactured.
Some of Tenstorrent’s chips are built with technology known as RISC-V, and open-source semiconductor architecture that competes with Arm and x86, which Intel and Advanced Micron Devices use.
The chip Samsung will manufacture is named Quasar, and is not based on RISC-V technology.
“Tenstorrent’s focus is on developing high performance compute and delivering these solutions to customers around the world,” Tenstorrent CEO Jim Keller said in a statement.
The chip deal follows a Samsung investment in Tenstorrent in August as part of a $100 million capital raise that included Hyundai Motor Co and others.
Prior to the August funding round, Tenstorrent had raised $234.5 million and had a $1 billion valuation.
(Reporting by Max A. Cherney in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)