A trio of former top Apple executives have been announced as the management team behind NUVIA Inc, a start-up that aims to take on Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) in developing processors for data centres.
Gerard Williams III, Manu Gulati and John Bruno were previously semiconductor bosses in charge of iPhone chips.
The company, which was formed earlier this year, also disclosed today that it has raised $53 million from Dell Technologies Capital and several Silicon Valley venture firms. The investment will enable them to expand from 60 employees to around 100 by the end of the year and ultimately lead to the creation of a processor called Phoenix.
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The founders told Reuters that they aim to make a chip that is faster, more power efficient and more secure than existing data centre processors. They would achieve this by applying the lessons they had learned from designing powerful chips for small, battery-powered devices such as iPhones.
“We want to bring all these aspects that we have developed over time through our careers to this new market and really exploit them in this market, because it’s an area ripe for innovation and advancement,” Williams told Reuters.
The news has already created waves in the semiconductor community. NUVIA will, however, face many high profile competitors. Qualcomm Inc, Marvell Technology Group and Ampere Computing, a start-up founded by Intel’s former president, are also vying for a slice of the burgeoning data centre processor market.
There is some speculation as to whether Dell, who are one of Intel’s largest customers, will use NUVIA’s chips given that Dell Technologies Inc’s venture arm is one of the company’s biggest investors.
Scott Darling, president of the venture group, said he could not comment but stated, “the silicon industry is relentless. It pounds forward. You have to have a world-class team to do something disruptive enough that it will prevail despite the response of competitors. At NUVIA, we think we have found one.”
According to Allied Market Research the global data centre chip market was valued at $7,718.9 million in 2017, and is projected to reach $15,641.1 million by 2025, much of it driven by the growth in cloud computing.
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