Former chip designers of Apple and Google launch their own startup
Priya Wadhwa
10x Industry

Former chip designers of Apple and Google launch their own startup

The US chip industry is gaining traction.

While some might owe this to the US-China trade war, there are many other reasons behind the recent surge in investments in startups from the semiconductor field. Previously, the long lead times and development periods, coupled with the short life cycles of chips, derailed venture capital investments. However, be it to curb China’s growing power or to simply boost the sector which is dominated by Intel, the US chip industry is gaining attention.

NUVIA is a California-based startup founded earlier this year by three ex-Google and ex-Apple chip designers, John Bruno, Manu Gulati, and Gerard Williams III. Going back to the early days of Silicon Valley – how it derived its name from the creation of silicon-based semiconductors – NUVIA has raised $53M in funding from venture capital firms in order to build out its proposition.

While venture capital investors generally do not like to fund hardware businesses, as they are much less scalable than a software or app-based business model, this stellar team has managed to raise the money from well-known investors such as Capricorn Investment Group, Dell Capital, Mayfield, and WRVI Capital, with participation from Nepenthe.

With the investment, the company looks to expand its operations and grow the team. Currently, NUVIA has roughly 60 employees, which it expects to expand to 100 by the end of the year. The demand for faster computer power comes as the rise in data storage is increasing quickly, with providers such as Intel hitting the boundaries of computational power in its chips.

Speaking about this limit, Gerard Williams stated that "the world is creating more data than it can process as we become increasingly dependent on high-speed information access, always-on rich media experiences and ubiquitous connectivity. 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."

Through the investment, the company hopes to catch up with the infamous Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors on a chip will double every two years – computing companies have been struggling to reach this benchmark in recent years.

With their experience working on the well-known chips used by Apple and Google, this team undoubtedly has a good shot at creating the next big chip computing startup – something that some people thought would never happen again, due to the immense size of giants like Intel and Nvidia. Nonetheless, it is exciting to see such high-profile professionals jump into the startup sphere head-first, comparable to the start of Silicon Valley. We are excited to see what happens next!