Toronto-based AI chip startup Tenstorrent has recently secured a $100 million investment from Hyundai Motor Group and Samsung Catalyst Fund. This considerable funding will help boost the company's development of AI processors for future mobility vehicles and robots.
A joint effort by Hyundai Motor Group and Samsung Catalyst Fund, this convertible note funding round saw $50 million come from Hyundai's two car-making units - Hyundai Motor and Kia. These car manufacturers aim to collaborate with Tenstorrent in developing advanced chips, including CPUs and AI co-processors.
Founded in 2016, Tenstorrent has been devoted to creating and licensing AI processors and software solutions. The startup initially focused on developing its in-house infrastructure and launched Grayskull, a system designed to accelerate AI model training.
Feeling the heat from competitors such as Nvidia, Tenstorrent shifted its focus towards licensing and services. Today, its cloud-based service, DevCloud, lets developers run AI models without needing to first invest in hardware. Tenstorrent has also partnered with Bodhi Computing and LG to incorporate its products into their servers and automotive products.
This new funding round, totaling $100 million, pushes Tenstorrent's overall funding to $334.5 million. However, it's not just about the numbers. The fact that Hyundai and Samsung have placed their trust in Tenstorrent signifies the startup's potential in the AI chip market, forecasted to represent 20% of the $450 billion total semiconductor market by 2025.
Even in an industry marked by competition and chip shortages, Tenstorrent continues to hold its own. The challenge now is to see if this ambitious startup can go toe-to-toe with tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft in the race for AI chip supremacy.