Climate change is on everyone's lips these days, which has to do with the burning outer Bay Area, orange skies over San Francisco, and a hurricane season quickly affecting the east coast (and that's only the United States in the past two weeks) .
A major and growing source of these emissions is data centers, the cloud infrastructure that powers most of our devices and experiences. This led to some novel ideas, such as Microsoft's Project Natick underwater data center, which came back to the surface for testing just over a week ago.
With all the fun experiments, however, there is a more obvious solution: just make the chips more energy efficient.
This is the thesis of NUVIA, founded by three former Apple chip designers who for years directed the design of the A-series for the company's iPhones and iPads. These chips are quick to go bad within a very narrow energy range, and NUVIA's premise is essentially what happens when you apply these kind of energy constraints (and the chip design team's experience) to the data center.
We gave the company a thorough show last year when it announced its Series A, valued at $ 53 million. So be sure to read this to understand the company's founding history and mission. Now, about a year later, it comes back to us with news of a whole host of other funding.
NUVIA announced today that it has completed a Series B round worth $ 240 million, led by Mithril Capital.
Since we last had a chat with the company, we now have a little more detail on what they're working on. Two products are currently being developed, a SoC (System-on-Chip) unit called "Orion" and a CPU core called "Phoenix". The company previewed Phoenix's performance last month, although, like most chipmakers, it is almost certainly too early to make long-term predictions about how the technology will blend in with existing and future chips in the market.
According to NUVIA, the chips are limited to around 250-300 watts of power due to the cooling and power limitations of most data centers. As more cores become the common pre-chip, each core has to manage with less power availability while maintaining performance. NUVIA's technology seeks to solve this problem by reducing the total cost of ownership for data center operators while improving overall energy efficiency.
Of course there is still a lot to be done. So expect more product announcements and previews from the company as the technology advances. With $ 240 million more in the bank, she certainly has the resources to move forward.
Shortly after we talked to Apple last year The company's founder and CEO Gerald Williams III was sued for breach of contract. The company argued that its former chip designer was trying to poach employees for its emerging startup. Williams counterclaimed earlier this year, and the two parties are currently in the discovery phase of their lawsuit, which is still ongoing.
In addition to Mithril, the round was held “in partnership” with the founders of semiconductor giant Marvell (Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai), funds managed by BlackRock, Fidelity and Temasek, and Atlantic Bridge and Redline Capital along with Series A investors Capricorn Investment Group, Dell Technologies Capital, Mayfield, Nepenthe LLC and WRVI Capital.