Eliyan raises $40M from Intel and Micron to build chip interconnects • TechCrunch

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Increasingly, as Moore’s Law rears its head, computer chip developers are adopting “chiplet” architectures to scale the processing power of their hardware. Chiplets are Lego-like blocks of integrated circuits designed to work together with other similar chiplets to form complex, stackable chips that improve performance while maintaining a similar physical footprint. Chiplets offer a number of advantages over conventional designs. But assembly issues—as well as challenges in balancing cost, performance, power consumption, and time to market—often plague them in the early stages.

In an effort to overcome barriers to chip creation, Ramin Fajadrad, Syrus Ziai and Patrick Soheili founded Eliyan, a chip interconnect startup, in 2021. Eliyan’s technology – dubbed NuLink – connects chip components using standard chip packaging, which the company says is faster. – high-performance and more energy-efficient chips.

“The focus is on developing a way to enable higher performance, low-power, low-latency interconnect for chip architectures, which experts say is the only way to continue to evolve the Moore’s law,” Farjadrad told TechCrunch in an email interview. . “We use our technology in standard packaging, which saves development time, cost and effort compared to the more advanced packaging required by other interconnect schemes. Additionally, our approach has sustainability benefits by reducing material costs and waste in the manufacturing process and reducing power consumption for high-performance computing chips.

Eliyan’s roots lie in a previous startup, Aquantia, which Marvell acquired in 2019. Farjadrad says the technology has been in development since 2017; he co-founded Aquantia and served as the startup’s chief engineer for nearly 15 years. Prior to co-founding Eliyan, Farjadrad spent several years at Marvell as chief technical officer and vice president of the company’s networking and automotive division. Ziai is a former vice president of engineering at Qualcomm, while Soheili previously served as vice president of business development at semiconductor company eSilicon.

Although Eliyan has yet to launch its technology commercially – it expects the first silicon to hit the market in the second quarter of 2023 – the company says it has completed the final step before manufacturing, a release to tape, using semiconductor manufacturer TSMC’s 5nm process. “Process” in chip jargon refers to an architectural platform; TSMC started mass producing 5nm chips in 2020.

“Eliyan’s technology enables processors by allowing them to scale in performance and power to be more easily and practically manufacturable,” Farjadrad said. “The world will always need more computing power, and Eliyan enables a critical aspect to ensure that scaling will happen for any type of high-performance computing application.”

The fact that Eliyan’s technology has yet to hit the market might give some potential customers pause. But the startup has notable chip investors behind it, including Intel and Micron, which alongside Cerberus and Celestra contributed Eliyan’s $40 million Series A tranche that closed. today.

With the capital, Eliyan plans to continue chasing after a chip market that could be worth $50 billion in 2024, including ramping up testing and enforcement. Farjadrad did not name any customers, but said Eliyan, who currently has 21 people, is in talks with “large semi-enterprises, hyperscalers and AI processor startups.”

“We face the challenges and realities of physics in designing and manufacturing advanced chips… [but we’re] in a high-demand market, said Farjadrad. “Our technology will ultimately lead to faster, more efficient, and cheaper high-performance computing to power data centers, cloud computing AI, graphics, and more.”

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