Etched Raises $120 Million To Develop Fast AI Chip

By Amit Chowdhry • Jun 27, 2024

Etched, a two-year old company that is aiming to develop the fastest AI chip, announced it raised $120 million in Series A funding. This funding was from from Primary Venture Partners and Positive Sum, with participation from Two Sigma Ventures, Skybox Datacenters, Hummingbird Ventures, Oceans, Fundomo, Velvet Sea Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Galaxy, Earthshot Ventures, Max Ventures and Lightscape Partners.

Based in Cupertino, Etched’s Sohu chip computes 500,000 tokens per second in Llama 70B throughput, which enables developers to build products that are impossible on GPUs. And Sohu is the world’s first specialized chip (ASIC) for transformers (Note: ChatGPT is an acronym for Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer).

Etched is now on track for one of the fastest chips in history. Many talented hardware engineers and AI researchers have left every major AI chip project to Etched. Etched has partnered directly with TSMC on their 4nm process. And Etched has secured HBM and server supply from top vendors and can quickly ramp the first year of production. The company’s early customers have reserved tens of millions of dollars of the company’s hardware.

Etched was founded by CEO Gavin Uberti, COO Robert Wachen, and Chris Zhu. Uberti and Wachen had dropped out of Harvard in 2022 to focus on the company full-time. Uberti’s college roomate Wachen joined shortly after. Now the company has 35 employees.

The server AI chip market that Etched is pursuing is currently dominated by Nvidia. Nvidia currently generates about 80% of sales in the market and the chip giant is now valued at over $3 trillion. Recently, Nvidia surpassed Microsoft and Apple to become the world’s most valuable company based on that market capitalization.