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3 April 2018

SiFive receives $50.6m series C instructions

Osage University Partners returned for customised chip maker SiFive’s series C, which also featured a trio of corporates.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

SiFive, a US-based fabless provider of customised semiconductors, received $50.6m yesterday in a series C round co-led by spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners.

Sutter Hill Ventures and Spark Capital co-led the round, which further included SK Telecom, part of diversified conglomerate SK Group, wearable device maker Huami and computer storage vendor Western Digital.

SiFive provides customised semiconductors built on Risc-V, an instruction set architecture (ISA), which acts as the conduit between a computer’s software and hardware.

The Risc-V ISA is free and open to use, with SiFive generating income by customising the chips for a client’s specific needs through a service branded Freedom Platform.

Risc-V is based on research by then-PhD candidates Yunsup Lee and Andrew Waterman with Krste Asanovic, professor in University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

SiFive and Western Digital have agreed to a multi-year licence for Freedom Platform that will involve Western Digital producing one billion Risc-V-based cores.

The series C funding will be used to commercialise additional Risc-V products. SiFive recently relocated to bigger offices in Silicon Valley to accommodate a projected three-fold increase in headcount.

SiFive’s total funding now stands at $64.1m, according to the latest press release.

Osage contributed to SiFive’s an $8.5m series B round in May 2017 led by Spark Capital, with participation from Sutter Hill Ventures, the latter of which participated as a returning investor though details about earlier funding could not be ascertained.

Naveed Sherwani, CEO of SiFive, said: "We are honoured by the continued partnership with our investors and energised by new engagements with long-time industry leaders.

"This funding from our investors and licensing agreements with strategic partners establishes a strong financial foundation which will help us to continue our trailblazing path of engineering innovations and extend our market leadership around the world."

Supporting articles: SiFive customises $8.5m series B

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