AI-enabled design dramatically improves time to market and yield ramps
Motivo®, Inc., developer of AI-enabled chip design and data analytics solutions, today announced it raised a $12 million Series A financing round led by Intel® Capital, along with other new investors Storm Ventures and Seraph Group as well as participation from Inventus Capital and other existing investors that include multiple IC industry C-suite executives. This financing follows earlier seed rounds of $8 million, bringing total capital raised to $20 million. With this oversubscribed funding round, Motivo is set to take significant strides to deliver on its vision of using its AI-driven solutions to reduce by a factor of 10 today’s time and cost to design and ramp yield on the next generation of chips. The company plans to apply the funding to scale the business and double the team within the next 12 months.
“The Motivo team has combined decades of expertise in IC design, computational imaging and manufacturing technologies, and artificial intelligence to create solutions that reduce design time to market and accelerate yield ramps for new chips,” said Bharath Rangarajan, CEO of Motivo. “Our customers are faced with increasing challenges as they create their new designs, and the demand for our solutions is so much that we have had to turn away multiple business opportunities. This new investment and support will enable us to rapidly scale up and implement Motivo’s solutions more broadly, deliver value to our customers, and significantly grow our business.”
Creating the next generation of chips is a time intensive and expensive process with multiple iterations of trial and error needed to fix design bugs and improve yield. As a result, the traditional chip design and manufacturing process can take years to deliver a chip to market. And with chip design complexity growing exponentially, design cycles are getting longer and yield is getting worse. Motivo estimates that yield losses will exceed $20 billion in 2025.
Motivo’s proprietary technologies accelerate chip design utilizing an innovative learning-on-graph methodology for automated data-driven feature extraction. Motivo’s M-Graph™ and other core, explainable AI technologies can be applied across the entire design flow, from RTL code to layout geometries, thereby improving time to market, increasing yield, and reducing costs. The solution integrates available data from design and yield diagnostics and uses machine learning to rapidly identify issues that current methodologies take months or even years to identify. With this approach, Motivo aims to compress the design-to-manufacturing process from years to months.
“Semiconductors power the data economy,” said Anthony Lin, Head of Intel Capital. “The Motivo team has created solutions that can dramatically shorten the design cycle and optimize manufacturing process yields, which in turn has the potential to unlock and accelerate innovation across the technology sector.”
Amidst the global chip shortage and with many markets—from the autonomous vehicle sector to consumer electronics industry—racing towards the next innovation, there is pent-up demand for intelligent solutions and the state-of-the-art chips that will empower them.
“Motivo is the leader in explainable/interpretable AI and ML solutions for IC design analytics and optimization,” said John Dougery, Managing Director of Inventus Capital. “Their technologies have delivered highly meaningful results to customers, and they are in the best position to use these solutions to improve yields and dramatically reduce the time and expense of delivering chips that will power the future.”
Motivo’s outside counsel for the transaction was Covington and Burling LLP.
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