AI chip startup Enfabrica has successfully raised $125 million in venture capital.

First reported by Reuters, the company is developing networking chips designed for artificial intelligence (AI) data centers and counts Nvidia as a strategic investor.

– Enfabrica

The Series B venture funding was led by Atriedes Management. Backers for Enfabrica now include IAG Capital Partners, Liberty Global Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, Infinitum Partners, Alumni Ventures, and Sutter Hill Ventures.

The Silicon Valley startup has been formed by executives from Broadcom and Google, and is intended to provide a solution to the networking issues in AI data centers.

AI data centers using Nvidia’s GPUs need data to be fed through the networks fast enough to prevent the GPUs from being left temporarily idle. The Enfabrica chip - known as the ACF-S device - is designed to work around this, reportedly creating a network that looks like a “hub and spokes” and increasing the efficiency of the GPUs.

Enfabrica says that the funding will be used to expand its R&D and operations and advance the production of its ACF-S devices. The ACF switching system, which uses a multi-port 800-Gigabit-Ethernet network, is now available for preorder.

According to co-founder and CEO of Enfabrica, Rochan Sankar, the networking chips mean that half as many GPUs could be used for the same amount of compute.

"It's no secret to Nvidia or anybody else out there that in order for AI computing to become truly ubiquitous, the cost curve has to come down," Sankar said. "The key here is that we enable those GPUs to be better utilized."

"There’s no denying the transformative value that AI delivers to a multitude of economic sectors. But there is a critical need to bridge the exploding demand to the overall cost, efficiency, and ease of scaling AI compute, across all customers seeking to take control of their distributed AI infrastructure and services. Much of the scaling problem lies in the I/O subsystems, memory movement and networking attached to GPU compute, where Enfabrica’s ACF solution shines."