Etched’s Series A to Revolutionize AI Hardware with Purpose-Built LLM Chips

Congratulations to the Etched team on their $120 million Series A—a testament to their grand vision and exceptional execution. Here’s why top investors are leaning in.

Etched’s Series A to Revolutionize AI Hardware with Purpose-Built LLM ChipsEtched’s Series A to Revolutionize AI Hardware with Purpose-Built LLM Chips

"Move fast. Speed is one of your main advantages over large competitors." This quote from Sam Altman encouraged us to venture into the daunting battlefield that is the semiconductor industry and lead Etched’s seed round about 15 months ago.

And it is speed of execution that gives us confidence in the future of superintelligence that Etched will enable. Indeed, we believe they will set a world record for fastest time to tape out for such a complex chip. This is fitting for a company building a chip that will be orders of magnitude faster than NVIDIA’s latest GPU, when running inference on transformer models.

Today, Etched is announcing a $120 million Series A to bring the same vision they pitched over a year ago to reality.

Hardware, not software, is the biggest bottleneck to truly magical AI experiences: artistic masterpieces like the next Titanic or Beethoven’s 9th produced by AI; agents that perform tasks on the web at the speed of thought, planning and booking honeymoons and preparing memos. What is impossible today will be possible tomorrow, but only with better hardware. To understand the Etched thesis, we encourage you to check out a post from the team at Etched discussing their bet.

The Etched team epitomizes the greatness of Silicon Valley, right down to the 'silicon.'

The CEO, Gavin Uberti, is brilliant, mature beyond his years, visionary, committed to the craft of being a founder, obsessed with the details, and insanely passionate. We are believers in him, and think that what Sam Altman is to software in AI, Gavin will be to hardware. You can listen to his podcast on Invest Like the Best with Patrick O’Shaughnessy, whose firm Positive Sum is co-leading this round with us, here. Gavin is joined by his cofounders, Robert Wachen and Chris Zhu, both equally remarkable in their own rights. This year, they became one of the first teams to collectively receive the Thiel Fellowship.

The founders are joined by a powerhouse roster of semis professionals who are all driven to break the rules while leveraging their expertise. Mark Ross, the CTO, was previously the CTO at Cypress Semiconductor, which eventually sold in 2019 for almost $10 billion. Ajat Hukkoo, the VP of Hardware Engineering, was at Intel for nine years and Broadcom for 14 before joining Etched. Saptadeep Pal, the Chief Architect, cofounded Auradine. The bench at Etched goes deep and every single person on the team is driven by an ethos of speed.

Most silicon teams are composed of people from the same networks and companies. Etched is the opposite of that: people with different skills and perspectives who want to be part of something special and change the world. It’s a team that embodies the creativity and optimism that makes startups exciting—a group of engineers, coming together with intense, uncanny ambition to build something that industry insiders believe is impossible. This is the only way that radical progress ever happens. This is how we get to superintelligence.

Today, more than anything, we’re proud of the team at Etched and humbled to be a part of their journey.

We’re also excited to be collaborating with such an excellent group of investors, including not just Positive Sum, but also Hummingbird, Two Sigma, Skybox Data Centers, Fundomo, and Oceans as well as angels like Peter Thiel, Thomas Dohmke, Amjad Masad, Jason Warner, and Kyle Vogt.

Interested in joining this stellar team? Check out the more than a dozen open roles here and help build the future of superintelligence.

Tags: First Look