Wafer-scale chip startup Cerebras has completed its latest round of funding, raising an additional $250 million that pushes the company’s valuation to $4 billion. To date, the company has raised $720 million. The Series F round was led by Alpha Wave Ventures and Abu Dhabi Growth.
Cerebras CEO Andrew Feldman said the new funding will be used to expand the company’s global presence.
“This will allow us to continue our rapid growth, continue our global expansion and it gives us a clear runway for years and years into the future to continue to do bold and innovative engineering,” Feldman said in an interview.
Cerebras currently has almost 400 employees. It plans to add another 200 next year. A recently opened Toronto office accounts for 57 engineers, but will expand to 100. Cerebras has also opened a Tokyo office.
As it expands, Cerbras finds itself competing with the likes of Facebook and Google for top engineering talent, particularly software engineers.
“We are looking for engineers of rare merit anywhere in the world,” he said. “One of the things Covid forced companies to do is get a whole lot better at remote work. We have engineers around the globe on every continent… this is a battle for world-class talent.”
Cerebras’ second-generation wafer-scale engine is the size of an entire 300 mm wafer, featuring 850,000 AI-optimized compute cores, 40 GB of on-chip SRAM, 20 PB/s memory bandwidth and 220 Pb/s interconnect, fed by 1.2 Tb/s of I/O across 12 100-Gb Ethernet links. A memory extension system enables a single CS-2 to train models with 120 trillion parameters.
Its customers include Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the supercomputing center at the University of Edinburgh, Tokyo Electron Devices, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca. Cerebras’ AI technology is also available in the cloud via Cirrascale.
Investors have flocked to AI chip startups like Cerebras as the technology makes its way into supercomputing, device, drug discovery and other high-end applications. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and the winner will build a very, very big company,” Feldman predicted.