Korea Development Bank begins massive investment in system semiconductor startups

[서울=뉴스핌] Reporter Hong Hong-young = Korea Development Bank announced on the 9th that it will promote pooling investment to support many promising startups to foster the system semiconductor industry ecosystem.

The government announced the ‘System Semiconductor Vision and Strategy’ in May 2019 and designated it as ‘Innovative Growth BIG 3’ to lay the foundation for the growth of system semiconductors, where the industrial soil is inferior compared to the competitiveness of domestic memory semiconductors that lead the world market. .

In line with these government policies, Korea Development Bank invested in Furiosa AI, OpenEdge Technology, and DeepX, which are representative startups in system semiconductors. If you include three companies in the ongoing deep learning chip design and material equipment fields, you will invest in six key startups in the value chain.

A total of 10 billion won was invested in Furiosa AI, an AI semiconductor design company for servers such as data centers. Furiosa AI is a startup that designs AI semiconductors for high-performance and high-efficiency servers that enable rapid inference based on deep learning algorithms. In July, it plans to produce the first AI chip using the 14-nano process in Samsung Electronics’ foundry in Korea, and the next-generation 5-nano AI chip is being produced in 2022.

When Furiosa AI was having difficulties in attracting investment last year due to the weakening of investor sentiment due to Corona 19 last year, the Venture Technology Finance Office of Korea Development Bank decided that it needed prompt support in a timely manner and executed a bridge investment of 2 billion won alone. With this investment as a prime move, the company succeeded in attracting a total of 80 billion won in Series B investment this year, including an additional 6 billion won in investment from Korea Development Bank, laying a bridgehead for preoccupying the AI ​​semiconductor market.

Jun-ho Baek, CEO of Furiosa AI, said, “The bold support of the Korea Development Bank led to follow-up investment, which made it possible to attract large-scale investment.” “With this investment attraction as an opportunity, we will spur the development of competitive AI semiconductors in the global market.”

In addition, Korea Development Bank invested a total of 5 billion won including follow-up investment in OpenEdge Technology, a semiconductor design asset (IP) development company, and 2 billion won in DeepX, which designs AI semiconductors.

OpenEdge Technology is a startup that supplies IP products, which are a kind of design drawing for semiconductor design, to fabless companies to receive license fees and royalties based on semiconductor chip production. In recognition of its excellent technology, it has global companies such as Samsung Electronics and Micron as its customers.

DeepX was founded by CEO Kim Nok-won, who served as a senior researcher at Apple, and is a startup that is developing NPUs for mobile edge devices, which are essential for the operation of IoT devices.

An official from Korea Development Bank said, “The pooling investment that will lead to the materials and equipment fields, starting with the system semiconductor design field, is meaningful in terms of securing Korea’s next-generation semiconductor competitiveness and supporting the leap forward as a comprehensive semiconductor powerhouse.” “Leading the future through cutting-edge technology We will expand the supply of venture capital with a long-term view of the startups we will go to,” he said.

byhong@nawspim.com

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