On Tuesday, AMD announced its intention to acquire the artificial intelligence startup known as Nod.ai. This strategic move is a pivotal step in augmenting AMD’s software capabilities.
As AMD strives to keep pace with its competitor, NVIDIA, in the semiconductor industry, it has earmarked substantial investments in essential software components required for its advanced AI chips. Over over a decade, NVIDIA has successfully established a dominant position in the AI chip market thanks to its robust software offerings and the thriving ecosystem of software developers supporting it.
AMD has vowed to invest in and build a unified collection of software to power the company’s various chips.
“We are executing that strategy,” AMD president Victor Peng said in an interview with Reuters. “And doing it through internal investment as well as external acquisitions.”
The acquisition of Nod.ai fits into the strategy because its technology enables companies to deploy AI models tuned for AMD’s chips more easily. Nod.ai sells its technology to large data center operators, among other customers.
The Santa Clara, California-based Nod.ai has raised roughly $36.5 million, according to PitchBook data.
Earlier this year, AMD created the AI group to house the Nod.ai acquisition, Peng said. The group employs about 1,500 engineers – the vast majority of software-related – and AMD plans to continue to expand the team with 300 additional hires this year and more in 2024.
“We have been proliferating, with plans for next year as well,” Vamsi Boppana, senior vice president of the Artificial Intelligence Group at AMD, said.
Peng said the Nod.ai acquisition is the company’s second in the past few months. When asked if the company planned to bolster its portfolio with additional acquisitions, Peng said, “We’re always looking.”