Business News Report
January 30, 2024

South Korea’s Rebellions Secures $124M Funding to Advance AI Chip ‘Rebel’ for LLMs with Samsung

South Korean AI Startup Rebellions Secures $124M in Funding to Advance AI Chip "Rebel" for LLMs with Samsung

South Korean AI chip startup Rebellions secured $124 million in a Series B funding round led by South Korean telecommunications company KT, Pavilion Capital and Shinhan Venture Investment and saw participation from new investors Koreyla Capital from France and Japan’s DGDV, along with existing investors such as Korea Development Bank.

Rebellions plan to utilize the newly acquired capital to accelerate the development of its upcoming AI chip, “Rebel,” specifically designed to run large language models (LLMs) and enhance recruitment efforts with consumer electronics corporation Samsung. The new investment brought the total valuation to $658 million.

The startup will be collaborating with Samsung to manufacture “Rebel” chips, building upon their initial partnership centered around the Atoms chips. The two companies’ efforts aim to finalize Rebel’s development by the end of the current year, with mass production scheduled to commence in 2025.

“Rebel” chip will target the generative AI market for running LLMs and serving hyperscalers, will utilize Samsung Electronics’ 4-nanometer fabrication process.

Set to be deployed with Samsung’s advanced memory chip technology, HBM3E, the chip is designed to manage high bandwidth memory crucial for constructing and operating LLMs. Rebellions distinguishes itself by claiming that its technology and products offer more versatility, supporting various generative AI models requiring AI accelerators compared to customized AI chips. 

However, Samsung’s involvement in this venture is two-fold, extending beyond its contributions to chip development. South Korea’s leading memory chip manufacturer has concurrently been developing its own generative AI model, known as Samsung Gauss.

Founded in 2020, Rebellions specializes in designing silicon tailored to tasks like computer vision and chatbots. The startup is among the emerging contenders seeking to establish a presence in the semiconductor market dedicated to training and running AI. 

It currently faces competition from FuriosaAI in its domestic market, supported by search leader Naver and the state-run Korea Development Bank. Another Korean contender to Rebellions is Sapeon, backed by SK Telecom and SK Hynix. In the international arena, it faces competition from Groq, Tenstorrent and the established chip leader Nvidia.

Heavy Investments Pour into AI Advancements

The rising influx of capital is gravitating towards companies that are actively involved in advancing AI technologies. The introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has catalyzed this surge in activity.

South Korea has allocated approximately $618 million to support domestic AI chip designers until 2030. This initiative aims to establish a foundation beyond the current dominance of Samsung and SK Hynix in memory semiconductors.

Recently, Open AI’s CEO, Sam Altman, visited the country to engage with its chip industry leaders, notably Samsung and SK Hynix. Open AI is reportedly raising substantial funds to establish chip fabrication factories moving towards manufacturing its own AI chips. 

In this dynamic landscape, Rebellions, among other startups, introduces novel concepts aimed at accelerating processing speeds and enhancing efficiency, reflecting its continuous pursuit of advancements in AI chip technology.

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, please note that the information provided on this page is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice. It is important to only invest what you can afford to lose and to seek independent financial advice if you have any doubts. For further information, we suggest referring to the terms and conditions as well as the help and support pages provided by the issuer or advertiser. MetaversePost is committed to accurate, unbiased reporting, but market conditions are subject to change without notice.

About The Author

Alisa is a reporter for the Metaverse Post. She focuses on investments, AI, metaverse, and everything related to Web3. Alisa has a degree in Business of Art and expertise in Art & Tech. She has developed her passion for journalism through writing for VCs, notable crypto projects, and scientific writing. You can contact her at [email protected]

More articles
Alisa Davidson
Alisa Davidson

Alisa is a reporter for the Metaverse Post. She focuses on investments, AI, metaverse, and everything related to Web3. Alisa has a degree in Business of Art and expertise in Art & Tech. She has developed her passion for journalism through writing for VCs, notable crypto projects, and scientific writing. You can contact her at [email protected]

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