Muxi Integrated Circuit (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Muxi”), which is committed to building high-performance GPUs, recently announced the completion of 1 billion yuan in Series A financing. This round of financing was funded by two “national teams”: China’s state-owned enterprise structure Adjustment Fund Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “National Adjustment Fund”) and China Internet Investment Fund (hereinafter referred to as “China Net Investment”) jointly led the investment, and the old shareholders Matrix Partners China, Heli Capital, Sequoia China, and Lightspeed China continued to overinvest , Guochuang Zhongding, Smart Internet Industry Fund, Shanghai Science and Technology Fund, Lenovo Venture Capital, China Merchants Jintai, Fosun Ruizheng, Dongfang Fuhai, Chuangtu Investment, and Light Source Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor. This financing will further support Muxi’s R&D investment in high-performance GPUs and strengthen Muxi’s leading position in this field in China.
The national team entered the field for the first time to lead the investment in high-performance GPU
As a start-up company, Muxi has obtained four rounds of billions of RMB financing in less than a year since its establishment, and continues to be a leader in the industrialization of domestic high-performance GPUs. In addition to the support of first-line investment institutions, the national team has also begun to invest heavily in Mu Xi.
Among the leading investment institutions this time, the National Research Fund is a national-level private equity investment fund approved by the State Council and entrusted by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, with a total scale of 350 billion yuan. and other tasks. Focus on important industries, key areas and major special tasks related to national security and the lifeline of the national economy, including biomedicine, integrated circuits and intelligence, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, digital economy and other fields.
Another leading investment institution, China Internet Investment, was established with the approval of the State Council and was co-sponsored by the Central Cyberspace Administration of China and the Ministry of Finance. The total planned fund size is 100 billion yuan. China Net Investment adheres to the national strategic orientation, and focuses on innovative technologies and innovative models in key areas such as Internet basic key technologies and facilities, network security, artificial intelligence, Internet +, big data, cloud computing, and network information services. Promising growth companies and high-quality projects.
Among the new investors in this round, in addition to the leading investors of the two heavyweight national teams, the investors such as the Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Fund and the Smart Internet Industry Fund, which have invested heavily, are all well-known state-owned background funds in the market. Ding, Lenovo Venture Capital, Fosun Ruizheng, Dongfang Fuhai, Chuangtu Investment and other institutions will also bring rich industry and industry resources to Muxi.
The national team and industrial resources have multiple considerations for Mu Xi’s favor. On the one hand, in August 2020, the State Council issued “Several Policies for Promoting the High-Quality Development of the Integrated Circuit Industry and Software Industry in the New Era”, covering financial and taxation, investment and financing, research and development, import and export, talents, intellectual property, market application, international cooperation, etc. In terms of increasing support for the local integrated circuit industry. The “14th Five-Year Plan” regards integrated circuits as a strategic national major scientific and technological project.
The core product of Mu Xi is one of the most important high-end integrated circuits: GPU (Graphic Processing Unit), the full name of which is graphics processor, also commonly known as graphics card, which was used in the early days for computer, game console and other image processing related work. In recent years, due to its super versatility and parallel computing capabilities, high-performance GPUs have been widely used in AI, cloud computing and high-performance computing, and are gradually called the “jewel in the crown” of the chip industry. Whether in industrial design, scientific computing, finance, aerospace, biomedicine, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, etc., or in data centers, consumer-oriented desktop rendering applications, GPUs are the most important, basic, and core chips. The high-performance GPU is like the engine on a racing car, giving the computer super high computing power, greatly improving the efficiency of AI computing, data processing, scientific research and other fields. It is one of the core competitiveness of enterprises and countries. However, this field is currently dominated by overseas companies such as NVIDIA and AMD. The technical difficulty and engineering threshold are extremely high. The reason is the lack of team talents and experience in mass production. Achieving the domestic independent control of high-performance GPUs not only plays a pivotal role in the development of my country’s integrated circuit industry, but also enables downstream industries to rank among the world’s first echelon more quickly, improving my country’s overall national strength.
On the other hand, Muxi was founded by senior professionals in the field of integrated circuits from all over the country, which is of great significance for my country to master the key technology nodes of integrated circuits and cultivate domestic high-end chip design talents. Its core IP is completely independent and controllable, and will become a The backbone of my country’s GPU chip design breakthrough, the future can truly realize the localization of high-performance general-purpose GPUs, truly master key technologies in our own hands, and build our own country’s own talent echelon.
The only senior fully-organized team in the industry at the helm
Muxi currently has the only core team in China that is all born in the world’s top manufacturers and has more than ten years of experience in the whole process from high-performance GPU design to mass production and delivery.
Chen Weiliang, founder and CEO of Muxi, has served as the global GPU SoC design chief and general GPU MI product line design chief in the world’s top GPU manufacturers. He has excellent team management capabilities, and top technology R&D and mass production experience. Ms. Peng Li, the chief hardware architect, is AMD’s first Chinese female scientist (Fellow) in the world. She was the chief architect of AMD and has 15 years of high-performance GPU design experience. Dr. Yang Jian, chief software architect, is the first scientist (Fellow) of AMD in Greater China. He has served as chief architect of AMD and HiSilicon. He has 20 years of experience in large-scale chip and GPU hardware and software design. The rest of the senior management team has many years of experience in top chip manufacturers such as AMD, Trident, ARM, HiSilicon, NVIDIA, Intel, Spreadtrum, Cadence, Synopsys, Byte, Montage, etc., and has rich experience in chip design, algorithm, market and operation. experience.
At present, Muxi has more than 300 employees, of which more than 80% are R&D personnel; the core team members have an average of nearly 20 years of practical experience in the GPU field, and have led the research and development of more than ten mainstream high-performance GPU products in the world. The server system design and debugging technology that each GPU chip works normally at the same time is checked by industry experts in GPU architecture, IP, design, integration, verification, back-end and other R&D links.
In terms of technology, based on the fully self-developed instruction set and graphics IP, Muxi effectively breaks through the bottleneck of traditional GPU energy efficiency through innovative reconfigurable GPU architecture; the original hardware acceleration unit can greatly optimize the core computing power consumption ratio; GPU Programmability overcomes the limitations of ASIC route application scenarios, and can meet all-round needs of high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, data centers, etc., and will not lose to the top products in the current market in terms of performance.
Wei Ran, general manager of Chengtong Fund (GuoTiao Fund Management Agency), said: “Mu Xi is a specialized sub-fund of SinoTiao Fund in the chip field – Nanjing SinoTiao Guoxin Zhixin Fund is a market-leading investor in the angel round. The GPGPU technical team is positioned to provide completely independent and controllable Chinese solutions to the high-performance computing power chip field with a broad market space. Through the linkage of parent and child funds, the National Research Fund has differentiated investment strategies, investment styles and post-investment empowerment capabilities. Provide strong financial and industrial synergistic support for the invested companies at different stages. We look forward to seeing more and more Chinese “core” power flourish with the support of the National Research Fund’s parent and child funds.”
China Internet Investment Fund said: “New information infrastructure is the top priority of “new infrastructure”, which can provide a more comprehensive and suitable development environment for high-performance computing and artificial intelligence applications, and also provide support for the artificial intelligence industry. Guarantee of computing power resources. As an important part of computing power infrastructure, general-purpose GPUs have entered the stage of deepening application and have broad development space. Mu Xi focuses on the layout of key core technologies and assists high-end localization replacement. The design concept has a competitive advantage in the localized replacement wave of high-performance computing centers and the high-speed cloud inference and training chip market.”
Wang Huadong, partner of Jingwei China, said: “GPU and GPGPU are at the core of high-performance computing and products are monopolized by a few foreign companies. The breakthrough of domestic companies in this field will be of great significance. The Muxi team has relevant R&D experience that is scarce in the world. and ability, this time Jingwei China over-invested in Muxi’s A round of financing, and expects that Muxi will lead the development of high-performance GPUs and GPGPUs in China.”
Kong Lingguo, founding managing partner of Heli Capital, said: “Muxi has grown rapidly in less than a year, and the team and product development progress have achieved gratifying results, and it is also well recognized in the capital market. This financing can be obtained by the state. It is not easy to be the lead investor of the first-level capital Chengtong National Research Fund and China Net Investment, and the follow-up investment of local capital Shanghai Science and Technology Fund. I also believe that these newly joined central state-owned enterprise shareholders can provide sufficient resources after the investment, especially in the future product promotion. products to help the country completely get rid of high-performance chips’ external dependence.”
Jin Wenji, managing director of Sequoia China, said: “With the popularization of the digital economy, the market demand for underlying computing power continues to grow. GPGPU is also known as the crown jewel of the chip industry, with extremely high research and development difficulties and engineering barriers. Mu Xi The team has a complete structure, with software, hardware, and system architecture capabilities. It has been running with partners for many years, and has completely developed more than ten GPU products and corresponding scene solutions. We hope that the team can be based on solid product technical capabilities and tacit cooperation, We have accumulated a lot to create excellent products on this runway with long slopes and thick snow.”
Zhu Jia, assistant partner of Lightspeed China, said: “With the continuous development of big data and artificial intelligence, GPU as the core of computing power has a decisive impact on the development of the industry. The core team of Muxi is the key to GPU research and development in architecture innovation, design, and verification. With rich experience and excellent capabilities in all aspects, we believe that Muxi can effectively break through the bottleneck of traditional GPU energy efficiency and provide strong support for China’s computing power economy.”
Shi Haining, managing partner of Guochuang Zhongding, said: “With the dual benefits of policy support and mature technology, we are very honored to assist an established and experienced Chinese team like Mu Xi to improve my country’s high-performance GPU field. Ability. The professionalism and focus of the Muxi team is the guarantee for the realization of the security and controllability of high-performance computing chips. Investment in the field of science and technology, this investment in Muxi is an important layout of Guochuang Zhongding in the field of semiconductors.”
Lei Yaofeng, partner of the Smart Internet Industry Fund, said: “GPU is the cornerstone of computing power, with a market space of 100 billion yuan, and it is urgent to realize domestic replacement. Although a number of GPU/GPGPU startups have emerged in China, we are really optimistic. The team needs to have outstanding technical strength, and must have a long-term cooperation foundation and successful practical experience. Mu Xi is one of the best, with a high-standard, fully-organized R&D team, and has made great achievements in high-performance GPU. The Smart Internet Industry Fund, which is backed by operators, will inject energy into Muxi in key markets such as data centers.”
Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Fund said: “Muxi is an excellent artificial intelligence chip company founded in Shanghai in 2020. The founding team is the most established team among the domestic artificial intelligence chip start-up companies we have seen in the market. More than ten years of experience in the whole process from high-performance general-purpose GPU design to mass production delivery. Artificial intelligence chips are one of the important areas for domestic substitution and independent control, and are also the main battlefield to innovate and solve “stuck neck” technical problems from the source. Integration Circuits and artificial intelligence are the leading industries of Shanghai’s key development. Shanghai Science and Technology Fund will further leverage the advantages of production and financing resources, and by creating a unique ecosystem, support the better and faster development of service Muxi, and accelerate the realization of domestic substitution of artificial intelligence chips. “
He Zhiqiang, senior vice president of Lenovo Group and president of Lenovo Venture Capital Group, said: “As artificial intelligence empowers all walks of life, from the Internet of Things to high-performance computing, the demand for computing power is increasing, which is more suitable for the development prospects of GPGPU in the new AI computing environment. Broad. Mu Xi has the industry’s top fully-organized team and has worked together for a long time. He has been deeply involved in the chip industry for nearly 20 years, and has rich experience in core research and development, as well as in the market and operation. After investing in Mu Xi, Lenovo will work with Mu Xi in the data center In-depth collaboration in businesses such as high-performance computing and high-performance computing, the two parties will work together to promote the upstream and downstream ecology of the industry and lead the breakthrough in the research and development and application of GPUs in China.”
Zheng Xuanle, founder and CEO of Light Source Capital, said: “At present, my country is still in its infancy in the design of high-end chips such as GPUs and on the road of domestic replacement. To break this pattern and establish high-performance solutions with independent cores is inseparable from an experience A rich team, such a team must have mass production experience in the whole link from architecture to hardware design, driver, math library, etc. Muxi is such a team. As the exclusive financial advisor of this round of Muxi, the light source is very I am optimistic about the future of Mu Xi, and look forward to the day when I can accompany Mu Xi to become a first-class semiconductor company in China and even in the world.”