NVIDIA, the graphics chip giant, has committed a $2.5 million strategic B Round in Israeli startup Rocketick. Rocketick has created GPU simulation accelerators, a technology that enables chip manufacturers cut their overall time to market of new chip designs by up to 30% and is advertised to reduce 50% of testing cost. According to the deal, Rocketip will supply NVIDIA’s engineer access to its test engine over the next three years. Rocketick’s first round was backed by early stage Israeli fund, Peregrine Ventures.
NVIDIA has recently gotten back to the headlines, following a successful demo of the company’s new quad-core Kal-El processor. As Endgadget puts it: “Instead of the pre-canned, static lights that we see on mobile games today, NVIDIA’s new hardware will make it possible to create lighting that moves, fluctuates in intensity, and responds realistically to its environment — all rendered in real time.”
Watch this video demo of Project Kal-El and see what NVIDIA is cooking:
In the official press release posted on Rocketick’s website, NVIDIA’s VP business development Jeff Herbst:
“We’ve been working with Rocketick for the past year, and we’re pleased to collaborate with it in our first investment in an Israeli start-up. In an industry in which simulating the chip development process is complex and important, Rocketick’s technology helps shorten processor development time. Rocketick shares our vision of infinite potential of advanced graphic processing units.”
Put in context, it’s likely that Rocketip’s simulation technology will help NVIDIA increase its testing capabilities to quickly iterate on its new quad-core processor line, delivering more products to market, quicker. NVIDIA’s relationship with Rocketick is over a year old. In the GPU Technology Conference 2010, Uri Tal, Rocketick’s CEO was quoted saying:
“Chip simulation can be accelerated by GPUs, but it is far from being trivial. To achieve that, Rocketick has developed unique algorithms that exploit inherent parallelism in complex graphs. NVIDIA’s CUDA parallel computing architecture facilitated this development.”
All sign show that if things go well in the next three years with this current agreement, NVIDIA’s strategic investment might be converting into a deeper relationship, potentially an acquisition.
Founded in 2008 by CEO Uri Tal, CTO Shay Mizrachi, and VP R&D Tomer Ben-David, all former colleagues of IDF technology unit 8200, Rocketick aims to push the envelope on the speed of testing graphic design hardware. The company’s flagship product, RocketSim, solves functional verification bottlenecks by complementing simulators with a GPU-based acceleration solution, offering over 10X faster simulations for highly complex designs.