SiPearl: €90M Series A Round Closes to Launch Arm-based Rhea HPC Chip

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Maisons-Laffitte, France — April 5, 2023 — SiPearl, the French company building Rhea, the energy-efficient HPC microprocessor, has raised €90m financing for the 1st closing of its Series A will be used to commercialize Rhea in early 2024.

SiPearl said Rhea is the first energy-efficient HPC-dedicated microprocessor designed to work with any third-party accelerator (GPU, artificial intelligence, quantum). The company said the microprocessor “will ensure Europe’s technological sovereignty by solving major challenges in medical research, artificial intelligence, security, energy management and climate change mitigation with a reduced environmental footprint.”

Additional investors are expected to join the round by the end of 2023.

The investors are:

Arm, the semiconductor design and silicon intellectual property development company,

Atos Group, through its Eviden business composed of Atos’ digital, big data and security activities,

European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund (€15m, already announced),

– The French State, via French Tech Souveraineté, which is part of France 2030 led by the General Secretariat for Investment (attached to the Prime-Minister’s Office).

The financing includes up to €25m in convertible debt from the European Investment Bank (EIB). This funding milestone brings SiPearl’s total financing to €110.5m, including €20.5m worth of European Union and French grants provided through the European Processor Initiative (EPI) consortium project, the EIC Accelerator program and Ile-de-France region.

Using the Arm Neoverse V1 platform, Rhea will an HPC-dedicated microprocessor designed to work with any third-party accelerator, such as GPUs, artificial intelligence specialized chips or quantum accelerators. Formal cooperation agreements with GPU providers (AMD, Intel, NVIDIA) and artificial intelligence processor provider (Graphcore) have already been announced. Energy-efficiency optimized, Rhea will halve power consumption for equivalent computing power.

SiPearl said Rhea will first equip European supercomputers to reach exascale power with back-door free security and reduced energy consumption. “SiPearl will thus contribute to Europe’s technological sovereignty by addressing major challenges in medical research, artificial intelligence, security, energy management and climate change mitigation while limiting its environmental footprint,” the company said.

SiPearl was created in June 2019 with the backing of the EPI consortium’s project that tackles the return of high-performance and low-power microprocessor technologies in Europe. As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the company is at the heart of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking ecosystem, which is deploying world-class infrastructures for exascale supercomputing in Europe with a budget of over €8bn. Fabless, SiPearl outsources the manufacturing of Rhea to TSMC, the world’s leading independent semiconductor manufacturer, for a commercialization in early 2024. The company employs 130 people in France (Maisons-Laffitte, its headquarters, Grenoble, Massy, Sophia Antipolis), Germany (Duisburg) and Spain (Barcelona). SiPearl targets over 1,000 employees by the end of 2025.

“Historically lagging behind the US and China, Europe has become a global leader in HPC thanks to the EuroHPC initiative, ranking for the first time two machines among the four most powerful supercomputers in the world, with LUMI in Finland and Leonardo in Italy. The arrival on the market of SiPearl’s microprocessor Rhea, which will power European supercomputers with a limited environmental footprint, will be another decisive step for Europe’s technological independence and sovereignty. We would like to thank the European Union’s innovation programs, which have championed us all along the way, and the investors who have joined us in this first round of financing for contributing to our success”, said Philippe Notton, CEO and founder of SiPearl.

“From the tiniest sensor through to HPC, it takes leadership across the computing spectrum to support the volume of data being created and processed today,” said Mohamed Awad, SVP and GM, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm. “Arm is enabling high-performance, energy efficient processing around the globe with its Neoverse platforms, and we are fully supportive of SiPearl’s work to build Rhea, powered by Neoverse V1, into an HPC system that is ready to take on some of the world’s biggest computing challenges.”

“As a European leader in the design, manufacturing, and deployment of supercomputing infrastructures, The Eviden business of Atos has been playing a critical role in various technological European initiatives, e.g. EuroHPC JU and EPI, to support the digital and economical sovereignty of Europe,” said Emmanuel Le Roux, Corporate Senior Vice President, Head of Advanced Computing, HPC and AI, for Eviden at Atos Group. “Microprocessing units hold the key to the future of HPC, therefore Atos Group welcomes and supports the Europe-grown microprocessor which is extending and solidifying the capacity to deliver European high-performance computer designed to tackle the most important challenges in life science, weather forecast or industries simulations.”

“European Union backed SiPearl from day one. They benefited from a variety of grants as well as the vast European market offered by the EuroHPC initiative. The EIC Fund’s investment is the natural continuation of this long-standing effort to develop, from Europe, an indigenous HPC technology which can compete with the very best in the world”, declared Hermann Hauser, the EIC Fund Board member.

“EIB has been following the progress of SiPearl for the last two years and was the first institution to commit to finance SiPearl. This is an illustration of EIB’s strong dedication in supporting innovation and European sovereignty”, added European Investment Bank Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle.

“France 2030 is particularly pleased to support SiPearl for this fundraising, which will allow the company to continue developing its disruptive technologies,” said Bruno Bonnell, Secretary General for Investment, in charge of France 2030.

“Developing a strong European HPC supply chain with energy-efficient components and technologies is key to achieving digital sovereignty in Europe while promoting more sustainable supercomputing. The success of SiPearl today is also the success of the European Processor Initiative, one of the research projects funded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking”, concluded Anders Dam Jensen, Executive Director of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.


Financial counsel: Silverpeak (Jean-Michel Deligny; Pietro Strada)

Company legal counsels: Aston Avocats (Olivier Sanviti; Mariam Tourabaly), Orrick (Olivier Vuillod; Lea Fiorenza)

Investors advisors

Arm: Bird & Bird (Emmanuelle Porte)

Atos Group: Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier (Jean-Baptiste de Martigny)

EIC: Bignon Lebray (Alexandre Ghesquière)

EIB:  Clifford Chance (Maroussia Cuny)

French Tech Souveraineté: Degroux Brugère (Jérémie Swiecznik)

Vendor due diligence: Deloitte Finance (Thomas Fischer)