Semiconductor company Rapid Silicon, which was co-founded by University of Utah electrical and computer engineering associate professor Pierre-Emmanuel Gaillardon, has announced a $30 million Series A round of funding. A leader in providing AI and intelligent edge-focused FPGAs based on open-source technology, the company will use this funding to invest further in their product portfolio and support the market launch of its premier low-end FPGA product, Gemini. 

Gaillardon co-founded Rapid Silicon in 2021, transitioning the OpenFPGA technology created with the help of funding from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA)’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative. He is currently Chief Technology Officer while on sabbatical from teaching at the U. With the new Series A funding, Gaillardon and Rapid Silicon are looking to adopt their open-source software for commercial applications within the year.  

The product, Gemini, is a programmable logic device (PLD) that is power optimized for the massive sensor processing needs, tight thermal profiles, and shrinking form factors required by embedded and edge applications. Rapid Silicon’s software, Raptor Design Suite, is the world’s first commercial FPGA EDA suite based on end-to-end open-source software.  

University of Utah associate professor Pierre-Emmanuel Gaillardon

“[Gemini] is an FPGA system designed for what we would call the mid-range industrial market,” says Gaillardon. “FPGA’s have many applications, from telecom towers to car factories. There are several giant competitors in the FPGA market, however, they are mainly focused on data centers. With the focus of these tech giants on FPGA applications in large data centers, there is a gap in the market for these mid-range applications; this is what we are aiming to provide a solution for.” 

“Many students have had the opportunity to get involved in this work,” says Gaillardon. “We always have opportunities on the company front, including internships, and many students have transitioned from working in my lab to a position at Rapid Silicon.” 

Because this project is an open-source system, you can check out the current status of the project here. To view all current opportunities in Gaillardon’s lab, click here. To learn more about Rapid Silicon and view any current opportunities, click here