Berkeley SkyDeck announces our new Chip Track

Berkeley SkyDeck announces our new Chip Track

Novel chip architectures, AI/ML processing units on the edge, low-power IoT sensors… exciting things are happening in the semiconductor space.  But for many of the startups working in the semiconductor space, they’re frustrated that they have to raise millions of dollars just to hit “run” on their first prototype.

Berkeley SkyDeck is helping bring the “Silicon” back to Silicon Valley.   The Chip Track at SkyDeck features some of the world’s preeminent academic experts in computer architectures and ASIC design, along with key collaborators from key industry leaders.

Every six months, two companies will be selected for inclusion in the Chip Track.  For these accepted startups, they will receive:

  • $100k in equity investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund
  • Six months residency at Berkeley SkyDeck
  • Access to key industry partners, including SiFive
  • Access to cloud-based PDKs and MPW wafer runs from TSMC to reduce tape-out costs
  • Credits for access to cloud-based digital / analog / simulation tooling from Cadence
  • Access free / discounted IP from a variety of sources, to reduce design costs
  • Access UC Berkeley’s campus resources, including Marvell NanoLab, Molecular Foundry

A partial list of advisors for the Chip Track includes luminaries such as:

  • UC Berkeley Professor David Patterson, Turing Award Winner, Google Brain, RISC-V
  • UC Berkeley Professor Krste Asanovic, RISC-V, Co-Founder SiFive
  • UC Berkeley Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Co-Founder Cadence, Co-Founder Synopsys
  • Andrew Waterman, Co-Founder SiFive
  • Laura Oliphant, former Investment Director, Intel Capital
  • Steve Glaser, former SVP Cadence / Xilinx


Says Turing Award Winner David Patterson,  “The need for breakthroughs in chip design has become increasingly obvious, as Moore’s Law is failing just when topics like AI and IoT need much better hardware.  A specialized Chip Track will match the best talent with the most in-depth guidance and industry experience to support startup founders as they develop the next great chip architectures.”

Startups outside of the US can qualify for the chip track via the Global Acceleration Program.

Applications for the chip track are open until November 7th. Apply now!