AMD to acquire Finnish startup Silo AI for $665 million to step up in AI race

File photo: The logo of semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) is seen on a graphics processing unit (GPU) chip in this illustration picture taken February 17, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File photo

(Reuters) - Advanced Micro Devices said on Wednesday it will acquire Finnish artificial intelligence startup Silo AI for about $665 million in cash as the company tries to enhance its AI chip capabilities to compete against industry leader Nvidia.

Building and training large language models is challenging, even for big tech companies.

Acquiring Silo AI will help AMD improve the development and deployment of AMD-powered AI models and help potential customers build complex AI models with the company's chips, AMD said.

Silo AI will also strengthen AMD's software development capabilities.

While the deal will not impact AMD's financial performance, it "unlocks a significant amount of business moving forward," AMD Senior Vice President of AI, Vamsi Boppana said in an interview.

AMD declined to discuss how much business the acquisition would generate over time.

Helsinki, Finland-based Silo AI specializes in end-to-end AI-driven solutions that help customers integrate the tech into their products and services. With operations in Europe and North America, the startup counts companies, including Philips, Rolls-Royce and Unilever among its customers.

Silo AI's CEO and co-founder Peter Sarlin will continue to lead the unit as part of the AMD Artificial Intelligence Group, AMD said. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2024.

The acquisition marks the latest step from AMD in a series of moves aimed at expanding its footprint in the AI landscape. Last year, the company acquired AI software firms Mipsology and and has invested more than $125 million across a dozen AI companies over the last 12 months.

(Reporting by Max A. Cherney in San Francisco and Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)

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