Graphcore to Hire 500 as U.K. Chip Startup Expands in Cambridge

(Bloomberg) -- Chip designer Graphcore Ltd. is planning to hire 500 new staff and open a new office in Cambridge, the heart of the U.K. semiconductor industry.

The startup, which focuses on creating chips used for artificial intelligence applications, will make the hires over the next three years, and has begun hiring a software and silicon engineering team, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Graphcore recently raised $200 million -- at a valuation of $1.7 billion -- from investors including BMW AG and Microsoft Corp., and is one of a number of companies trying to design a new class of chips that will be better at crunching the vast amount of data needed to make computers smarter.

Cambridge is home to a number of semiconductor companies, most notably ARM Group’s new campus. Huawei Technologies Co. also recently announced plans to set up a new research and development site in the city.

Headquartered in Bristol, England, Graphcore has also opened up new offices in Beijing and in Hsinchu, Taiwan. With plans to eventually IPO, it is currently rolling out its first run of chips and is targeting $50 million in revenue in 2019.

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