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US semiconductor developer Rivos has raised over $250m following a lawsuit from Apple, which accused the company of using stolen and proprietary data to develop its chips. 

The Series A funding round was led by Matrix Capital Management with participation from leading chip companies, including MediaTek and Intel.

The California-based startup wants to target companies that need a slightly less powerful and expensive chip than those leading the market. 

Rivos is looking to work with companies that are using GenAI and data analytics in their day-to-day operations, two things which are becoming common place following the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Rivos’s chip range uses the open-standard RISC-V, the open-standard instruction set architecture (ISA).  

ISAs are the technical specifications that form the foundation of every semiconductor. Chip design teams usually license an existing ISA from a leading chip maker, such as Intel.

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RISC-V, however, is open-source and royalty-free. 

Rivos’s Series A funding marks a significant turnaround for the company. In August 2023, the US company was forced to lay off 6% of its workforce following a legal battle with Apple. 

Rivos was accused by Apple, in 2022, of poaching employees and using proprietary intellectual property to create their own chips.

Rivos counter-sued the iPhone maker, claiming that the company forces its employees to sign agreements that prevent them from gaining employment elsewhere. The US startup claimed these agreements make it harder for up-and-coming startups to find talent.

The lawsuit was settled in February.