Tenstorrent Scores Big Win At LG

by | May 30, 2023 | In the News

The companies will collaborate to build RISC-V, AI, and Video Codec chiplets for future automotive and TV products.

We’ve been following the Toronto-based startup Tenstorrent for the last several years, where CEO Jim Keller is now steering multiple advanced designs for CPU and AI accelerators. The company’s combination of RISC-V CPUs and the AI accelerators could make for a powerful combination, potentially productized as finished chips, chiplets, and Intellectual Property (IP). Now the startup has announced its first public deal, which could be a pretty big one: the Korean-based giant LG is licensing its technology for inclusion in the LG TV line-up and automotive products of the future.

The Deal

It looks like this deal will create new jointly owned technology, adding AI features to LG premium TV platform while adding video codec technology to Tenstorrent’s data center portfolio. Such a win-win collaborative deal is fairly rare in the semiconductor world.

“This collaboration is just a beginning. Tenstorrent’s market leading AI and RISC-V CPU technologies will strengthen SoC competitiveness of LG’s future products while our long-time proven video codec technology will help Tenstorrent take control of data center high-performance processor markets.” said Byoung-hoon Kim, CTO of LG. “Chiplets will be tested through this collaboration to see whether they can become a technology platform of collaboration. Tenstorrent and LG will share technology roadmaps and keep extending the scope of collaboration.”

Tenstorrent CEO Jim Keller has been a lead chip designer at AMD, Apple, Tesla, and Intel.

Tenstorrent CEO Jim Keller has been a lead chip designer at AMD, Apple, Tesla, and Intel. Tenstorrent

When pressed for more details, a Tenstorrent spokesman demurred somewhat, telling me that this relationship is more strategic than transactional. I suspect that LG sees teaming with Tenstorrent as an innovation enabler that could go in multiple directions, and gaining access to Mr. Keller could jump-start new ideas at the chip level at the consumer electronics giant. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.



Many investors ask me to handicap the broad field of AI startups, and I always point to Tenstorrent has having the right mix of technology, engineering prowess, and leadership to carve out a unique and durable spot in the industry. Jim likes to describe his company as a design house, not tied to a specific technology or product. In today’s world of customization and AI, that sounds like a pretty valuable idea. An idea that LG seems to have found attractive.