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Pakistani-American NED Alum Raises $50 Million For Silicon Valley Startup SiFive

SiFive,  a Silicon Valley intellectual property tech startup, has raised $50.6 million in series C funding. The company is headed by Pakistani-American CEO and fellow NED University alumnus Dr. Naveed Sherwani.  SiFive investors include Intel Capital, Western Digital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Spark Capital.

NED Alumnus Dr. Naveed Sherwani

The company was founded by Andrew Waterman, Krste Asanovic and Yunsup Leethe of the University of California at Berkeley. Their team developed open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) for Reduced Instruction Set Computing V (RISC V). RISC V design is freely available under Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) that was first introduced for Berkeley's open source UNIX operating system and open software tools. BSD license permits development of derivative intellectual property (IP) and products. It offers the advantage of having a large open-source community contribute to its continuous development and innovation.

SiFive sells core IP (intellectual property) based on RISC V ISA. The company's IP Cores are the most widely deployed RISC-V cores in the world.  SiFive Core IP is verified and delivered in Verilog for custom SoC (System on Chip) designs.

Naveed Sherwani is a serial entrepreneur with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Karachi's NED Engineering University in 1983. He has a Ph.D. in computer engineering from University of Nebraska. He has taught at Western Michigan University and authored four books and over 100 papers.

In May 2017, NED University alumnus Khalid Raza and two co-founders of Viptela sold their company to Cisco for $610 million. Viptela was a software-defined-networks (SDN) start-up in Silicon Valley that was co-founded in 2012 by Pakistani-American entrepreneurs Amir Khan, Atif Khan and Khalid Raza.


In November 2017, another NED University alumnus Raghib Husain sold his company Cavium to Marvell Technology in a $6 billion stock deal, according to CNBC News. The value of the deal jumped to $7.5 billion enterprise value at the close of market on November 22, 2017.

Sherwani headed Intel's ASIC division before starting Open Silicon, a fabless semiconductor company that offered turn-key custom ASIC solutions. He was the CEO of Peernova before joining SiFive as its chief executive officer.

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