President Joe Biden has proposed that the US invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research.
(Doug Mills/Getty Images)

Even as the world’s leading chipmakers scramble to solve critical supply bottlenecks, a new wave of semiconductor startups has been quietly lining up massive sums of venture capital in their quest to design the next generation of chips.

Startups in China and the US have been subject to a venture capital land grab from investors who believe nascent chip designs will propel a future ruled by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Global VC investment in semiconductor companies set a quarterly record for deal value at $2.64 billion in the first three months of 2021, with 70% of the funding going toward Chinese companies, according to PitchBook data.

American companies have also raised impressive sums. In April, SambaNova Systems became the most valuable VC-backed chipmaker in the US after…

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