Engineering an Internationally-Recognized Entrepreneurial Career – with Naveed Sherwani, a Semiconductor Industry Veteran

Engineering an Internationally-Recognized Entrepreneurial Career – with Naveed Sherwani, a Semiconductor Industry Veteran
4 min read

Naveed Sherwani is the co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Rapid Silicon, an innovative RISC-V design, EDA, and OpenFPGA company based in the United States. Sherwani is a semiconductor industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in the semiconductor and silicon chip design automation industries. He was the CEO of SiFive, a semiconductor company providing commercial RISC-V open instruction set architecture (ISA) IP and silicon chips based on RISC-V open ISA valued at $2 Billion, from 2017 to 2018.

Sherwani is the current CEO and Chairman of Rapid Silicon, a company he co-founded with luminaries from the semiconductor industry with decades of experience. He is also known as a Pakistani-American serial entrepreneur, author, researcher, and semiconductor industry veteran. He completed his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from NED University in Karachi, Pakistan. Sherwani received his MS degree and Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after moving to the US permanently.

He is the co-founder of 17 leading semiconductor, EDA, ASIC automation, and silicon chip design automation companies, including PeerNova, StarFive, SemiFive, LeapFive, and Biret Semiconductor.

Rapid Silicon, Sherwani’s latest venture in the semiconductor industry, is an innovative tech solutions company that offers various domain-specific Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) for diverse target applications, several industry verticals, and different power, performance, and area (PPA) needs to customers in the semiconductor industry searching for automated FPGA chip design.

The FPGA design and silicon chip development industry is facing increasing demands for low-cost solutions and high overall product versatility due to changing semiconductor technology. To fulfill the gap left by major EDA and FPGA suppliers, Rapid Silicon by Naveed Sherwani offers AI-enhanced design-to-chip processes for developing state-of-the-art and easily modifiable FPGAs using ASIC automation and the latest EDA toolchain.

Naveed Sherwani used over three decades of his experience as a semiconductor industry veteran, after serving as the CEO, Chairman, President, Founder, and Co-founder of several industry-leading semiconductor firms, to bring about a team of seasoned veterans. Sherwani's Rapid Silicon has recently launched the first OpenFPGA prototype chip, cleared for industrial, automotive, telecom, and data processing applications.

With AI-assisted design, reduced re-spin time, fast turnaround and delivery success, and reduced overall cost of introducing cutting-edge FPGAs using EDA in the market make Rapid Silicon fiercely competitive and unique in the thriving semiconductor industry. There is still more room for advancement and the upcoming Gemini products from Rapid Silicon are expected to resolve the existing challenges in massive deployment of RISC-V open ISA chips and OpenFPGAs.

Sherwani, an Intel veteran, founded Intel Microelectronics Services which was a subdivision of Intel to provide cutting-edge ASIC solutions with an open framework of IP and foundries. Since then, Sherwani has co-founded several semiconductor technology startups, while accelerating the rapid adoption of RISC-V open ISA based on Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC).

He is the founding chairman of the existing Semiconductor Company Federation in Silicon Valley comprising four companies: StarFive, LeapFive, SemiFive, and ChinaFive. Each company operates with a distinct strategic and regional focus to develop and assist FPGA, EDA, and ASIC solutions using open-source framework foundries, IP, and RISC-V open ISA based-methodology.

Customers of Sherwani's semiconductor ventures engage with diverse demands, ranging from AI-enhanced automated FPGA development and silicon chip design to EDA-assisted process of ASIC and semiconductor tech development. Generally, customers reach out to Rapid Silicon via email, but here’s the website link for more information.

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