SambaNova adds Poonacha Kongetira as VP of Hardware

Posted by SambaNova Systems on September 15, 2021

Kongetira, a former Google and NVIDIA leader, joins SambaNova to drive enterprise adoption of Dataflow-as-a-Service™

PALO ALTO, Calif., September 15, 2021  SambaNova Systems, the company building the industry’s most advanced software, hardware and services to run AI applications, today announced the appointment of Poonacha Kongetira as Vice President of Hardware to further support the ever increasing mainstream adoption of machine learning across enterprises with SambaNova’s extensible AI services platform, Dataflow-as-a-Service™.

Kongetira joins the existing hardware development team bringing more than 25 years experience of developing and applying microprocessor technologies. The team will further drive AI specific hardware and software co-design for SambaNova’s Dataflow-as-a-Service, expanding adoption of the service as the go-to solution for enterprises increasing machine learning initiatives. Dataflow-as-a-Service resolves key challenges for organizations by eliminating high upfront costs and solving for organizations suffering from a lack of ML expertise and limited availability of Data Scientists.

Kongetira hails from Google where he led a team of engineers developing custom silicon accelerators for machine learning, video transcode, and datacenter infrastructure. He also led Nvidia’s Bangalore design center for mobile and GPU chips with a team of more than 800 engineers. Kongetira was an early member of the leadership team developing the first Niagara processor at Afara which was acquired by Sun Microsystems and eventually Oracle.

“I am thrilled to join SambaNova working with the best in the industry and to rejoin the familiar faces of a talented team which led the transition from single to multicore processors with Niagara,” said Poonacha Kongetira, VP of Hardware at SambaNova. “Armed with SambaNova’s Reconfigurable Dataflow Architecture and Dataflow-as-a-Service, we have the unique opportunity to establish this unrivaled technology as the industry standard for machine learning and scientific applications just like we did with Niagara and apply the vision of machine learning and AI for enterprises.”

Kongetira joins SambaNova’s experienced leadership team, which offers engineers opportunities to work with luminaries in the industry. SambaNova’s depth of industry expertise is unmatched, with Prabhdeep Singh joining the company as VP of Software Development just last week, and the addition of CMO Amy Love and advisory board member Wade Shen, who both joined the company in July.

“Poonacha joins a talented team of executives and I am thrilled to welcome him and work with him again,” said Rodrigo Liang, co-founder and CEO of SambaNova. “As we strive to put the power of Dataflow-as-a-Service in the hands of customers everywhere, Poonacha has the unique experience necessary to scale the technology as the choice for enterprises as they expand their machine learning and AI initiatives.”

With AI becoming a business necessity in the global economy, customers need complete AI solutions that can run at scale in a financially viable way. With an integrated full-stack system, including best-in-class AI models, software and hardware, SambaNova provides the most expansive, accessible and impactful AI applications in the world — unleashing AI for everyone, everywhere.

SambaNova’s flagship Dataflow-as-a-Service™, an extensible AI services platform, enables organizations to jump-start AI initiatives overnight by augmenting existing capabilities and staffing with a simple subscription. The platform is powered by DataScale®, an integrated software and hardware platform delivering unrivaled performance, accuracy, scale and ease of use built on SambaNova Systems’ Reconfigurable Dataflow Architecture™.

SambaNova continues to garner accolades throughout the industry, including recognition by Gartner as a Cool Vendor in its “Cool Vendors in AI Semiconductors” report, and industry awards for Best AI Product in Next-Generation Infrastructure by CogX and VentureBeat’s Innovation in Edge Award for 2021. The company was named one of CRN’s 10 Hottest AI Chip Makers in 2021 and one of CRN’s 20 Coolest Tech Startups Of 2020. SambaNova was also Great Place to Work certified in 2021.

About SambaNova Systems

Customers turn to SambaNova to quickly deploy state-of-the-art generative AI capabilities within the enterprise. Our purpose-built enterprise-scale AI platform is the technology backbone for the next generation of AI computing.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, SambaNova Systems was founded in 2017 by industry luminaries, and hardware and software design experts from Sun/Oracle and Stanford University. Investors include SoftBank Vision Fund 2, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV, Walden International, Temasek, GIC, Redline Capital, Atlantic Bridge Ventures, Celesta, and several others. Visit us at or contact us at Follow SambaNova Systems on Linkedin.