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Kneron aims to popularize AI chips

Writer: Zhang Yu  | Editor: Shangqing Ye  | From:  | Updated: 2019-03-15

You’ve probably seen artificial intelligence (AI) technology being adopted by apps, devices and services, to do things like recognize faces in photos and endow smart speakers with human-sounding voices.

But to speed up the popularity of AI applications, processors with high computing performance and low power consumption are the key, according to Kneron, a provider of edge AI solutions.

Edge AI means that AI algorithms are processed locally on a hardware device.

“Kneron’s edge AI solutions are able to do real-time recognition, inference and analysis with no need to connect to the cloud. Thus, the solutions are faster, more reliable and secure, while reducing significantly cost and the cloud burden,” Albert Liu, founder and CEO of Kneron, told the Shenzhen Daily.

According to Liu, edge AI is the key to the popularity of AI applications, and the effective combination between edge AI and cloud AI will become a trend.

Established in the United States in 2015, Kneron provides software and hardware integrated AI solutions, including a neural processing unit (NPU), a dedicated edge AI device processor and a range of visual recognition software. It currently has offices in San Diego, Taipei, Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

The company’s Shenzhen office, in cooperation with incubator Tencent Public Space, aims to leverage the city’s abundant innovation resources and strengthen the company’s presence in China.

“We wanted to create some value for the world and society, and improve people’s lives,” said Liu, while talking about his team’s intentions in starting the business.

As AI technologies such as 3-D facial recognition find increasingly wide utilizations, the downstream industries will usher in a new round of consumption upgrading, and AI chip manufacturers are very likely to get a share of the dividends, according to Liu.

Liu noted that NPU is the best tool for mainstream applications such as facial, speech and object recognition and will become a leading dedicated AI processor due to advantages including high computing performance, low power consumption and small size.

“Kneron’s AI solutions, which integrate hardware and software technologies, have been recognized by many customers. We will continue to develop critical AI technologies, deepen the AI applications in diversified fields and work together with our partners to create a new era of AI,” said Liu.

Currently, Kneron has provided customized solutions for home appliances, surveillance and smart phones to several international companies. The company completed its series A1 financing led by Horizons Venture, a venture capital firm founded by Li Ka-shing, in May 2018.