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Foxconn and Winbond announce strategic investment in Kneron

Kneron, a leading on-device edge artificial intelligence (AI) company based in San Diego, California, has announced that it has raised additional funding from Foxconn and Winbond.

Kneron will be working closely with investors on strategic partnerships and new projects and concepts in the AI space. Kneron is working with Foxconn on serving AI use cases in industry 4.0 as well as the automotive industry, through Foxconn’s MIH open platform for electric vehicles. Winbond and Kneron will work on developing microcontroller unit (MCU)-based AI and memory computing.

Hong Kong based venture capital firm Horizons Ventures was the lead investor in the previous $40mn round and has invested in earlier rounds. Other investors included Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, CDIB, Himax Technologies, Qualcomm, Thundersoft, Sequoia Capital and Weltrend.

Albert Liu, Kneron’s founder and CEO, said, “We are excited to continue our journey with our partners and investors. 2020 was a great year for Kneron, we released the KL720 and made executive-level hires including Davis Chen, Qualcomm’s former Taipei head of engineering. Aside from working on projects with our investors we also plan to release more chips in 2021. Edge AI is still a new concept for many and we are passionate about bringing this technology to everyone.”

Kneron provides complete end-to-end integrated hardware and software solutions that enable on-device edge AI inferencing in mobile devices, personal computers, and IoT use cases including smart home devices, surveillance, payments, and smart cars. Their solutions augment cloud-based AI to accelerate AI inferencing on any device.

Kneron already includes air conditioning giant GREE and autonomous driving software company Teraki amongst its customers.

Kneron product offerings include:

SoC AI chipsets-

  • KL720 AI chip supports 4K images, Full HD (1080p) video, and natural language audio processing, enabling devices to capture more detail for facial and audio recognition
  • KL520 AI chip accelerates neural network models whether from Kneron or 3rd parties on mass-market devices enabling 2D/3D visual recognition and audio recognition applications in everyday devices

On-device AI algorithms - Machine learning algorithms, which have among the smallest memory footprints in the industry according to recent NIST test results, include face detection, facial recognition, body detection, and gesture recognition

Neural Processing Units (NPU) - Kneron’s NPU provides commercially proven, high-efficiency solutions designed for devices with low power, low thermal profiles and yet complex neural network computational requirements.

Neil Tyler

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