Cambricon Technologies Co, a Beijing based start-up, announced an ambitious new 3 year goal, in line with China’s goal to build world-class Artificial Intelligence (AI) processor companies. Cambricon’s goal is to have its AI intellectual property in 3 billion devices within 3 years.
Chen Tianshi, CEO of Cambricon, which is valued at $1 billion, said: “We aim to account for 30 percent of China’s high-performance AI chip market in three years. The goal is within our reach.”
Cambricon developed the Cambricon-1A, a chip for deep learning applications. “The Cambricon-1A processor is specifically designed for AI deep learning, and outperforms traditional processors in graphic and voice recognition by at least two orders of magnitude,” Chen stated.
“It also has a high integration density several times that of traditional processors, making it possible to install AI chips on mobile devices.”
Cambricon intellectual properties are already in use by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, for its latest smartphone, the Mate 10, and by State-owned Sugon Information Industry Co Ltd, to improve server operations computing speeds, and reasoning abilities.
Cambricon also announced 3 new intellectual properties, which will support low-power applications in face recognition and driving applications.
“We will focus on both in-device AI and cloud AI. But we won’t make chips for consumer electronic devices ourselves. We will sell our intellectual properties to hardware makers so that they can better integrate AI into their in-house chips,” Chen said.
According to Chen, the new chips “are far better than the traditional general purpose processors in boosting image and speech recognition. The chips also boast higher integration density, making them ideal for many devices.”
China’s goal is to develop world class AI processor companies. The government announced a national plan in July to build a 1 trillion yuan ($152.5 billion) AI core industry by 2030, and said developing home-grown AI processors is an important part of the ambitious goal.
Cambricon has the capital, and has received US $100 Million in Series A funding from China’s State Development and Investment Corp (SDIC) Chuangye Investment Management, a subsidiary of China’sSDIC.
Other investors include Alibaba , which supports global internet trade; Lenovo , a global Fortune 500 technology company; and CAS Investment Management Co Ltd , a private equity firm.
Sun Ninghui, director of the Institute of Computing Technology at CAS, said “Cambricon is playing a pioneering role in the global AI semiconductor sector. More efforts are needed to partner with industrial chain partners, so that China is likely to lead the development of AI in the world.”