Home Technology Qualcomm Ventures to Allocate $100m to AI Investments

Qualcomm Ventures to Allocate $100m to AI Investments

Recently, Qualcomm launched a $100M investment fund targeting artificial intelligence companies.

With this move, the US-based chip giant looks forward to bringing artificial intelligence (AI) technology into a wide array of mass-market gadgets.

Qualcomm Inc., which is known for being the largest designer of smartphone communication chips, claimed that the fund would advance its research not only into low-power processing but also connectivity, which it views as “essential” to artificial intelligence.

Most of the money will be channeled to companies developing artificial intelligence for self-driving vehicles, machine-learning platforms, and robotics.

Qualcomm also disclosed that an Israeli-based startup dubbed AnyVision would be the first firm to get financial support from this new fund, even though the US chip giant failed to say the amount of money it would invest.

AnyVision is coming up with AI systems capable of identifying both objects and people.

By integrating its technology into devices, the Israeli-based company is hoping to alleviate some of the privacy concerns regarding the storage of data in central cloud facilities.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm is said to have argued that leveraging the cloud in supporting artificial intelligence (AI) is too “computationally intensive.”

Looking at its dedication to end-on user devices as well as its relatively weak data center position, the company appears to have vested interest in making sure that the device becomes the primary “host” of artificial intelligence capabilities.

Qualcomm could benefit from keeping artificial intelligence(AI) out of data centers, especially when it comes to selling more complex and costly chips that would be required in handling artificial intelligence processing on devices.

“As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge,” said Steve Mollenkopf, the CEO of Qualcomm, in a company statement about the new investment fund. “Qualcomm’s AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R&D, fueling AI to transform industries, business models and experiences.”

Nonetheless, its newest undertaking is expected to cause a conflict between Qualcomm and other leading technology companies that have similarly placed AI at the core of the company’s strategy.

Huawei prides itself not only on being the largest manufacturer of telecom networks but also a budding force in the smartphone world.

The Chinese-based company recently released a new line of AI chips, primarily under the company’s “Ascend” brand.

The Ascend 910 targets the data center market whereas the Ascend 310 is aimed at gadgets like smartphones, making sure that Huawei Technologies has all the bases covered.

Ken Hu, the rotating chairperson of Huawei, said one of his primary goals is cutting down AI costs to allow technology to become mainstream.”We are trying to make computing power more affordable,” he said during a Huawei conference in London last week. “Nowadays it is still very expensive and that is a big bottleneck for AI.”

With some of the most revolutionary artificial intelligence innovations coming from the startup community, analysts may somehow be doubtful that Qualcomm’s recent fund can make a significant difference.

Back in February this year, Huawei said that it would spend between a staggering $10 billion and $20 billion per year, especially on research and development starting this year, even though it is yet to indicate the amount of money that will go towards AI.

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KC Cheung
KC Cheung
KC Cheung has over 18 years experience in the technology industry including media, payments, and software and has a keen interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and its applications in business. Over the years he has worked with some of the leading technology companies, building and growing dynamic teams in a fast moving international environment.
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