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Kneron Raises $49 Million to Scale up AI Chips for Self-driving Cars

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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In a significant stride toward advancing the autonomous vehicle and machine industry, Kneron, a leading AI chip developer, has announced the successful raising of an impressive $49 million in its Series B funding round to scale up. This funding round garnered substantial support from prominent investors, including Foxconn, Alltek, Horizon Ventures, Liteon Technology Corp., Adata, and Palpilot.

Liu and Frank Chang co-founded Kneron in 2015. Liu held R&D and managerial positions at Qualcomm and Samsung prior to founding the business. Before being elected to the nonprofit National Academy of Engineering, which runs engineering programs for education and research, Chang worked as an assistant director at Rockwell.

In an email interview with TechCrunch, Kneron’s CEO, Albert Liu, says that the new tranche, which brings Kneron’s total raised to $190 million, will be put toward bolstering Kneron’s go-to-market efforts in the automotive industry and expanding the size of its team, with an emphasis on the R&D division.

“The need for chips in the automotive market is robust, and the rapid growth of AI in generative applications is driving the need for AI chips, said Liu. Kneron is strategically positioned with unique advantages in these areas.”

Liu and Chang set out to create hardware for AI applications via Kneron, notably Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), or chips made expressly for a given application. Currently, Kneron offers low-power, reconfigurable AI chips that can execute algorithms ranging from face and body identification models to models to generate text. These chips are intended to connect with existing systems, such as the sensors on driverless cars.

NeuReality, another player in the market with similar AI-inferencing acceleration technology, is one of Kneron’s rivals. Other newcomers include Hailo, Mythic, and Flex Logix. In terms of market leaders, Nvidia’s GPU hardware is the obvious one, but Google is also vying for supremacy in AI inferencing with its tensor processing units, while Amazon is placing its bet on Inferentia.

“Kneron is poised to become a significant player in this industry,” Liu added.

“Kneron’s lightweight reconfigurable solutions resolve three major problems faced by AI use cases: latency, security, and cost, thereby enabling AI everywhere.” has a context menu.


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