New companies rise to prominence in the semiconductor world all the time as the result of fundraising and partnerships with larger firms. Kneron is the latest to fall into that category. The San Diego-based company has raised new funding from both Qualcomm and Winbond that is reportedly in the “eight-figure” range, according to Evertiq.
This comes almost one year after Kneron completed a $70 million series A round that includes participation from Qualcomm, Horizons Ventures, Sequoia, Weltrend, Thundersoft, and the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.
Kneron was founded in 2015 with a focus on end-to-end integrated hardware and software solutions. Currently, it is pursuing edge AI applications for mobile gadgets, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smart cars, and more.
The company’s CEO, Albert Liu, says, “Kneron is a young company and has achieved a lot since it was founded in 2015, we plan on achieving much more this coming year and this would not be possible without the backing of investors such as Foxconn and Winbond. This is an incredibly exciting time for AI and Kneron will play a crucial role in the development of this technology.”
Kneron’s solutions are designed to augment cloud-based AI and enable local AI inference on almost any device. This is an attractive feature for manufacturers that are looking for ways to make their products more efficient and more powerful.
Liu says, “In a time where so many companies have cut back on R&D we are thankful to our investors who believe in the work we are doing at Kneron.”
The company isn’t strictly focused on research, however. It already has several noteworthy clients on its roster, including air conditioning giant GREE and Teraki, a firm known for its self-driving software.
AI On the Edge
Looking forward, Kneron is in a great position to act as a leader in the on-device edge AI space. Thanks to the fact that it made early investments in research and design, Kneron is ready to roll out a variety of solutions for mass-market devices.
“We are excited to continue our journey with our partners and investors… 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,” Liu adds.
Its recent cash injection makes Kneron an interesting company to watch in 2021. As manufacturers demand edge AI hardware and software, firms that specialize in solutions for the space can blossom in the next few years.