Friday, September 17, 2021

Artificial Intelligence Hardware Startup Deep Vision Raises $ 35 Million

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Deep insight, a company developing an AI accelerator chip and software suite for edge computing workloads, announced today that it has closed a $ 35 million Series B funding round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Exfinity. Venture Partners, Silicon Motion and Western Digital. According to CEO Ravi Annavajjhala, the proceeds will go towards product development as Deep Vision looks to increase manufacturing of its hardware for early customers.

Edge computing, which places computing and storage resources where data is produced, is thriving as industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and energy increasingly adopt it. Grand View Research predicts that the global edge computing market will be worth $ 6.29 billion in 2021, up from $ 4.68 billion in 2020.

Palo Alto, California-based Deep Vision, emerging from research that founders Rehan Hameed and Wajahat Qadeer conducted at Stanford, is among many companies developing specialized processors for artificial intelligence applications. By targeting use cases such as retail, driver monitoring systems, smart city facilities, drones, and factory automation, the startup’s flagship ARA-1 chip can perform real-time video analytics as well as natural language processing. for voice-controlled applications.

Above: Deep Vision AI accelerator chip.

Image Credit: Deep Insight

“This investment is a resounding affirmation of Deep Vision’s tactical accomplishments and strategic direction, which are rapidly propelling our company toward a wide variety of applications in our key target markets,” said Annavajjhala, who previously worked at Intel and SanDisk, in a press release. . “Now we can significantly strengthen our efforts to continue designing and building the world’s most energy and price efficient artificial intelligence inference platform, as well as impeccable software development tools.”

Software package

Deep Vision offers software in conjunction with ARA-1 that optimizes AI models to run on the accelerator chip. Basically, it converts models into calculation graphs, graphs with equation data, ready to be implemented in the ARA-1.

Deep Vision has rivals in Sima.ai, AIStorm, Hailo, Quadric, and Flex Logix, which are similarly developing custom chips for AI workloads. Mobileye, the Tel Aviv company that Intel acquired for $ 15.3 billion in March 2017, also offers a computer vision processing solution for AV in its EyeQ product line. Last July, Baidu introduced Kunlun, a chip for edge computing on devices and in the cloud across data centers. And Arm introduced two new AI edge computing chips in February.

But according to Linley Group Principal Analyst Linley Gwennap, Deep Vision products differ in performance, accuracy, and resolution. For example, the architecture of the ARA-1 is designed to keep data movement to a minimum, reducing latency.

“To improve the latency and reliability of voice and other cloud services, leading-edge products such as drones, security cameras, robots, and smart retail applications are implementing robust and complex neural networks. We expect 1.9 billion edge devices to ship with deep learning accelerators by 2025, ”said Gwennap. “Within these cutting-edge artificial intelligence applications, we see a growing demand for higher performance, higher precision, and higher resolution. This rapidly growing market offers a great opportunity for the Deep Vision AI accelerator, which offers impressive performance and low power. “

Deep Vision says it is actively testing its chips and has “several” clients so far. To date, the company has raised $ 54 million in venture capital.

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