San Diego-based edge AI chip company Kneron raised a Series B funding of $48 million led by Horizon Ventures, and participation from existing and new investors. Liteon, an optoelectronics and power solutions provider, and Adata, a memory compute provider, participated in the funding round to bring Kneron’s total funding to over $140 million. The company aims to utilize the funds in its research and development to innovate and develop next-generation on-device AI inference modules.
Kneron executives said progress in the edge AI industry helped convince investors such as Foxconn to participate in the current round of funding. The investment comes on the heels of Kneron’s expansion of its client portfolio, including the likes of Garmin, Dessmann, Gree, Ofilm, Aaeon, Advantech, and Quanta.
“We are excited to work with our new strategic investors in the advancement of core smart city infrastructures,” said Albert Liu, founder and CEO of Kneron. “Edge AI is key to enabling a whole array of devices, from edge servers to smart cameras, which will truly accelerate the proliferation of AI applications that require cross-vertical efforts. With the new funding, we are prepared to tape out the next generation of innovative chips.”
Kneron is betting on the increased adoption of on-device edge AI technology. Edge AI places AI computation and inference on-device rather than in cloud servers. The company serves a wide range of industries of smart cities, smart building management, IoT, security, and mobile services. Kneron partnered with Hanwha, a global IP cameras provider, to accelerate the deployment of its edge solutions in a smart ecosystem. Kneron’s KL720 equips Hanwha’s Techwin X series AI camera with several functionalities, such as virtual fences and human detection.
Earlier this year, Kneron contributed to the world of electric vehicles with the demonstration of its OT8600+KL520 developer boards for electric vehicle camera sensors that can be deployed for vehicles, people, and object detection. Another edge AI solution where Kneron has shown its presence is Spark Sens-Cam AI, a hardware platform for security, smart city, and business intelligence applications. It exploits the onboard neural network accelerator for processing the surrounding acquired information in real time.
AI/ML | chip | edge AI | Foxconn | inferencing | Kneron | Quanta | venture capital