Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Qualcomm launches USD 100 mln AI investment fund

Qualcomm launches USD 100 mln AI investment fund

Qualcomm Inc has set up a $100 million fund that will invest in startups working on artificial intelligence technologies, the United States chipmaker said on Wednesday.

The US$100mn fund will invest more specifically in firms which "share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread", according to Qualcomm's press statement. This investment builds on more than a decade of Qualcomm's AI research and its heritage of developing the foundational building blocks of low power processing and connectivity, which are essential for AI.

"At Qualcomm, we invent breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates", added Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm CEO.

The hardware company's goal is to invest in AI-based projects that offer promising solutions in the technological world, such as robots, business tools, autonomous cars, artificial neural network development platforms, automatic learning, among others. As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge.

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The AI Fund kicked off with a series A round of funding for AnyVision, which is a face, body and object recognition startup. The Israeli company uses on-chip AI capabilities to reduce data movement, a feature Qualcomm said can help mitigate data privacy concerns. Its unique data acquisition strategy, together with its proprietary algorithms, are expected to provide vast value to customers.

Qualcomm Ventures will make future investments in on-device AI with an emphasis on those developing technologies for areas like autonomous cars, robotics and Machine Learning (ML).

San Diego-based Qualcomm joins chip industry contemporaries such as Intel, Micron Technology and Nvidia in investing in AI.

Founded in 2000, Qualcomm Ventures has grown into a variety of industries with a portfolio of at least 150 subsidiaries, including Xiaomi and Waze. The AI Fund will continue to invest in those that share Qualcomm's vision of making on-device AI ubiquitous. These will build on Qualcomm's own research efforts in the field of AI. In May, Qualcomm Technologies announced the formation of a AI new research organization, Qualcomm AI Research, which is created to put all of the company's AI projects under one roof.

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