Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Qualcomm's new $100m investment fund set for on-device AI projects

Qualcomm's new $100m investment fund set for on-device AI projects

Qualcomm Inc. said late Wednesday that it had launched a venture capital-style-investment arm with a $100 million budget to invest in artificial intelligence startups.

It also announced that the new fund has already made its first investment, as part of the Series A financing round of Israeli startup Anyvision.

This move suggests the San Diego-based telecommunications giant, the world's largest chip maker, is ready to join the fierce AI competition its fellow tech giants are now embarking on including Apple, Amazon, Google and Samsung. Micron said that it plans to invest up to United States dollars 100 million in startups working on AI and Intel's venture capital fund has already invest over USD 1 billion in AI in the last years. The fund has a specific emphasis on developing AI technology in devices such as autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning programs. Quinn Li, Qualcomm's Global Director, was asked to share information at a presentation in San Francisco, California.

Qualcomm's AI fund would mainly focus on startups that share the vision of building on-device AI - AI that runs on the end device, like a smartphone or a vehicle, rather than in the cloud.

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In a press release, the company said its goal is to make AI technology ubiquitous at the chip level by inventing, developing and commercializing it.

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, said: "For over a decade, Qualcomm has been investing in the future of machine learning". As the AI moves toward Wireless Edge - a combination of essential on-device features and the Edge Cloud - the industry is beginning to realize the full potential of 5G.

"Qualcomm's AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our research and development, fuelling AI to transform industries, business models and experiences". Beyond its financial commitment, Qualcomm Ventures brokered introductions to its own technology leaders, resulting in AnyVision's use of Qualcomm's AI hardware platform. Their success will provide significant value to many industries and billions of people.

It is clear that the investment focus will be on the automatic learning method, especially as Qualcomm is the manufacturer of the Snapdragon chip for smartphones and IoT devices.

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