On September 17, SynSense, a brain-like chip company, announced the completion of nearly 200 million yuan Pre-B round of financing, jointly led by Qigang Investment and Zhangjiang Science and Technology Investment, followed by industrial investors such as CEC Haikang, China Merchants Qihang, Tyco Source Electronics and Ventech China, with old shareholders He Li Capital and Yachang Investment continuing to raise capital.
“The funding in this round is mainly used to accelerate the research and development of brain-like chip products and promote the industrialization of brain-like technology in the field of artificial intelligence edge computing.” SynSense time sense technology founder and CEO Qiao Ning said.
According to the information, SynSense is a world-leading brain-like intelligent chip design and development company. Based on more than 20 years of brain-like technology research results from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, the company was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in February 2017 and moved its headquarters to China in April 2020. SynSense provides the world’s leading ultra-low-power, ultra-low-latency brain-like technology solutions, which have won many CES and other industry innovation awards and can be widely used in trillion-dollar edge computing intelligent application scenarios.
Made a brain-like chip startup
Dr. Ning Qiao, the founder and CEO of SynSense, graduated from the Institute of Semiconductors, Chinese Academy of Sciences, joined the Institute of Neuroinformatics (INI) of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich in 2012, and led the group as an Oberassistant in cutting-edge brain-like chip research and development. He has led and participated in nearly 10 EU brain-like projects, designed and developed several world leading brain-like chip platforms, and published dozens of brain-like related articles in top international conferences and journals.
SynSense, a brain-like chip company, completed a Pre-B round of financing of nearly 200 million RMB
Professor Giacomo Indiveri, co-founder of SynSense, studied under Professor Carver Mead, the legendary figure of Caltech, inventor of neuromorphic engineering and father of integrated circuits. For more than 20 years, Prof. Giacomo has been working on brain-like technologies, and is considered a god in the field of brain-like technologies. He is currently a tenured professor at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Director of the Institute for Neuroinformatics INI in Zurich, and is the Chief Scientist of SynSense.
SynSense has the world’s top brain-like technology R&D and industrialization team. Up to now, the company has top design and R&D centers and joint labs in Zurich, Shanghai, Nanjing, Chengdu, Suzhou, etc., gathering nearly 100 top technical R&D personnel from more than 10 countries and regions, covering multiple dimensions such as brain-like chip algorithm, chip architecture, chip design and chip application development. Nearly 80% of the company’s personnel belong to the R&D team, and nearly 50% of the R&D team have doctoral degrees or above and R&D experience from top international universities, and the entire team has published more than 600 articles in top journals and conferences such as Nature and Science, with more than 17,000 citations. The company’s management team has worked for Intel, Hysis, IDT, Lenovo and other international companies, and all have more than 10 years of industrial R&D and management experience.
Based on the advantages of brain-like algorithm, chip technology and market application, SynSense has become one of the internationally recognized leaders in brain-like technology. It is also the only brain-based chip company to be included in the list.
SynSense has also received high attention in the “Brain-like Market and Technology Analysis Report 2021” published by Yole, and has been called “the only brain-like smart chip company that straddles both perception and computation”.
SynSense, a brain-like chip company, completed a Pre-B round of financing of nearly 200 million RMB
In July, SynSense released Speck, the world’s first fully bionic, dynamic vision intelligence SoC based on brain-like perception and brain-like computing. -CNN dynamic vision computing core, the world’s first fully event-driven, sub-milliwatt ultra-low power, millisecond ultra-low latency, privacy-free, end-to-end focused complete intelligent vision solution. The design has gained widespread industry attention upon its release, and not only the product won the WAIC Excellence in Artificial Intelligence Leaders Award (SAIL) at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, but the company also successfully cooperated with world-renowned cell phone module manufacturers for in-depth development and launch of lightweight intelligent vision modules.
At present, the company has reached deep cooperation with CEC Haikang and other companies in the fields of intelligent security, intelligent lamps and lanterns, and intelligent recreation, etc. Small-scale mass production of Speck is expected to be realized by the end of 2021.
Brain-like chip company SynSense completed nearly 200 million yuan Pre-B round of financing
Compared with other research-driven organizations, SynSense has a more pragmatic style. Based on the market-oriented approach, this company has taken another path: using market demand as the engine to drive algorithm optimization, and finally implementing brain-like technology into chip design and application layer.
Under this implementation path, compared with IBM’s TrueNorth, Intel’s Loihi and Tsinghua University’s Tianzhu, SynSense’s brain-like chip will gain dozens of times more integration, and at the same time, the chip’s cost will be reduced to a few tenths or one percent, for example, from 100 U.S. dollars to $1. This is one of the main reasons why SynSense is highly recognized and endorsed by well-known investors and industrial investors.
Brain science track is quietly catching fire
As the lead investor of this round, Qipang Investment focuses on hard technology companies that aim to lead and promote the development of future technology, and explores outstanding teams with good technical and marketing capabilities. In the post-Moore’s Law era, brain-like computing is an important technology to break the Von Neumann bottleneck and achieve multimodal fusion, which can provide ultra-low-power and ultra-low-latency solutions for various scenarios of AI edge computing and has great potential for development,” said Linjie Xu, founding partner of QH Investment. The company is based in the Institute of Neuroinformatics in Zurich, the world’s leading location for brain-like science, and has released a number of commercially available brain-like chips, which are at the forefront of technological advancement and commercial implementation. In the future, we expect TimeSense to shine in China, the most promising and large-scale application market, and become the global leader in brain-like technology development.”
Zhangjiang Science and Technology Investment, as a wholly-owned investment strategy implementation body of Zhangjiang Group, co-leads this financing, Zhangjiang Science and Technology Investment General Manager Yu Hongliang said, “We have always been deeply concerned about brain-like technology and other revolutionary, forward-looking and creative new technologies. The company’s founder, Dr. Ning Qiao, and Professor Giacomo are highly influential in the industry, and dozens of core team members are top-notch in academic, R&D and engineering capabilities. At the same time, SynSense is very pragmatic, the company’s technology is application-driven, for the actual application scenario, give full play to the advantages of brain-like technology to design disruptive edge computing technology solutions, the team has a clear industrial landing path, but also highly recognized by the industry.”
The strategic investor and strategic partner of this round, Zhang Wei, President of CEC Hikang Research Institute and Director of Phoenix Optical Co., Ltd. said, “CEC Hikang Group has been keeping a close eye on the brain-like computing track. In today’s traditional AI encountering arithmetic bottleneck and energy consumption bottleneck, brain-like computing is expected to bring new exploration ideas for the further development of AI technology and application implementation through the reference of biological brain operation mechanism.
It is understood that SynSense’s brain-like chip, with milliwatt-level operating power consumption and millisecond-level computing speed, is also capable of integrating perception and computing, which is very suitable as a characteristic complement to traditional vision and AI for various IoT terminals and edge computing devices to monitor and analyze dynamic events and target behaviors for a long time with low power consumption and low cost. CLP Hikvision Group is very much looking forward to working with a wide range of partners to jointly take brain-like computing from the lab to the various industries of the Smart of Everything.”
Jinjing Wang, the follow-on investor and general manager of the strategic partner of this round, said, “We believe that the information society to the intelligent society urgently needs better computing power. SynSense’s founding team includes a number of domestic and international leading talents in this field, providing new solutions for edge computing, which is highly recognized in the industry. As an industrial investment fund under the central enterprise China Merchants Group, we are very optimistic that SynSense Technology will achieve deep integration with China Merchants Group’s rich industrial scenarios in the field of IoT.”
This round of strategic investors, strategic partners, China’s top-ranked well-known distributor Tycoon Electronics’ chairman said, “Very optimistic about SynSense’s brain-like technology solutions, Tycoon will actively promote the technical cooperation with SynSense to accelerate the comprehensive industrialization of brain-like technology.”
One of the investors of this round, Ventech China, a boutique venture capital firm with its origins in France and nearly 15 years of experience in the Chinese technology consumer sector, believes that “SynSense is a company that is truly rooted in the brain-like chip industry, and its launch of a series of products proves that it has the potential to be an international leader in this field, and Ventech China will will leverage its global network to help the company grow internationally.” TFT LCD Module
Following its Series A investment in SynSense, Hutchison Capital, a leading investor in the semiconductor sector, continues to add to its portfolio. He Li Capital partner Biao Zhang said, “In the semiconductor field there are few domestic startups in the frontier technology field can achieve global leadership and lead the wave of technological revolution, SynSense as a global technology leader in brain-like technology company, is a pioneering innovation, and has received investment and recognition from strategic parties and customers, with unlimited future potential. “