AI chip manufacturer Cambricon closes Series B at $2.5bn valuation
The Series B fun...
Chinese chip manufacturer, Cambricon Technologies, has secured hundreds of millions in its latest funding round, reports Synced Review.
The Series B funding round has left the company with a valuation of $2.5bn. Investors reportedly include Capital Venture (a Chinese state-owned company), SDIC Venture Capital, China Capital Investment Group, TCL Capital, CITIC Securities, Alibaba VC, and Lenovo Capital & Incubator Group.
Cambricon mainly focusses on the development of artificial intelligence (AI) chips. The company produced China’s first AI chip in 2016 for use in smartphones, wearable technology and drones. In particular, Cambricon is looking to develop chips with low power consumption.
China Daily says that after the funding round, it is now the highest valued smart chip startup in the world.
Previous investors in Cambricon have included iFlyTek, Oriza and Yonghua, according to Global University Venturing. iFlyTek is a voice recognition company and part of China’s national AI team, while both Oriza and Yonghu are early-stage investment companies with a technology focus.
Cambricon has stated that following the funding it will “continue to devote itself to spreading smart chip ideas, technologies and products to every corner of the world, allowing machines to better understand and serve humanity.”
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.