AI Chip Company Syntiant Raises $55 Million to Accelerate Growth
Strong Pipeline as Global Demand for Edge AI Rises; 20 Million+ Processors Already Shipped
Syntiant Corp., a provider of deep learning solutions making edge AI a reality for always-on voice, sensor, audio and image applications, announced that it has closed $55 million in new funding, bringing the total investment to more than $100 million since the company’s founding in 2017.
Renesas Electronics Corporation, Millennium Technology Value Partners and Mirae Asset Capital are among five new investors. Existing investors also participated in the raise.
“We are at a pivotal point of our company’s growth and development, having shipped more than 20 million of our Neural Decision Processors as global market demand for edge AI rises among device manufacturers,” said Kurt Busch, CEO at Syntiant. “We have built a strong customer pipeline that represents the leading suppliers, from earbuds to automobiles and most everything in between. This new round of funding will help us expedite full production deployments among more than 50 current customer engagements, as our technology continues to make edge AI accessible to any battery-powered device.”
In July 2021, Syntiant and Renesas Electronics Corporation announced a collaboration for a voice-controlled multimodal solution with Renesas’ RZ/V Series MPUs and Syntiant’s NDP120 Neural Decision Processor™ (NDP) that enables low-power contactless operation for image processing in vision AI-based IoT and edge systems.
“Our investment in Syntiant further demonstrates the synergies between our companies as we work together to deliver combined edge AI solutions to customers globally,” said Sailesh Chittipeddi, EVP, GM of IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “By leveraging Syntiant’s leadership position in deep learning edge compute, our collaborations are enhancing user experiences through advanced AI-based voice and vision processing solutions across many use cases, such as security systems, personal devices, industrial and manufacturing, transportation and logistics.”
“We have researched dozens of edge AI chip companies, and Syntiant is the first we have seen to develop a software-centric turnkey solution that is already being deployed at scale,” said Jay Chong, partner at Millennium Technology Value Partners. “When it comes to semiconductors, benchmarking hardware performance is always important, but ease of integration and implementation are equally important.”
The new funds will be used for enhancing software capabilities, as well as accelerating deployment of the company’s third-generation Syntiant Core 3™ architecture, which Syntiant expects to introduce next year.
Syntiant is backed by some of the world’s leading strategic and financial investors, including Intel Capital, Microsoft’s M12, Applied Ventures, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, the Amazon Alexa Fund and Atlantic Bridge Capital.
Additional Investor Accolades
“We continue to be excited by Syntiant’s leadership in AI at the IoT edge and the variety of new product experiences Syntiant customers will bring to market in 2022 and beyond,” said Samir Kumar, managing director of M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund, and member of Syntiant’s board of directors.
“Syntiant’s deep learning solutions are setting the standard for highly accurate, low-power inference in edge IoT products such as our recently introduced spexor mobile alarm device, which combines a wide range of safety features, including intrusion detection, into one portable security assistant,” said Luis Llovera, managing director at Robert Bosch Venture Capital. “We see great opportunities with Syntiant, not only as a portfolio company, but also as a global technology provider.”
“We have actively invested in the global edge AI processor market for nearly a decade and always have been impressed with Syntiant’s stellar technology, team and products,” said David Lam, general partner of Atlantic Bridge Capital. “We are delighted to continue investing in the company to fund innovations in its edge computing architecture for consumer and industrial IoT applications, and to support Syntiant’s rapid growth in unit shipments and sales.”
“We are thrilled to be expanding our investment in Syntiant as they continue to be at the forefront of driving large scale adoption of AI at the edge,” said Robey Miller, partner at Alpha Edison. “We have had the privilege of working closely with Syntiant’s executive team for several years and have been consistently impressed by their pace of innovation and ability to build a culture of operational excellence. Syntiant is uniquely positioned to be the NVIDIA of edge applications.”
Delivering a Natural Interface Turnkey Solution for Low-Power Edge AI Deployment
Syntiant designed its technology as a complete turnkey system by combining purpose-built silicon with an edge-optimized data platform and training pipeline, bringing cloud-free advanced machine learning solutions to the edge of the network, enabling mission-critical and time-sensitive decisions to be made faster, more reliably and with greater security.
The company’s Neural Decision Processors™ allow edge devices to hear, speak, see and feel in a wide range of domains such as earbuds, wearables, smartphones, smart speakers, laptops, automobiles and other IoT consumer and industrial use cases. Syntiant NDPs typically offer more than 100x efficiency improvement, while providing a greater than 10x increase in throughput over current low-power MCU-based solutions, subsequently enabling larger networks at significantly lower power and greatly increasing battery life, while simultaneously decreasing infrastructure costs.
“Syntiant always has been ahead of the curve with our deep learning technology, while we continue to execute on the company’s growth strategy,” added Busch. “Edge AI is inevitable, and we are seeing current product market trends catch up to our technology, especially among our largest customers, which are expanding their deep learning deployments across new industrial and consumer applications.”
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