Samsung Electronics is one of the world's largest manufacturing companies and it is consistently investing in new technologies that would make pre-existing devices better and more efficient. Samsung is right at the hub of IoT development and before now, it has shown an interest in developing AI (Artifical Intelligence) chips for devices and even opened AI labs in places like Canada. Now, the South Korean tech giant is looking to Asia for some AI investment. Reports have it that Samsung has invested in a Beijing-based AI start-up, DeePhi, although the details of this investment were not made public.
DeePhi neural network-based AI chipsets for portable devices which supports instant speech recognition, neural language processing and other recognition tasks on smartphones aroused Samsung's interest in the company. This is not the first time Samsung will be investing in AI technology outside Korea as it is reportedly funding Graphcore, which is a U.K.-based computer chip start-up.
DeePhi seems to be the point of attraction for some companies looking to invest in AI technology. The start-up earlier rejected an approach by South Korea’s largest wireless mobile phone service provider SK Telecom only to sign with Samsung. Currently, this company has some big investors which include MediaTek Inc., GSR Ventures, Banyan Capital, and Xilinx Inc. (all into semiconductor products) as well as Samsung, Ant Financial, Amazon Web Service and others.
Yao Song in collaboration with some researchers from Tsinghua University and Stanford University founded DeePhi in 2016 and the company provides neural network compression technology and neural network hardware architecture to simplify and accelerate deep learning applications.