Chinese AI firm SenseTime signs investment agreement with Qualcomm

November 15, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
SenseTime has signed a strategic investment agreement with global communications giant Qualcomm Incorporated, which is pending closing. Last month, SenseTime and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., announced a collaboration for on-device AI, which follows a July announcement from SenseTime that it had raised $410 million in its Series B round of funding, setting the then-record for the highest single round of financing in the global AI industry.

Boosted by this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and pending investment from its Qualcomm parent, SenseTime's proprietary AI algorithms will likely be deployed in even more smartphones and devices, while the "algorithm + chip" strategy behind the collaboration is set to redefine the next generation of intelligent terminal devices.

The explosive growth of intelligent terminals has driven the large-scale implementation of AI technology to new heights. While the performance quality of smart devices previously depended on the computing capabilities of chips, today's smartphones, cameras, robots, the Internet of Things (IoT) products, and other devices require extremely powerful processing in order to meet the demands of real-time data. With the shared vision of SenseTime and Qualcomm Technologies to drive an "algorithm + chip" strategy, the two parties are on track to redefine the intelligent terminal ecosystem and accelerate its development.

Quinn Li, VP and Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures said, "Qualcomm is investing great effort into researching ways to boost the development of on-device AI with 5G technologies by enhancing AI chip capabilities. Qualcomm's investment will enable SenseTime to invest more in AI research and development. Given our shared vision and customers, our collaboration will offer customers more integrated solutions, reduce the cost of deploying AI technologies for intelligent device OEMs, shorten the R&D cycle, and therefore rapidly upgrade the entire terminal device industry."

Dr. Xu Li, co-founder and CEO of SenseTime, said, "SenseTime is dedicated to developing cutting-edge AI technologies to connect upstream partners with the downstream market. With Qualcomm's strategic investment and collaboration, SenseTime can bring AI technologies to more terminal devices and boost the development of the entire intelligent device ecosystem."

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