Qualcomm launches $100M AI fund and reveals investment in AnyVision

Qualcomm launches $100M AI fund and reveals investment in AnyVision

The company said it believes artificial intelligence processing is shifting toward the "wireless edge" because of advanced mobile devices.

"At Qualcomm, we invent breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates", said Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm CEO, in the statement. The new fund will concentrate on AI that will be used in autonomous cars, robotics, and machine learning platforms.

Qualcomm has already picked one lucky recipient of its largesse: Qualcomm Ventures has participated in a Series A funding round for AnyVision, a "face, body, and object recognition start-up", though there are no details about how many greenbacks the chip giant deposited in AnyVision's bank account. The Israeli company uses on-chip AI capabilities to reduce data movement, a feature Qualcomm said can help mitigate data privacy concerns. Its data acquisition strategy, together with its proprietary algorithms, are expected to provide significant value to customers. In particular, the fund, named Qualcomm Venture Funds, will target companies that are developing ways to do intensive processing on devices such as smartphones and security cameras, as opposed to those working in remote cloud systems, CNet reported. With the AI Fund and research division, Qualcomm is looking to expand AI into new industries, services and applications.

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San Diego-based Qualcomm joined Intel Corp, Micron Technology Inc and Nvidia Corp in investing in AI. The AI Fund was announced at Qualcomm Venture's 5G & AI Summit in San Francisco.

The Qualcomm Ventures team has a demonstrated track record of investing in some of the top global AI startups. The AI Fund will continue to invest in those that share Qualcomm's vision of making on-device AI ubiquitous. Startups could bridge the gap and may prove lucrative, and could also assist Qualcomm in its own development of hardware capable of supporting artificial intelligence. When we connected the phone to the Internet, the mobile revolution was born. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio.

It was not clear how many companies the new AI fund would back, but the company would make investments anywhere between $1 million and $10 million per startup.