Start-up raises $12.5m to develop deep learning processor

Friday, 15 June, 2018

Start-up raises $12.5m to develop deep learning processor

Hailo, a Tel Aviv-based company, has announced the completion of a $12.5 million Series A round. The company will use the funding to further develop its deep learning processor, which will deliver data centre processing capacity to edge devices.

Hailo’s deep learning processor, whose initial samples are expected to enter the market in H1 2019, will be able to run embedded AI applications on edge devices that are installed in autonomous vehicles, drones and smart home appliances such as personal assistants, smart cameras and smart TVs, alongside IoT, AR and VR platforms, wearables and security products. The processor is said to reduce size, power and cost, making it suitable for local processing of high-resolution sensory data in real time.

One of Hailo’s key target markets is the automotive industry, which is currently undergoing a major disruption as it rapidly adopts deep learning methods to enable advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving applications that require continuous sensing of surroundings. Existing general-purpose processor infrastructure cannot efficiently run compute-intensive deep learning algorithms necessary for these applications.

“The 70-year-old architecture of existing processors is inadequate to meet today’s deep learning and AI processing needs,” said Hailo CEO Orr Danon. “Hailo is revolutionising the underlying architecture of the processor to boost deep learning processing by several orders of magnitude. We have completely redesigned the pillars of computer architecture — memory, control and compute — and the relations between them.”

“In the last few years, we are witnessing a revolution in the automotive industry with the quick entry of new players and technologies into the market,” added Hailo Chairman Zohar Zisapel. “The product that Hailo is developing is expected to be a key component in this revolution in which artificial intelligence is one of the building blocks.”

This latest funding round brings the total raised to date to $16 million, with investors including OurCrowd, Maniv Mobility and the DRIVE accelerator fund Next Gear, as well as angel investors Hailo Chairman Zohar Zisapel and Delek Motors CEO Gil Agmon. The company is currently collaborating with major players in the industry who are examining the use of its technology.

“We are convinced that the extensive need in the market, Hailo’s breakthrough technology and unique team will allow Hailo to bring the deep learning revolution to edge devices,” said Eli Nir, Senior Investment Partner at OurCrowd.

Image caption: The Hailo founders. From left to right: CEO Orr Danon, Chief Business Development Officer Hadar Zeitlin and CTO Avi Baum. Image credit: Eran Tayree.

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