SoC startup exits stealth with funding to unify edge 5G/AI

SoC startup exits stealth with funding to unify edge 5G/AI

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

EdgeQ has announced its launch from stealth with $51 million in total funding, including $38.5 million in a Series A round, to address the untapped 5G infrastructure market as the first company to converge 5G connectivity and AI compute onto a system-on-a-chip (SoC).

By unifying 5G and AI at the nearest focal point of data at the edge, says the company, it will allow enterprises in manufacturing, construction, energy, automotive, warehousing, surveillance, telco and other verticals to harness private networking for disruptive applications, intelligent services, and new business models. The company’s converged 5G and AI silicon platform is open and software programmable for both devices and edge infrastructure.

By introducing open programmability to the baseband, says the company, it provides a new software-driven development model for OEMs and operators that can support existing cellular protocols, such as 4G, 5G and beyond.

“We are rapidly evolving from a smartphone economy to a constellation of intelligent edge devices,” says said Vinay Ravuri, CEO and founder of EdgeQ. “This will cause massive disruption to the current paradigm, where existing fixed-function approaches are inadequate to meet the scale, speed, and breadth of new end connections. By building 5G and AI hardware in a newly imaginative, software-friendly manner, we empower and inspire customers with an open and programmable platform that is adaptable, configurable, and economical for 5G-based applications.”

To execute this vision, the company has assembled a team of semiconductor, 5G, Wi-Fi, and AI industry veterans with decades of leadership experience from Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom. Collectively, says the company, its leadership team has successfully delivered decades of cellular modem technology that powers much of today’s cellular handset and infrastructure market, as well as up-and-coming AI acceleration for data centers.

Next: Who’s backing EdgeQ?

The company is backed by investors Threshold Ventures (formerly DFJ), Fusion Fund, Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang (AME Cloud Ventures), and an unannounced strategic customer.

Mohammad Islam, Partner, Threshold Ventures says, “The 5G ecosystem is nascent today. The market has a limited set of players delivering 5G solutions designed around smartphones and legacy networks. With an elite founding team, [EdgeQ] have developed a groundbreaking software-defined platform that serves a market set to grow exponentially during the next decade. As the first company to combine compute and 5G connectivity in a single chip, EdgeQ is at the forefront of the critical 5G infrastructure space.”

Jerry Yang, founding partner at AME Cloud Ventures and co-founder of Yahoo! adds, “To deliver on the promise of 5G, the market needs flexible, software-programmable silicon that can be fit-for-purpose. For example, autonomous vehicles and robotics will require both high-quality 5G connectivity and powerful AI computing capabilities. Today, chips are designed for very limited use cases. EdgeQ CEO Vinay Ravuri brings the expertise needed to break this paradigm and deliver true innovation. This technology will disrupt the market for silicon and democratize access to 5G for the first time.”


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