Baidu AI chip funding values subsidiary at US$2 billion

March 28, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Baidu AI chip funding values subsidiary at US$2 billion
Baidu, China's equivalent to Google, said Monday that its artificial intelligence (AI) chip subsidiary Kunlun, has completed a funding round that values the company at US$2 billion.

The funding was led by Citic Private Equity Funds Management (CPE) with others investors including IDG Capital, Legend Capital and Oriza Hua, according to local reports unconfirmed by Baidu. No comment was made on the size of the funding.

According to unnamed sources in those reports Baidu intends to make Kunlun a stand-alone chip company and has another subsidiary named Honghu. But elsewhere Kunlun is used to refer to a datacenter AI accelerator chip and Honghu to a Baidu-developed AI voice processor used in smart speakers.

In December 2020 Baidu announced that the Kunlun1, a high-performance computing AI processor had been successfully deployed. The Kunlun1 is made in 14nm process technology with 16Gbytes of high-bandwidth memory. It achieves 256TOPS while consuming less than 150W, according to report from the China Money Network. Kunlun2 due to be in production in 1H21 will triple the performance of Kunlun1, the report said.

Honghu is a far-field voice interactive smart chip for consumer electronic terminals and edge computing.

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