extract from chip report byKarl Freund
Cambricon and SenseTime are perhaps the largest Chinese AI players to watch, but players like edge-AI focused Horizon Robotics warrant attention. Additionally, keep an eye on larger internet companies like BaiduBIDU -1.34%, Huawei , Tencent, and Alibaba BABA -1.29%, all of which have significant investments in AI software and hardware.
Sporting a $2.5B valuation, Cambricon is a Chinese unicorn that has already released its third generation AI chip. The company claims it can deliver approximately 30% better performance than NVIDIA V100 for AI at less power. The company also sells its IP with customers and provides the AI hardware that goes into the Huawei Kirin 970 mobile chipset.
SenseTime, perhaps the AI startup with the largest valuation, is best known for spreading smart surveillance cameras across China. These cameras number in excess of 175 million, and include cameras made by other companies. Founded in Hong Kong, SenseTime’s latest round of funding garnered $600M, led by Alibaba. The startup is now valued at $4.5B, according to various press reports. SenseTime has built strategic partnerships with major companies such as Alibaba, Qualcomm, Honda, and even NVIDIA. The company has one supercomputer today, running some 8000 (presumably NVIDIA?) GPUs, with plans to build out 5 more supercomputers to process the facial recognition feeds from its millions of cameras.