Technology Author: EqualOcean News Jan 18, 2022 10:20 PM (GMT+8)

Homegrown AI chipmaking powerhouses are riding high on policy support, burgeoning market demand.


Axera, a Chinese chipmaker specializing in the design and production of AI chips for computer vision applications, has secured a Series A++ round of financing worth CNY 800 million (USD 126 million).

The investors in this round included GGV Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, Meituan and its venture capital arm DragonBall Capital, Inno Chip, Heju Investment, Legend Star and Glory Ventures.

Axera's latest funding round comes as global demand keeps surging for semiconductors and a slew of supportive domestic policies spur faster growth of a budding chipmaking industry.

Founded in 2019, Axera has completed two funding rounds within six months. As per the company announcement, the proceeds will be used to recruit top-caliber talent, scale up the business, form industry tie-ups and build high-end chips with a global competitive edge.

To date, Axera has rolled out two AI vision chips, AX630A and AX620A, which are said to possess strengths such as high energy efficiency and superior computing power. These chips are particularly suitable for applications including smart cities, smart transportation, smart wearable accessories and smart homes.

Investment in China's chip industry has gathered steam as the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) highlights the need to foster self-sufficiency in several core technologies including integrated circuits.

Against this backdrop, the domestic market for AI chipmaking is projected to exceed CNY100 billion by 2023 thanks to the rapid growth of 5G and AI technologies.

 Globally, the AI chip market size is expected to experience a 40.17% CAGR between 2021 and 2028, according to Verified Market Research.

As part of the efforts to bolster China's chipmaking ambitions, tech giants including Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu are pouring ever-larger sums into the semiconductor industry to incubate homegrown foundries and diversify their own businesses.