Bits + chips
Micron announces US$100 million venture investment to accelerate AI innovation
Rodney Chan, DIGITIMES, Taipei

Micron Technology has announced it will invest up to US$100 million in startups with a strong focus on AI and machine learning through its strategic investments entity, Micron Ventures.

The announcement was made at the inaugural Micron Insight 2018 event in San Francisco.

Micron Insight 2018 comes as AI and machine learning continue to make headlines across the industry, and while most organizations are still in early stages of experimentation with these technologies. As companies develop more complex AI and machine learning systems and work on more advanced use cases, the hardware used to train and run those models will become increasingly important, said Micron. This requires a detailed look at compute, memory and storage configurations to avoid performance and throughput bottlenecks and drive faster, better results.

"We are pleased to bring together the industry's brightest thinkers, researchers, innovators and technologists to discuss AI, machine learning and deep learning," said Micron president and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. "These trends are at the heart of the biggest opportunities in front of us, and increasingly require memory and storage technologies to turn vast amounts of data into insights that accelerate intelligence."

Launched in 2006, Micron Ventures invests in technology startups aligned with Micron's strategic interests, according to the company. Micron Ventures is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs revolutionize industries with advances in AI for applications such as augmented and virtual reality and autonomous driving, while advancing foundational capabilities such as deep learning. As part of the US$100 million investment, Micron will target up to US$20 million to fund startups led by women and other underrepresented groups.

"Micron Ventures is focused on accelerating innovation in AI and machine learning in order to unlock the vast potential of these promising technologies to enrich human life," said Micron executive vice president and chief business officer Sumit Sadana. "Our investments, coupled with our industry-leading portfolio of memory and storage products, technologies and capabilities, will enable these startups to realize the full potential of their innovations."

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