Renesas deepens edge AI deployment with strategic investment in EdgeCortix

Chiang, Jen-Chieh; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Renesas Electronics is strengthening its collaboration with the Japanese IC design startup EdgeCortix through a strategic investment to develop edge artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, and both parties have also entered into a strategic partnership. This marks Renesas' second expansion of embedded computing solution development capabilities through investment, following its acquisition of Reality AI in 2022.

Earlier in October, Renesas just announced a strategic partnership with EdgeCortix, and it participated in the edge AI startup's US$20 million third-party funding round, together with four other participants-- SBI Investment, Global Hands-On VC, Cycle Group, and Monozukuri Ventures.

EdgeCortix, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, specializes in edge AI applications with a strong focus on software-driven AI solutions. The company's expertise lies in designing AI-dedicated high-speed and low-power processors and developing software and AI chips capable of executing AI inference efficiently in low-power and low-latency conditions.

According to information on the EdgeCortix official website, rhe company's solutions have proven to be highly effective for edge AI applications. Their processing performance surpasses that of traditional GPUs and CPUs by more than 10 times, with energy efficiency reaching up to 50 times higher.

Renesas' collaboration with EdgeCortix represents an extension of its 2022 strategy of acquiring Reality AI and developing edge AI and endpoint AI. Renesas is actively expanding its portfolio of embedded computing solutions. Notably, Reality AI's Tiny L (Tiny Machine Learning) solution is a key component that can be utilized in advanced non-visual sensing applications across automotive, industrial, and consumer products, and can also be seamlessly integrated with Renesas microcontrollers (MCUs) and microprocessors (MPUs), combining machine learning and signal processing for enhanced product performance.

With the strengthened collaboration with EdgeCortix, Renesas' embedded processors, combined with Reality AI's software and EdgeCortix's solutions, are poised to simplify and integrate AI and machine learning development processes within its MCU and MPU product offerings. This not only streamlines development, but also empowers customers to compile AI code for diverse architectures, reducing both time and costs.

After securing funding, EdgeCortix plans to use the capital for the development and market launch of the next generation of its flagship product, Sakura-I AI processor. The company will also bolster its engineering capabilities in Japan and establish a new research and development center in India, reinforcing its commitment to advancing edge AI solutions.