ThinCI, a US-based developer of artificial intelligence (AI) processors, completed a $65m series C round this week co-led by automotive components manufacturer Denso and its semiconductor subsidiary, NSitexe.
Singaporean state-owned investment firm Temasek co-led the round. Carmaker Daimler and Mirai Creation Fund, which is backed by automotive manufacturer Toyota, also invested, as did an unnamed Asian electronics company, GGV Capital, Wavemaker Partners, SG Innovate and unnamed, existing investors.
ThinCI is developing a general purpose, fully programmable computing architecture to optimise the operation of AI technologies such as machine and deep learning, neural networks and computer vision. GGV Capital venture partner Kheng Nam Lee will join its board of directors.
Denso previously led a funding round of undisclosed size for ThinCI in 2016, with participation from automotive supplier Magna International and assorted angel investors.
The company has not revealed additional funding details, though it identified Wavemaker Partners and ThinCI chairman Dado Banatao as existing backers.
Tony Cannestra, director of corporate ventures for Denso, said: “ThinCI has the capabilities to help us usher in the next era of transportation. The company’s technology provides the computing power to make autonomous driving and advanced electric vehicles the industry norm.
“The move to level 4 and level 5 autonomy in the automotive industry will require huge amounts of flexible computing power. It is not feasible for car owners to have autonomous vehicles with server racks in their trunks, so there is a definite need to get that computing power out of the trunk and into a set of chips.”