Drs. Yunji (陈云霁) and Tianshi Chen (陈天石) are the brothers who developed the the world’s first terminal artificial intelligence special processor through Cambricorn, the Chinese company that aims to rival Nvidia, the leading supplier of silicon for machine-learning projects. In August 2017, an investment fund owned by the country’s State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) led to a $100-million funding round for Cambricon.
“We hope to take 30 percent market share of China’s high-performance smart chip market and to have one billion smart devices worldwide integrating Cambricon’s processors in three years,” Tianshi explained in an interview with Xinhua News.
Born in Nanchang, China, the brothers are both graduates of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). The pair both serve as full professors at USTC, two of the youngest full professors at the institution, in addition to their work developing smart chips and leading the Cambricon project. Tianshi has taken up the role of CEO of the company.
Yunji was selected as one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35 in 2015. Prior to founding Cambricon, Yunji participated in the Godson/Longsoon project and was a chief architect on the Godson-3 microprocessor. He still leads a lab at USTC that develops new neural network processors.
Cambricon Technology is now a unicorn start-up with a value of $2.5 billion. The company released its first AI chip in May 2018. Only time will tell if this duo has developed the tech to beat Nvidia in a race that, for the past few years, has involved only one horse.Tags: AI, Asia