AI Chipmaker Hailo Raises $136M

Article By : Sally Ward-Foxton

Hailo's latest funding round will support software development and customer support.

Israeli AI chip startup Hailo has raised $136 million in a Series C funding round, bringing the company’s total to $224 million. The company has also reportedly reached “unicorn” status.

With its Hailo-8 chip in production and shipping in volume, Hailo’s latest cash infusion will be used to continue building its software offering and support teams. The company has expanded its presence globally over the last year, opening offices in Tokyo, Taipei, Munich and Silicon Valley.

Orr Danon Hailo
Orr Danon (Source: Hailo)

“We are building our sales force very intensively and our ability to support customers,” Hailo CEO Orr Danon told EE Times, adding that Hailo now has more than 100 customers. “We need to catch up in terms of the coverage we provide not only to customers, but the back office support team, the software team that support all the features customers are asking for.”

Hailo’s latest funding round will also help expand its product offering, with a focus on software. Danon said Hailo has amassed 100 models, with more in the works. It is also adding hardware and software reference designs based on customer feedback to support additional use cases. Second-generation silicon is also in the pipeline.

Hailo launched its Hailo-8 AI accelerator for edge devices in 2019. The architecture mixes computing, memory and control blocks; software allocates adjacent blocks to work on each layer of a neural network, depending on the computing and memory requirements of each layer. The chip can perform 26 TOPS at 2.8 TOPS/W for AI inference acceleration.

Hailo-8 now comes in M.2 and Mini PCIe modules for incorporation into edge boxes and edge server applications. It is also available in partner systems, mostly edge boxes such as MicroSys Electronics’ NXP Layerscape LX2160A (16x ARM A72 core)-powered embedded industrial platform. The platform incorporates up to 5x Hailo-8 chips, a Lanner Electronics’ fan-less computer vision box that combines the Hailo-8 with an x86-host CPU to process multiple video streams in real time. Also included is a Leopard Imaging’s EdgeTuring video analytics platform powered by Socionext SC2000 image signal processor, the Hailo-8 M.2 module and Foxconn’s BOXiedge fan-less video analytics edge computing box.

Lanner Hailo edge box
Lanner’s edge AI system featuring the Hailo-8. (Source: Hailo)

According to Danon, the company has a growing list of industrial automation customers using Hailo-8 in production-line inspection and in factory-floor safety applications.

“Robotics is also moving forward faster than I expected,” he said. “Research in autonomous driving is leading to lots of knowledge which is being implemented, and [robotics] projects are becoming easier to complete.”

Hailo customers are also targeting smart city, retail and security applications.

Hailo MicroSys edge AI system
MicroSys miriac AIP-LX2160A edge system can be accelerated by up to 5 Hailo-8 chips. (Source: Hailo)

Automotive remains a key focus for Hailo, especially ADAS applications. Danon noted that Hailo’s German office will focus on the automotive market.

Hailo’s Series C round of funding was led by Poalim Equity and Gil Agmon. Existing investors include prominent Israeli entrepreneur and Hailo Chairman Zohar Zisapel, Swiss-based ABB Technology Ventures, London’s Latitude Ventures and Israel’s OurCrowd. New investors include Carasso Motors, Comasco, Shlomo Group, Talcar Corporation and Automotive Equipment.

This article was originally published on EE Times.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Leave a comment