Alibaba forms AI and embedded processor development subsiduary

October 12, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. the Chinese Internet shopping and streaming giant, has said it will form a semiconductor subsidiary to develop artificial intelligence chips and embedded processors.

The subsidiary, called Pingtouge Semiconductor Co. Ltd., will be a vehicle for embedded processor IP licensor C-Sky Microsystems, which Alibaba acquired in 2017 (see Alibaba buys Chinese processor company ). C-Sky was founded in 2001 and approximately 600 million chips have shipped with C-Sky embedded CPUs, mostly in China. Pingtouge will develop proprietary ICs to support Alibaba's cloud computing and IoT activities.

Alibaba has also announced plans to for the Alibaba Damo Academy to research and develop quantum computing and conventional chip technologies. The academy plans to launch a self-developed neural network inference chip called AliNPU in the second half of 2019 for use in autonomous driving, smart cities and smart logistics.

"Alibaba has been a leading technology innovator in cloud computing and artificial intelligence since we announced our determination to transform into a technology powerhouse two years ago," said Jeff Zhang, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group, in a statement.

Alibaba DAMO Academy has over 300 researchers worldwide since its launch, focusing on five major areas including machine intelligence, robotics, fintech, data computing and quantum computing. Global partners of the Academy include renowned academic institutes such as University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and The Chinese Academy of Sciences.

It has also been announced that Alibaba founder Jack Ma will stand down as executive chairman on September 10, 2019 to be succeeded in that role by CEO Daniel Zhang.

Related links and articles:

www.alibaba.com

damo.alibaba.com

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UltraSoC's Alibaba design win underlines China's significance

Alibaba buys Chinese processor company


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