Chinese search and autonomous driving giant Baidu has recently turned its Kunlun chip business into a new, separate company, Kunlun Chip (Beijing) Technology, 36Kr reported Friday, adding that Ouyang Jian, the chief architect of the business, has become the company's CEO.
The report said Baidu confirmed the matter. Ouyang said, as quoted by the report, that there is an unprecedented opportunity for change in computing and semiconductor technology, and that Baidu will continue to invest in innovation by establishing the new company based on its accumulation in computing chip field over the past 10 years.
On March 15 this year, Sina Finance cited sources as saying that Kunlun closed a new round of financing led by CITIC Private Equity Funds Management at a valuation of $2 billion.
Baidu said at the time when contacted by CnTechPost that Baidu Kunlun chip business has completed independent financing and more information will be announced in the future.
On March 24, Baidu announced that the Kunlun chip business has completed the signing of a standalone financing agreement, valued at about RMB 13 billion ($2 billion) after the investment.
Baidu Kunlun chip is a cloud-based AI general-purpose chip that Baidu developed independently in July 2018. As one of the important businesses of its AI ecology, the Kunlun chip business will further develop the chip field after the independent financing.
Baidu Kunlun 1 successfully taped out in 2019 and mass production in 2020.
Currently, Baidu Kunlun1 has mass-produced more than 20,000 pieces, which are widely used in scenarios such as search engines and intelligent cloud ecological partners.
Baidu Kunlun2, which is under development, will be in mass production in the second half of 2021, with a further 3x performance improvement over Baidu Kunlun1.
The Kunlun chip gives the company a more complete software and hardware integration capability, forming an AI full-stack technology layout from chips to deep learning frameworks, core algorithms, platforms, and ecologies.