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Promoting the Development and Commercialisation of AI Chips in Hong Kong

Image Credits: ASTRI, Press Release

The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and the AI Chip Center for Emerging Smart Systems (ACCESS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently to jointly promote the R&D and industrialization of AI Chips, to further promote the development of AI chips in Hong Kong to the world’s cutting-edge level.

As the first research centre under the Hong Kong government’s InnoHK Clusters initiative to formally establish a partnership with ASTRI, ACCESS will jointly develop emerging AI chip technology and hardware-accelerated AI technology, and promote the transformation of advanced technology into products with ASTRI by converging their R&D expertise. Currently, the two parties are embarking on the first research project collaboration, which focuses on advancing the application development of customised AI chips in the field of AI Internet of Things (AI-IoT).

ASTRI has been committed to promoting technological R&D in Hong Kong and partnering with different institutions and companies in developing innovative technologies. ASTRI’s researchers have devoted themselves to the R&D of next-generation AI technology and the design and application of AI chips for several years.

In its partnership with ACCESS, ASTRI will be able to directly apply the results of basic research, and transfer AI chip technology and solutions to the industry through mid-stream applied research, helping the development of AI and Innovation and Technology (I&T) industries in Hong Kong, and enabling integrated circuit technology to sublime to another realm.

The Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI stated that one of the missions of ASTRI is to transfer professional technology and R&D to the industry to benefit the entire technological research industry in Hong Kong, and the promotion of this work is in line with the purpose of establishment of InnoHK. He added that the first project has officially commenced since the establishment of the platform, bringing AI chip technology to different fields. The R&D of different technologies among ASTRI, ACCESS, and other units in the future to bring more cutting-edge technologies to Hong Kong is highly anticipated.

With initial funding of HK$443.9 million from the Hong Kong government’s InnoHK, ACCESS was founded by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in collaboration with research with Stanford University, The University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, sought to realise ubiquitous AI applications in society seeking to create AI chips that are much faster and more energy-efficient than that of existing solutions.

Meanwhile, the Vice-President for Research and Development of HKUST and Center Director of ACCESS stated that the Center has a world-leading team of interdisciplinary experts. Since its establishment more than a year ago, it has conducted several types of research in the fields of applied hardware joint design, computing-in-memory, as well as smart sensors and AI-IoT and made technological breakthroughs.

In setting up this long-term cooperation with ASTRI, the Center can leverage its technical foundation and industry channels in AI technology applied research and AI chip solutions to transform these international collaborative research results into AI products more quickly, thereby achieving an efficient I&T development model from basic research to application. According to research, the global artificial intelligence chip market size is expected to reach US$ 194.90 billion by 2030 from US$ 8.02 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 37.41% from 2021 to 2030.

Artificial intelligence (AI) helps to eliminate or minimise the risk to human life across a variety of industries. Moreover, the need for more efficient systems for solving mathematical and computational problems has become crucial, as the volume of data has increased.

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