Biz / Tech

AI chips to cost as little as US$1 in future

A Beijing-based startup is betting on cheaper AI chips in the future amid rising sales volumes. 
AI chips to cost as little as US$1 in future
TI GONG / Ti Gong

An AI competition among universities debuts in Shanghai on Tuesday.

AN AI chip will be as cheap as US$1, a startup firm said on Tuesday, thus making artificial intelligence applications and service more affordable and easily accessible.

Beijing-based Unisound, known for its AI algorithm and chips, will sell “several hundreds of thousand” AI chips this year. The cost of an AI chip will drop to as low as US$1 amid increased sales volumes of almost 10 million units, said Liang Jiaen, chairman and CTO of Unisound.

The chips are widely used in smart home, autonomous car, robot, education, health care, finance and retail sectors. For example, AI chips support intelligent devices such as voice-controlled air-conditioners, AI assistants in hotels and smart toys.

In the long term, the market has “great potential” in China, Liang said. At present, Unisound’s chip costs between US$2 and US$3, still cheaper than the average cost of general chip made by firms like Intel and ARM, which cost over 100 yuan (US$16).

Unisound will release several new AI chips for smart home, controlling device and smart driving in the next year or two, the company said.

It also said that it planned to hold an AI competition among Shanghai universities to boost the integration between research and industrial applications.

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