CVA CHIP secured tens of millions of yuan in Pre-A financing round for research and development of intellisense chips

来源:曦华科技 浏览:727

36 Kr learned that CVA CHIP recently completed the Pre-A financing round worth tens of millions of yuan from TSINGHUA-LH and Xiamen Hefang.

Established at the end of 2018 and headquartered in Shenzhen, CVA CHIP has R&D centers in Shanghai and Beijing, focusing on the use of intellisense and computing control to realize Edge Intelligence. The CEO of the Company graduated from Tsinghua University. Most of the team members are from internationally renowned chip design companies, possessing R&D ability for software, hardware, algorithms, systems and verification across the entire chain of chips. The master’s and doctoral degree holders account for 65% of all team members. The Company has human-computer interaction, mixed signal processing, and large SoC. Several products predominantly designed by the team have won international awards, and several billion chips designed by our team have been delivered. After only two years of development, the Company has nearly 150 patent portfolios, of which 1/3 are invention patents. 

CVA owns a multi-modal Sparrow architecture platform similar to CortexM. Projects based on the Sparrow platform that are underway and have been planned include 3D face recognition vision chips, binocular vision chips, smart decoding Scaler chips, MCU+ sensing/drive chips. The Sparrow platform features high integration of various human-computer interaction modules, including the RISC-V processor for control part, the AI accelerator and image algorithm accelerator for computation part, and the Sensor hub, touch, fingerprint, IR for sensing part, high-level security encryption module of EAL4+ and national standard, as well as ultra-high-speed system data architecture, ultra-low-power modules and abundant interface types to quickly derive products and greatly shorten the product launch cycle. Currently, three main types of chips based on the Sparrow platform have been developed, i.e. 5G SAR chip, TWS Touch chip and intelligent decoding Scaler chip.

(Edge AI chip architecture: Sparrow platform)

5G SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) is designed to measure the impact of mobile phone radiation on the human body. When it detects that the mobile phone gets close to the human body, it will reduce or adjust the antenna transmit power as appropriate to reduce the radiation. CVA predicts that as 5G mobile phones become more available and stricter standards are enforced (see the national standard Limits for Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields Emitted by Mobile Phones (GB21288-2020)), nearly 200 million SAR chips are demanded in 2020, except for those required by Apple and the number will continue to increase, especially after the SAR standard is enforced in China, it will see an explosive growth. Each set of 5G mobile phone requires 2-3 SAR chips, higher than the demand from 4G mobile phones. At present, more than 80% of the market share is monopolized by American Semtech, and other similar companies include South Korea’s Abov. CVA said that its 5G SAR chip has such characteristics as ultra-high-precision capacitance change detection, ultra-long detection distance, wide load detection range, temperature compensation technology, intelligent recognition and ultra-low power consumption. Its sensitivity and detection distance are over 60% higher than competing products, the load capacity over 60% higher than the international leading competing products, and the anti-interference frequency band over 60% higher than international leading competing products, which can completely substitute the imported chips.

(Growing 5G SAR demand)

The TWS Touch chip combines the in-ear detection function with the touch control function. It is expected to be available by the end of 2020, and Alpha customers have been identified. CVA said that compared with the traditional light sensing + Gsensor solution, TWS Touch does not require openings, and feature high integration, small size, low power consumption, and good touch experience using the self-developed innovative technical architecture. Since the release of Airpods in 2016, wireless smart headsets have grown rapidly, and CVA expects that the chip demand will exceed 1 billion by 2023. Meanwhile, with the exception of Apple, most of the TWS headset purchasing decision-makers and users are located in mainland China, creating a higher chance of import substitution.

(Demand for TWS Touch chip)

CVA said that the current sales amount is about tens of millions of yuan and it will break even within this year.

Wang Jie, co-founder & CMO of CVA CHIP, holds a master’s degree in microelectronics from Xidian University, and is the former deputy general manager of MStar, a semiconductor company. He anticipated that by the end of 2020, the Intelligent Connectivity will have 50 billion connections, the market size will exceed 2 trillion yuan, and 50% of the network capacity will be used for IoT connections. As a result, the chip demand from the core components of smart devices will experience a rocketing growth in smart homes. Today, 99% of devices are not connected, and the demand for AI chips is diffused. This requires AI chip manufacturers to actively adapt to different application scenarios and fit into the existing industrial structure.

(Edge computing and intellisense chip market)