Inspirit IoT, Inc. Closes a Late Seed Funding Round Led by Senscape Technologies, Inc.

Inspirit IoT, Inc. announced today that it has closed a late seed funding round led by Senscape Technologies, Inc. Inspirit IoT offers deep neural network (DNN) analysis and optimization tools, chip-agnostic high-level synthesis (HLS), and IoT hardware accelerator solutions to enable smart IoT applications. Together with Senscape’s leadership in machine learning and computer vision technologies, this investment and strategic alliance will accelerate design and deployment of smart vision and smart sound applications.

Inspirit IoT, Inc., was born from 5 years of research in the Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC) of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). With the support of the US Government SBIR Seed Fund, it has now expanded its novel suite of design tools to include Xcelo Compiler (an HLS tool), DNN Optimizer, and Smart Sound solutions. The new funding from Senscape will support the US and Asia Pacific commercialization of these technologies.

IoT (Internet of Things) promises to bring sensor intelligence to a vast array of applications. Inspirit IoT’s design tools, libraries, and IoT platform designs explore performance and power tradeoffs, helping engineers meet application deployment constraints while delivering solutions to market faster than prior design methods.

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Inspirit’sXcelo Compiler includes a state-of-the-art general-purpose HLS engine with extensive IPs and is paired with a library of ML (machine learning) components. Xcelo Compiler currently outperforms market competitors by 2X based on comparisons of quality of results. Inspirit’s DNN Optimizer explores DNN reductions in bit-width, weight sharing and pruning in order to reduce size and complexity of DNN implementations, and automatically retrain the networks to retain the expected inference accuracy. In addition, Inspirit’sIoT Generator provides a user-friendly development kit for IoT solutions. Inspirit’s smart soundboard can be deployed indoors or outdoors across a wide range of sound-related applications.

Dr. Deming Chen, the President and Chairman of Inspirit IoT, Inc., said: “Senscape and Inspirit share the same vision for providing cutting edge intelligence solutions at the edge. Inspirit’s design and optimization tools will bridge an important gap between complex and heavy-duty DNN models developed by data scientists and their efficient hardware implementations at the edge. Such a powerful tool flow coupled with the strong design and machine learning expertise offered from Senscape would lead to valuable new solutions for the machine learning and IoT industry. We are very excited about the strategic partnership this late seed investment helps to create for delivering important embedded intelligence solutions for both US and China markets in the foreseeable future.”

Hongbo Xiao, Chief Executive Officer of Senscape stated: “Inspirit IoT and Senscape offer complementary technologies and our collaboration will lead to better solutions than what we can achieve individually. Inspirit has an outstanding team and we believe they will develop world-class FPGA and DNN design tools. Their leading DNN model compression method can be applied to our Movidius-based edge devices. Their FPGA design tool suite would be an important enabling force for us to achieve our planned FPGA-based solutions. At present, our short-term goal is to develop a new embedded solution based on FPGA and apply it to security surveillance, drones, and even AR and other fields. Our long-term goal is to provide SoC products to the market.”

According to Dr. Jason Cong, Chancellor’s Professor of the Computer Science Department at UCLA and a serial entrepreneur: “Inspirit is well positioned as an important enabler of the AI technology from machine learning models to their actual hardware realization in various IoT domains. The Senscape funding offers a very good partnership opportunity that will benefit both companies moving forward. I look forward to seeing further innovation from Inspirit in AI and HLS.”

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