ITRI and Microsoft Collaborate on AI Chip Applications

HSINCHU, Taiwan, Sept. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To expand innovative IoT applications and technology cooperation, a delegation led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) visited Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington on September 4th. The delegation, which consists of representatives from Industrial Technology Research Institute ( ITRI), Delta Electronics, Etron Technology, Inventec, Mitac Computer, and National Tsing Hua University, met with Carl Coken, General Manager of Global Solution Architects – CDS IoT Solution Sales at Microsoft. The meeting discussed topics including the development of AI chips, edge computing, and the security of IoT chips, hoping to promote cooperation in AI chip design software and system protection to catalyze more AI chip applications. 

Dr. Ta-Sheng Lo, Director-General of the Department of industrial Technology (DoIT), MOEA, commented that total AI chip market output is expected to reach NT$500 billion by 2022. Taiwan has a world-leading comprehensive semiconductor supply chain, and it has established credibility through long-term cooperation with international heavyweights. It also has robust manufacturing and healthcare databases, giving it an advantage in the development of AI chips. The DoIT has fostered the creation of the AI on Chip Taiwan Alliance (AITA) by the industrial, academic, and research communities, and Microsoft is a member of the alliance, he said. Dr. Lo hopes Taiwan is able to leverage Microsoft's longstanding efforts in software platform architecture and IoT, along with integration of cross-disciplinary engineering, from chips and systems, to applications and services. This will promote AI-related technology and applications development, maximizing the strengths of both sides, he said. 

Dr. Shih-Chieh Chang, Deputy General Director of ITRI’s Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories, remarked that ITRI has a solid foundation in semiconductors and ICT and possesses technologies in edge inference chips, AI software and hardware integration, heterogeneous integration, and emerging memory. Its AI-on-Chip Project will focus on device-side AI applications that emphasize "immediacy," "reliability," "privacy," and "customization." "Privacy" will, for example, include security monitoring and health management, and consequently address the issue of data security. "Customized" AI products associated with voice recognition, smart eyewear and other applications will link with personal information and require data security as well. Microsoft and MediaTek, another member of AITA, have jointly developed the MT3620 IoT microcontroller, using the security architecture provided by Microsoft to ensure information security for many IoT devices. In the future, ITRI will also cooperate with Microsoft on developing AI chips under the AI-on-Chip Project, providing more sophisticated protection for AI- enabled devices.

Mr. Coken stated that Microsoft has long committed itself to IoT security. In recent years, it has cooperated with MediaTek in the development of the first Azure Sphere microcontroller, with the expectation that equipment security in industry can be enhanced to higher standards. In the process of digital transformation, this will minimize the impact on equipment from malicious attacks and will enable sensitive date to be transmitted more securely. The cooperation with the AI on Chip Taiwan Alliance, he said, will further provide the highest security protection via the Azure Sphere platform. The AI IP developed by manufacturers can thereby enjoy the greatest protection. Microsoft is looking forward to further cooperation with the alliance, he added.

In the future, the two sides hope to continue to utilize their R&D capacities and strengths to further leverage their work through technology collaboration. This will help to upgrade technology for Taiwan manufacturers, enabling them to create blue oceans in the face of global challenges. 

About ITRI
Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is one of the world’s leading technology R&D institutions aiming to innovate a better future for society. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan's industries from labor-intensive into innovation-driven. It focuses on the fields of Smart Living, Quality Health, and Sustainable Environment.

Over the years, ITRI has incubated over 280 innovative companies, including well-known names such as UMC and TSMC. In addition to its headquarters in Taiwan, ITRI has branch offices in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in an effort to extend its R&D scope and promote opportunities for international cooperation around the world. For more information, please visit:

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Chloe Chen
Office of Marketing Communications, ITRI
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ITRI and Microsoft Collaborate on AI Chip Applications

A Taiwan delegation led by Ta-Sheng Lo (Right), Director-General of the Department of Industrial Technology, MOEA. visited Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

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