The NeuroMem Odyssey
The NeuroMem® technology has been growing and improving patiently waiting for the market to be ready for its acceptance. Today, the trendy Edge Intelligence and Data Analytics markets are steering the demand for high-speed, low-power pattern learning and recognition. The NeuroMem technology already has many credentials: o A technology deployed in five commercial chips (ZISC36, ZISC78, CM1K, QuarkSE, NM500) o A technology licensed successfully under different forms. Licensees include Intel (USA), nepes (South Korea) and ANURAG (DOD India). o Existing eco-system: hardware reference design, software tools, documentation, training materials o Customer credential and success stories in industrial, consumer, and computational applications.
Background The NeuroMem technology stems from the insight of Guy Paillet, that the race towards applying ever more powerful computer systems to pattern recognition problems was ineffective and would eventually prove a dead end. Thus was born the concept of the Zero Instruction Set Computer (ZISC), a chip designed and produced in a collaborative effort between Guy and the IBM-Essonnes laboratory in France in 1993.
Through a chronology of events, the team of General Vision Inc. composed of Guy Paillet and Anne Menendez designed the successor of the ZISC chip between 2007 and 2009 and named it CM1K which stands for Cognitive Memory with a capacity of 1K cells. The chip uses four patents of the original ZISC invention, which have now expired but for which IBM granted a license of use to General Vision at the time. Production samples of the CM1K have been available since January 2010 and several NeuroMem IP licenses have been sold including one to Intel with the Curie module as a first outcome of this license.
Several attempts have been made over the past years to start a commercial entity in charge of the manufacturing, marketing, and sales of the NeuroMem chips and collaterals. None have succeeded and been adequately funded to support sustained worldwide marketing and support of many and large customer accounts.
Today, General Vision has found, nepes, an ideal partner to manufacture the next generation of NeuroMem ICs, but also to integrate it into application specific Multi-Chip-Modules and System-In-Package. This step was critical to boost the acceptance of the technology in markets as diverse as wearables, smart white goods, automotive, security and inspection cameras, data servers, etc.
Credentials Licensee and Partners 2016 Jan 2016 Sep
2014 Jan 2012 Sep 2012 Jan 2010 Mar 2004
Sale of a manufacturing license to nepes for the production of the NM500, a NeuroMem WaferLevel Chip Scale package with 576 neurons. Mando-Hella Electronics Corp and General Vision teamed up to develop an advanced monitoring and driver assistance systems integrated with NeuroMem technology. The technology will enable multisensory pattern recognition and image identification. Sale of a stacks of 65,000 neurons to Northrop Grumann. Sale of three stacks of 40,000 neurons to the Air Force Research Laboratories from CTI for multiple research projects including Size_Weight_and_Power_Constrained_Applications. Sale of a Black box license to ANURAG from General Vision/CTI, Advanced Numerical Research & Analysis Group of the Ministry of Defense of the Indian Government. Sale of an IP source license to Intel from Norlitech, non-exclusive, with confidential terms and conditions available upon request under NDA. Compelling fielded application for off-shore fish inspection from General Vision. The use of the NeuroMem technology has enabled the high-speed and accurate sorting of the fishes with training made by the fishermen off shore. In a confined space such as a fishing vessel, the replacement of 6 human operators doing the same task has increased their profit by $2M per boat per year.
Press Recognition 2016 Nov 2016 Jan 2015 Oct
2014 Sep 2012 2007
General Vision is among the top key players in the Artificial Intelligence Market by Technology Survey from Markets and markets. Inside NeuroMorphic Computing, interview of Guy Paillet by Semiconductor Engineering. MarketsAndMarkets publishes a global forecat and analysis on neuromorphic chips and mentions General Vision is among the top keyplayers in the growing market of neuromorphic chips along with IBM, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and others. Invitation as a guest speaker to the Darpa workshop on Cortical Processor along with IBM Almaden, AFRL, Northrup Grumman, Stanford University, Georgia Tech, Cornell, etc. Frost and Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for “Cognitive Computing Processors for Pattern Recognition North America, 2012”. Conference on Innovative Application in Artificial Intelligence, Recognition of Work for “Fish Inspection System using Parallel Neural Network chip and Image Knowledge Builder”.
General Vision Inc.
Once upon a time… Timeline of the technology and Business relations 1993
Guy Paillet presents the concept of a self-trainable parallel neural network chip to IBM and works with a team at the IBM lab in Corbeil-Essonnes, France to produce an ASIC trademarked by IBM as the Zero Instruction Set Computer (ZISC) chip with 36 neurons .
IBM applies for a series of patents used in the design of the ZISC chip. These patents are coassigned to IBM and Guy Paillet with free rights of use given to both parties.
Silicon Recognition Inc., a Delaware company, is created to distribute and market the ZISC chip worldwide. Guy, chairman, assigns its US patents to Silicon Recognition as initial investment.
Guy Paillet and Anne Menendez join forces and start General Vision by renaming the former company GTFS created by Anne in 1987 and thus merging image processing and neural network expertise under a same umbrella.
IBM re-spins the chip using a 0.25 micron technology and releases the ZISC78 with 78 neurons.
IBM closes its foundry at Corbeil (France) and discontinues the manufacturing of the ZISC chip.
Guy Paillet and Anne Menendez start Norlitech, a California LLC to become a IP holding and Guy assigns its non US patents to Norlitech.
Silicon Recognition files bankruptcy and Omnivision (http://www.ovt.com) buys its assets for 1.4 M$ at the Sonoma Bankruptcy Court, including the US patents.
CogniMem Ltd. is established and headquartered in Hong-Kong with Guy Paillet, Anne Menendez, and two angel investors as shareholders. Guy and Anne, as Norlitech LLC, start the design of a new chip to replace the ZISC chip. OKI is contracted to manufacture the CM1K using standard cell technology (130 nm) and the first batch of chips is received in January 2008. During the project OKI Semiconductors was sold to ChipX, then finally to Rohm.
Intel and General Vision enter into a collaboration agreement to prove the concept of the NeuroMem technology across multiple business units with the potential outcome of a license.
Norlitech grants a non-exclusive license the NeuroMem IP to Intel under some terms and conditions which are confidential.
CogniMem Ltd sells the ownership of the CM1K to General Vision and closes its operation. General Vision establishes a subsidiary, CogniMem Technologies Inc., lead by Bruce McCormick, former Director and Manager at Intel, with the intend to market the CM1K chip worldwide. An exclusive agency right is granted by General Vision to CogniMem Technologies. No IP is transferred.
General Vision decides to part from CogniMem Technologies and sells its shares back to the company which keeps the right to sell its inventory of CM1K chips. Due to the growing interest in neuromorphic chips, the technology is renamed NeuroMem and the CogniMem trademark is abandoned to CogniMem Technologies.
General Vision Inc.
Creation of NeuroMem Inc., a Californian corporation, with the mission to manufacture, market and sell the CM1K chip and its successors under the lead of Philippe Lambinet. After an 18 months campaign to prepare a professional business plan and visit angel and capital investors, the project is abandoned due to lack of funding. This campaign has brought awareness to the existence of the CM1K chip through several articles, especially in the EETimes.
Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel announces the Curie module at the CES with a “Proprietary” Pattern Recognition Accelerator”. Upon General Vision’s request, Intel corrects the mis-representation of the term “Proprietary” in its publications but declines to publish a corrective statement to the press.
Expiration of the IBM ZISC-related patents used in the CM1K chip.
The Curie module is featured among the key announcements of Intel at the CES with impressive demonstration in the sports and fashion markets
Maker Collider gets a license to distribute General Vision’s CurieNeurons library for the Intel Curie module. Maker Collider produces a series of videos promoting the ease of use of our neurons through the Intel Curie module and its Arduino/Genuino101 boards and using kids from the Shenzhen Open Innovation Laboratory.
Intel announces a Knowledge Builder utility for the Curie module General Vision signs a collaboration agreement with nepes (S. Korea) in preparation of a joint venture to manufacture the new generation of NeuroMem chips.
General Vision signs a collaboration agreement with Mando Hella (S. Korea) for the development of four projects in the automotive industry.
General Vision grants a license to nepes (S. Korea) for the manufacturing of a Wafer-Level CSP NeuroMem chip with 576 neurons. The licensed product is a GDSII file produced by GV through UnoSilicon.
Release by nepes of the production samples of the NM500 along with the NeuroShield and NeuroBrick evaluation modules.
General Vision Inc.