SK hynix announced on Tuesday that it invested 64 billion won (US$55 million) in Gauss Labs, an artificial intelligence (AI) solutions company, as it aims to lead manufacturing innovation.
In August, Gauss Labs established its headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, and it plans to open its South Korean office later this month. SK hynix is the sole investor for Gauss Labs through 2022.
SK Group has been pushing for various AI businesses to lead the conglomerate’s future value creation through its affiliates.
Tae-won Chey, SK Group’s Chairman, said that the group should take advantage of innovative technologies such as AI and digital transformation to develop social value, expand its market, and satisfy customers.
Gauss labs would become the first independent corporation founded by SK Group, specializing in AI. The company aims to develop revolutionary smart semiconductor manufacturing solutions using innovative AI technologies and SK hynix’s big data. This would yield a more efficient facility in process control, equipment maintenance, yield protection, defect inspection, and fault prevention.
Gauss Labs aims to grow its business to customers related to energy, biotech, and other manufacturing industries. AI services in manufacturing would help in troubleshooting production and reducing costs.
CEO Kim Young-han and R&D Head Dr. Yun Sung-hee
University of California professor and data scientist Kim Young-han would serve as Gauss Labs’ CEO. Kim is also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a formerly worked as a data research fellow for SK hynix. A company official considers Kim as the most suitable person to lead Gauss Labs’ future growth.
Gauss Labs actively seeks the best experts in AI, planning to grow the company to 200 engineers and scientists by 2025. He added that the AI solutions provider would recruit both in its U.S. headquarters and in the Korean office.
Gauss Labs also appointed Dr. Yun Sung-hee from Amazon as its head of research and development. Yun led several high-profile projects in different industries such as e-commerce and semiconductor as an AI and optimization expert.
“By working on the right problem at the right moment, I am confident that Gauss Labs will become a world-class industrial AI powerhouse with exceptional talents like Carl Friedrich Gauss.”
-CEO Kim Young-han
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