Startup digs deep learning, snags big backers

October 13, 2016 // By Junko Yoshida
At a time when “Deep Learning” isn’t just hot but approaching the hype-cycle’s boiling point, nobody should be surprised at the emergence of another deep-learning, vision processing startup.

This one is called ThinCI (pronounced “Think-Eye”), founded by Dinakar Munagala, an accomplished engineer/architect with an Intel pedigree.

Surprising about ThinCI (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), however, is its well-heeled, big-name backers with credible technological expertise, and a unique “massively parallel architecture” which Munagala describes as an engine “purposely built for vision processing and deep learning.”

Munagala promises that his patent-pending chip architecture can bring “two orders of magnitude improvements in performance” compared to other deep learning/vision processing solutions.

ThinCI, after operating in a garage on a shoe-string budget for six years, is emerging from stealth mode this week. It recently snagged two big automotive tier ones as institutional investors and secured a roster of who’s who in the tech industry as private investors.

The two tier ones signed up are DENSO International America, Inc., and Magna International Inc.

Private investors include: Dado Banatao, chairman ThinCI board of directors and managing partner, Tallwood Venture Capital; Dadi Perlmutter, former executive vice president, general manager of Intel Corp.’s Architecture Group; Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of the Supervisory Board of BASF SE and Member of Supervisory Board of Daimler AG; and several others of similar stature.