SK hynix Invests in Gauss Labs, an industrial AI startup
SK hynix Inc. announced on Sept. 22 that it has founded Gauss Labs Inc. to lead manufacturing innovation through industrial artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.
Gauss Labs will start its Korean office later this month right after having established its headquarters in Silicon Valley, U.S. last month. SK hynix is the sole investor of its initial capital of $55 million through 2022.
SK Group has been promoting various types of AI businesses with its affiliates. SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won stressed at SK Icheon Forum in August last year that the group should utilize innovative technologies such as AI and digital transformation (DT) to create social value, expand its market, and help its customers pursue happiness. “If we fail to utilize innovative technologies, we cannot guarantee the future of SK,” he said.
Gauss Labs is the first independent corporation from SK Group specializing in AI.
Gauss Labs initially aims to revolutionize semiconductor manufacturing through innovative AI technologies by utilizing an enormous amount of data generated at SK hynix’s manufacturing sites. Through these technologies, SK hynix plans to make its overall manufacturing operations, including process control, yield prediction, equipment maintenance, defect inspection and fault prevention, more efficient and more intelligent.
Kim Young-han, a world-renowned data scientist who is a tenured professor of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), will serve as CEO of Gauss Labs. Kim recently worked as a data research fellow for SK hynix and is considered the best person to lead Gauss Labs’ growth with his technical expertise and global network.
Gauss Labs has also named Dr. Yun Sung-hee from Amazon as its head of R&D. Yun is an AI and optimization expert who has led several high-profile projects in various industries such as semiconductor and e-commerce. He is a former student of Professor Stephen Boyd at Stanford University, one of the most distinguished authorities in machine learning (ML) and convex optimization.
Gauss Labs plans to expand its business to global customers as well as SK Group affiliates related to energy, bio and other manufacturing industries. AI services have been mainly based on B2C before, but recently AI is being gradually introduced to the manufacturing industry for production troubleshooting and cost reduction.
“Gauss Labs is actively seeking the best players in AI. We plan to recruit both in our U.S. headquarters and Korean office, with the goal of growing the company to 200 scientists and engineers by 2025,” said Kim. “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.”
Gauss Labs is currently recruiting global AI talents from the industry and academia through its website.