Ann Arbor AI chip startup hires Qualcomm Executive as CEO

An Ann Arbor startup founded by two professors from the University of Michigan with the aim of manufacturing microchips for artificial intelligence applications has a new CEO from the management level of the chip manufacturer Qualcomm Inc.

MemryX Inc. said Wednesday that Keith Kressin, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm’s Compute and Cloud Division, will take the reins of the company as president and CEO to commercialize its technology.

The 52-year-old Kressin has more than two decades of management experience in the semiconductor market. Most recently, he led product development and related businesses for the Snapdragon line of mobile processors and oversaw, among other things, Qualcomm’s AI chip programs.

MemryX said the discontinuation of Kressin is an important step in bringing its technology to market, which aims to produce highly flexible chips that work better with artificial intelligence applications.

MemryX co-founder and founding CEO Wei Lu, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UM, will become the company’s chief technology officer and will focus on technology development. MemryX was co-founded in 2019 by Lu and his colleague Zhengya Zhang at UM for electrical engineering and computer science.

“Almost every processing function is increasingly dependent on AI. AI kernels need to be highly scalable, easy to program, flexible and incredibly efficient, ”Kressin said in a statement. “This is what MemryX has demonstrated in processing silicon and the company aims to be ready with production silicon in 2022.”

Kressin holds a BS in electrical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and an MBA from Cornell University.

In May, MemryX announced a Series A funding round that included ARM IoT Capital, HarbourVest, M Ventures, eLab Ventures, Motus Ventures, and the University of Michigan, without disclosing the size of the round.

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