Dec 8 (Reuters) – Keith Kressin, the executive who oversaw Qualcomm Inc’s (QCOM.O) artificial intelligence chip efforts, has left to take the top job at a Michigan-based semiconductor startup.

Kressin has become chief executive of MemryX, founded in 2019 by University of Michigan professors Wei Lu and Zhengya Zhan, the company told Reuters. MemryX is working on its second generation of a chip aimed at helping cameras in places such as cars and factory robots recognize objects, a field called computer vision.

Kressin told Reuters he left Qualcomm, which is nearly tied with Intel Corp (INTC.O) for the tile of second-largest U.S. chip firm by market capitalization, for MemryX, which has only 30 employees, because he believes the startup solves a key problem in making artificial intelligence work in the real world.

Artificial intelligence models must be “trained” using powerful chips in data centers. To be used outside data centers, they must be modified to fit into smaller chips inside cameras or other devices. Those modifications – known as “hand tuning” – can be costly and time consuming.

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