The war caught Hailo, a Tel Aviv-based company, during an accelerated move of launching their new product, the Hailo-15 AI vision processor, designed to bring artificial intelligence processing capabilities to video cameras. In a special interview with Techtime, Orr Danon, the co-founder and CEO, revealed that despite many of their employees being recruited for military service, Hailo continues to operate without disruption. “We employ approximately 200 people in Israel and around 25 more overseas. Since a significant portion of our workforce is comprised of young individuals, many of them have been recruited to the army. At any given moment, several dozens of our employees are serving in the military reserves,” Danon noted.
How is your organization managing the situation?
“We have put in place a support system for our reserve soldiers, sending them required supplies based on their needs. Meanwhile, our remaining staff has stepped up their efforts beyond their usual roles. Our approach emphasizes that while functioning during such times isn’t easy, maintaining business continuity is an integral part of the fight against terror. We convey this message to our customers, ensuring that all our meetings and visits with them continue to demonstrate our operational capability and unwavering commitment to support them during these challenging circumstances. In parallel, we encourage employees to volunteer, even on account of work hours, to contribute to the home front’s war effort.”
Can you describe the status of your supply chain?
Currently, we are not encountering any delivery issues. Our primary product, an artificial intelligence processor, and its associated modules are manufactured overseas. The processor is produced by TSMC, a prominent semiconductor manufacturer, and the cards are manufactured by a leading Taiwanese producer. Therefore, we do not face any supply chain disruptions. Approximately 80% of our Israeli employees are engaged in research and development, with roughly 70% of them working as software engineers. This established structure underscores the central role of software in our product.”
How is the market responding to these challenges?
“Many customers are seeking information about our manufacturing locations to ensure that ongoing events do not disrupt our supply. Some who were not previously interested in our supply chain are now inquiring about our business continuity plan and the locations of our manufacturing. We have received supportive messages from numerous clients and business partners. Almost every CEO of a competing company has reached out personally to express concern for our well-being and offer support. This heartwarming response highlights Israel’s technological standing and the global appreciation for Israelis in tech. It reaffirms the essence of the struggle: the battle between terror and progress.”
Enhancing Image Quality within the Camera
Founded in February 2017, Hailo developed a novel architecture for artificial intelligence chips for edge devices, enabling fast and energy-efficient inference tasks on the edge of the network. This architecture is protected by numerous patents and belongs to the rare category of Data Flow Processors. The company’s flagship product, the Hailo-8 AI accelerator, delivers 26 trillion operations per second (26 TOPS) with an average power consumption of less than 2.5 Watts. Presently, approximately 300 companies are utilizing this product, with some already in mass production.
Danon explains, “In early 2023, we introduced the new Hailo-15 AI vision processor, designed to operate within cameras. It leverages our core technology – an artificial intelligence processor for applications in smart cities, security, automotive, industrial automation, and healthcare, among others. Currently, we are delivering engineering samples to leading customers, and by the end of the year, several companies will complete product evaluation. We anticipate some of them will go to mass production as early as 2024.
“One of the Hailo-15 significant capabilities is real-time image enhancement using artificial intelligence. While Hailo-8 aids in post-processing image understanding, Hailo-15 elevates the quality of images on the spot. This brings a novel dimension to security cameras, enabling the enhancement of video images at a remarkable rate of 30 frames per second, a formidable technical achievement that our robust processors make possible.”
Do you have a message for your employees and the industry at large?
“It is essential to contemplate the significance of our work. The current struggle is challenging, both personally and on a national level. These are trying times, but one of the most important actions each of us can take is to resist the defeatist attitude. Faced with the distressing circumstances we are witnessing, our triumph lies in our determination to move forward and continue innovating.”