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Canaan expands edge AI chip offering to Japan with Cathay partnership

Canaan expands edge AI chip offering to Japan with Cathay partnership

Canaan, a Beijing-based hardware and chip designer best known for building servers for bitcoin mining, has partnered with Cathay Tri-Tech to sell AI facial recognition technology in the Japanese market.

Canaan’s AI facial recognition module uses the company’s internally developed Kendryte K210 AI chip, which was designed for processing machine vision tasks, such as facial and image recognition. Cathay, a subsidiary of Thine Electronics of Japan, is a designer and developer of software and products for IoT applications such as M2M communications. Cathay will sell the Canaan products alongside its existing IoT product line as both companies seek to expand their footprint in the market for edge AI solutions.

Canaan expects the Kendryte offering to enable facial recognition in applications such as vending machines, smart access controls, smart door locks, and elevator control systems. Executives said the Kendryte K210 AI chip and AI facial recognition module will be the first edge computing series of AI products sold by Cathay. Cathay will also provide EVB evaluation boards, SDKs, and reference circuit designs as part of the partnership.

Canaan went public on the NASDAQ in 2019 and provides servers used in bitcoin mining and also sells AI chip solutions to customers. The company generated $68.6 million in revenue in 2020 and a net loss of $11 million. The Kendryte chips, now in volume production, are a hedge against the capital intensive and volatile bitcoin mining market. The company expects to have additional AI chips on offer in the second half of 2021.

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