Canaan Technology strategically invests in image display chip manufacturer Pixelworks to strengthen AI chip ecological layout
On August 11, Beijing time, Canaan Technology (Nasdaq: CAN) announced a strategic investment in Pixelworks (Nasdaq: PXLW), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pixelworks (Nasdaq: PXLW), the world’s leading provider of innovative video and display processing solutions. The company, this move will further broaden Canaan Technology’s layout in the field of AI chips, especially combined with Canaan Technology’s Kanzhi AI series chip functions and algorithm capabilities, can strengthen Canaan Technology’s R&D and scene implementation capabilities in image processing. It is reported that this strategic investment also includes Shanghai Beyond Moore Equity Investment Fund Partnership (Limited Partnership), Qingdao Beyond Zhixin Venture Capital Partnership (Limited Partnership), VeriSilicon Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., and Beijing Yitang Changhou Display Four companies in the Chip Venture Capital Center (Limited Partnership).
According to public information, Pixelworks was established in 1997 and listed on NASDAQ in 2000. It is a leading provider of video and display solutions. The market covers smartphones, games, tablets and other mobile devices, projectors, Home entertainment fields such as video recording and broadcast video streaming, TrueCut content creation, reproduction and video streaming, and business and education fields. In terms of basic video and image processing IP, the company has accumulated more than 300 patents.
In terms of hardware, Pixelworks introduced visual processors for mobile devices, Xcode transcoders for media players and set-top box recorders, and SoCs for digital projectors. In September 2020, the sixth-generation vision processors i6 and i6 Pro with AI adaptive image quality for mobile phone screens were launched, which are the industry’s first devices with integrated AI processing units.
In 2020, smartphone manufacturers have launched flagship smartphones that support HDR and high refresh rates (90Hz and above), such as OnePlus 8 series, OPPO Find X2 series, Black Shark 3 series and so on. The previous Black Shark I and II gaming phones, ASUS ROG I and II gaming phones also use Pixelworks’ vision processors. In addition, in recent years, some models of Nokia, TCL, Coolpad, and ZTE have also adopted Pixelworks visual processors or software solutions to enhance the display effect of mobile phones. The newly released iQOO Neo5, OnePlus 9 series, ASUS ROG 5 series, TCL 20 Pro 5G, and OPPO Find X3 also use Pixelworks technology.
It is worth mentioning that as early as 2003, Pixelworks established a chip design center in Zhangjiang, Shanghai. It currently has 130 employees, most of whom are R&D engineers engaged in chip design.
Founded in 2013, Canaan Technology is a company with chip design as its core technology and the world’s first company to apply ASIC chips to blockchain computing devices. In the following years, it has continuously broken through 55nm, 28nm, and 16nm process chips. And in 2018, the world’s first 7nm process chip was launched, and the development of 5nm process chips is currently being promoted.
Canaan Technology began to invest in AI chip research and development in 2016, and officially released its first edge AI chip-Kanzhi K210 in 2018. This chip adopts the industry’s mainstream SoC design scheme, built-in self-developed IP core KPU, and can efficiently handle visual and voice functional requirements, especially in image processing, with its extremely low power consumption and extremely The computing power performance of cost-effective advantages has been favored by developers and ecological partners. At present, this chip has been implemented and commercialized in multiple scenarios such as robots, smart homes, STAEM education, and epidemic prevention and control.
Canaan Technology will launch a new generation of AI chip Kanzhi K510 in 2021. This is an end-to-side reasoning AI chip for the mid-to-high-end market. The target scenarios of K510 are mainly high-definition aerial cameras, video conferencing, robots, STEAM education, and industrial cameras. And assisted driving. So far, Canaan Technology has established an open source ecosystem based on Kanzhi AI, including chip design and mass production, algorithm and product development, and upper-level services and solutions.
This investment in Pixelworks will be a powerful combination of two companies with strong AI chip design capabilities. In particular, Canaan Technology, as a new player in AI chips, will further strengthen the ecological layout of AI chips through cooperation with Pixelworks, especially in image processing R&D and scene landing capabilities, thereby promoting the overall competitiveness of Canaan Technology Kanzhi AI , To accelerate its commercialization progress.
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