Chinese Bitcoin Mining Machine Makers Speed ​​Up AI Chip R&D As Supervision Tightens


Illustration: VCG

Some Bitcoin mining machine makers in China are now stepping up efforts to make AI chips as part of an intensified nationwide crackdown on companies linked to cryptocurrency mining.

Canaan, a leading Chinese maker of Bitcoin mining machines, announced at the 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai this weekend the release of the Kendryte K510, a RISC-V-based AI chip designed and developed. independently.

“The Kendryte K510 chip is the result of two years of work by our R&D team to innovate and further optimize our core chip architecture. With improved machine vision and improved programming flexibility, the Kendryte K510 can better meet mid to high-end demands. application scenarios, ”said Zhang Nangeng, president and CEO of Canaan, at the launch, according to media reports.

“In the future, we expect this chip to be a very attractive choice for developers as it enables them to deliver smarter product experiences to their users,” Zhang said.

Founded in 2013, Nasdaq-listed Canaan has described itself as a technology company focused on ASIC high-performance computer chip design, chip research and development, computer equipment production and software services.

In early June, Canaan announced a nearly 500% increase in first-quarter sales to 402.8 million yuan ($ 63.12 million), with overseas markets now accounting for 78.4% of total revenue, compared with only 4.9% in the first quarter of 2020, according to Reuters.

In addition to Canaan, the AI ​​subsidiary of Bitmain Technologies Ltd, China’s largest maker of cryptocurrency mining machines, was also present at the Global Artificial Intelligence Conference. Its products are more focused on application-specific integrated circuit chips and cloud computing.

Bitmain had suspended sales of its products in the spot market to help ease the pressure after China banned Bitcoin mining, according to a Reuters report on June 24, adding that the company is also researching power supplies. quality abroad, including the United States, Canada and Australia. , Russia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

The Chinese State Council has pledged to crack down on Bitcoin trading and mining in late May to address financial risks.

Many Bitcoin mines in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, one of China’s largest cryptocurrency mining bases, have been closed. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (northwest China), Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (northern China) and Yunnan Province (southwest China) also announced rules to curb l Bitcoin mining.

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