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Bitmain Introduces Its First Hardware for Accelerating Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications

Today, Bitmain announced its first products for accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) applications, applying its industry-leading expertise in Bitcoin mining hardware and system design.

The products are:

  • The BM1680, a customized tensor computing ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), which is optimized for multiple types of inference and training functions for deep learning networks
  • The SC1, an advanced fan-cooled module that combines the BM1680 into a compact, easy-to-integrate package

Bitmain’s new line of AI hardware products delivers superior performance and optimized costs when compared to traditional implementations using graphics processing units (GPUs). Bitmain’s Sophon hardware can be applied in a variety of industries and use cases including image and speech recognition, autonomous vehicle technology, enhanced security camera surveillance, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and many other AI applications.

“Deep learning is very intensive computationally and our experience in creating high-performing hardware for Bitcoin has absolutely prepared us for this exciting area of computing,” notes Micree Zhan, Bitmain’s CEO. “AI hardware is an area that Bitmain is proactively developing to power the next generation of AI applications.”

Mr. Zhan further explained, “Bitmain saw trends in the AI business that were similar to the early days of Bitcoin, and so we started to explore AI toward the end of 2015. Now after only a year and a half, we have the mass-production chips in hand.”

The BM1680 and SC1 feature full compatibility with popular AI platforms, including mainstream Caffe, Darknet, Googlenet, VGG, Resnet, Yolo, Yoto2 and other models, making them simple for developers to use. Bitmain has demonstrated its hardware’s capabilities in motor vehicles, human/object detection, and face recognition and has also completed the training for Alexnet, Googlenet, VGG, Resnet and other mainstream AI networks.

Micree Zhan will deliver a keynote presentation entitled “Planet-Scale Computing Driven by AI” at the AI Cloud Forum at AIWORLD 2017 in Beijing on November 8. It will include discussion of the BM1680’s key features.

Price and Availability

Samples of the SC1 module are available immediately and can be purchased from https://www.sophon.ai/product/sc1.html.

About Bitmain

Founded in 2013, Bitmain Technologies, described as the world's most valuable bitcoin company, was established to develop and sell the world's leading bitcoin miners using Bitmain's ASIC chip technology. Bitmain is now among the most recognizable companies in the cryptocurrency space and the proud parent of several brands, among them Antminer, Antpool, BTC.COM, Hashnest, and Sophon, all of which are among the leading products in their respective fields. Bitmain's machines and customers are present in more than 100 countries across the globe. Bitmain remains devoted to the production of high quality and efficient computing chips, high density server equipment, and large scale parallel computing software. The company is proudly headquartered in Beijing, with offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Qingdao, Chengdu and Shenzhen.

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