Canaan Inc. is a bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer based in Hangzhou, China. The company was the second largest designer and manufacturer of Bitcoin mining machines globally in terms of computing power in the six months ended June 30, 2019, according to independent market research firm Frost & Sullivan. During the same period, its mining machines sold accounted for 21.9% of the combined computing power of all the Bitcoin mining machines sold globally.
Canaan’s chief executive, Nangeng Zhang, founded the company in 2013. Together with his team, he invented and delivered one of the first cryptocurrency mining machines incorporating application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology. The company initially dedicated its research and development efforts to ASIC applications for Bitcoin mining and rapidly built up its know-how of ASIC design.
Apart from manufacturing cryptocurrency mining equipment, Canaan dedicated significant resources for the research and development of artificial intelligence (AI) chips.
In September 2018, Canaan became the first in the industry to deliver commercial edge computing AI chips based on Risc-V architecture, which is a set of instructions that describes the way in which software connects with an underlying processor, and self-developed neural-network accelerator.
The ICs that Canaan designs are manufactured, packaged and tested by industry-leading suppliers, including TSMC, Samsung, STATS ChipPac, ASE and SPIL.
The company said its total revenues increased 106.8% from $187 million in 2017 to $378.5 million in 2018. During the same period, its net income dropped 67.4% from $53.8 million to $17.1 million. Its revenue in the six months through June plummeted to $42.1 million, down 85% year-over-year. Canaan also suffered a net loss of $48.2 million, in contrast to net income of $32.8 million a year ago. According to the company prospectus, Canaan attributed the weakened performance to a decline in the average selling price of its bitcoin mining machines.