One of the most significant trends we see emerging in the Year of the Tiger is a rapid increase in demand for AIoT devices for edge AI applications such as access control, visual inspection, and defect detection.
Retail is one of the most promising segments, as stores ramp up their investments to improve the efficiency of their operations and the experiences of their customers with a wide array of smart devices that make it easier for them to track inventory, target consumers with specific offers, and enable contactless transactions.
Contactless check-ins, whether they be for patient registrations at clinics and hospitals, delivery drivers at apartment blocks, or visitors to office buildings, are a major driver of demand edge AI devices across many different segments. Even though growth has quickened over the past couple of years largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the market is still in its early stages.
Demand for industrial edge AI devices is also set to accelerate as manufacturers increase deployments of applications that enhance employee safety by making sure that workers are wearing the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) before entering the worksite or detect emissions of smoke and potentially hazardous gases. Visual inspection systems that detect defects in plant, production, and packaging are also proliferating as manufacturers look to reduce costs and improve quality.
To meet the diverse needs of the AIoT device market, our strategy is to provide feature-rich platforms that can be easily customized for multiple applications. Following the successful roll-out of the VIA SOM-9X50 featuring the MediaTek Genio 500 processor last year, we plan to introduce our second-generation VIA SOM-9X35 module after the Chinese New Year holiday is over.
Based on the MediaTek Genio 350 processor, the VIA SOM-9X35 provides rich I/O integration options with its support for two displays and two cameras, as well as flexible connectivity features including dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, and Bluetooth 5.0 as well as an integrated SIM card slot and an optional 4G LTE adaptor.
Watch this space for the official announcement of the VIA SOM-9X35 in the second half of February.