Elan Microelectronics Corp (義隆電子), which supplies touchpad controller and fingerprint sensors, yesterday said it plans to allocate 15 percent to 30 percent of its annual research and development (R&D) spending to speed up its foray into artificial intelligence (AI) technologies over the next three years.
The firm plans to assign more than 100 engineers to develop and enhance its AI capabilities, it said.
The company is set to roll out its first AI solution integrated with 3D-sensing facial recognition technology in the second half of this year, Elan chairman Yeh I-hau (葉儀皓) said in a statement.
“Tapping into the AI industry, Elan plans to launch its first 3D facial recognition chips later this year, targeting the smartphone market, which sees annual shipments of 1.5 billion units,” Yeh said.
Elan’s new high-quality facial recognition solutions would help mobile users protect their personal information from theft or misappropriation by increasing accuracy of depth measurements in the dark or in bright sunlight, Yeh said.
Elan also plans to expand its AI lineup to include facial recognition devices for cars to benefit from growing demand in that sector, the company said.
Global market researcher International Data Corp has forecast global investment in cognitive and AI systems over the five years to 2021 to see a compound annual growth rate of 50 percent to US$57.6 billion that year, from US$12 billion this year.
Elan yesterday launched the “Taiwan AI Academy” in Taipei to help foster local AI talent, it said, adding that about 530 people had enrolled, including more than 10 Elan executives.
Last year, Elan posted 12.9 percent growth in revenue to NT$605 million (US$20.8 million), compared with NT$535.87 million in 2016, as fingerprint recognition technology was increasingly used in smart cards.
The company supplies fingerprint sensors for smart cards used by Woori Bank, South Korea’s second-biggest bank.
Elan shares yesterday dropped 0.11 percent to NT$45.8 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
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