Exclusive Dialogue with Zhang Nanwei: My Past and the Future of Jianan

Source: Daily Chain News

On November 21st, Zhang Nanxuan, who rarely appeared, appeared on the NASDAQ exchange in the United States. The Jianan Technology (hereinafter referred to as Jianan), which was founded by him, was listed on the ring, with the stock code "CAN" and 10 million shares of ADS issued. , the price per share is 9 dollars, and the amount of funds raised is 90 million US dollars.

"Today we stand here together to feel the moment of glory, but the listing is not the ultimate goal, but our new beginning, the next second we will continue to join the new battlefield and continue to open up our cause." Zhang Nanyi in the listing speech Speaking of it.

Like the anime he likes to watch at the B station for many years, the protagonist who has gone through a lot of hardships finally defeats the hardships and wins. Coincidentally, more than a year ago, the B station also landed in the capital market here, becoming the first share of the "second yuan."

Now, with the bell ringing, after three failed attempts to land in the capital market, Zhang Nanyi made his Jia Nan become the "first block in the global blockchain" – leading the competitor in the infighting continent.

For Zhang Nanxuan, Nasdaq must be a place worth remembering. After all, his career and hobbies have been sublimated and gained more recognition.

Zhang Nan's Jia Nan's road from creation to listing is also a history of the development of cryptocurrencies. It is the idealism of changing the world, which has prompted a group of young people to pursue on the long road.

At the time of the success of the IPO, "Nantine Chain News" interviewed Zhang Nanxuan exclusively. He defines himself as "a person who likes to toss new things."

In the dialogue, he not only talked about the initial stage of entrepreneurship, but also talked about how to pass the most difficult stage in the past. At the same time, he revealed his observation of the industry and his understanding of the mission of the younger generation of entrepreneurs.

Although Jianan IPO is successful, he is also thinking about the future of Jianan. He hopes that Jia Nan can become a provider of super power solutions, not just selling chips.

The "secondary" teenager and his mining machine

Zhang Nanxuan likes to watch anime. It is said that he once saw nearly 500 animes a year. It is a standard second-yuan "house man".

However, in 2010, Bitcoin broke into the world of Zhang Nanyi, or he broke into the world of Bitcoin. Zhang Nanxuan’s life trajectory has changed.

The first time he touched Bitcoin, he did not go to the "fresh coin" like most people, but instead aimed at the "mining machine" that digs the coin.

Later facts also proved that Zhang Nanzhen did have a talent different from ordinary people in the research and development of mining machines.

In August 2011, Zhang Nanyu appeared on the bitcoin forum BitcoinForum with the ID of “ngzhang”. In September, “ngzhang” published a post titled “FPGA development board 'Icarus”, and in the following time began to promote its own research and development of FPGA miners – Icarus and Lancelot.

The names of the mining machines Icarus and Lancelot are all from the Japanese anime that Zhang Nanxuan loves.

Zhang Nanxuan, who is still reading Bo, became the first person in the world to develop an FPGA mining machine.

With the excellent performance and good sales of Icarus and Lancelot, “ngzhang” has become famous in the Bitcoin Forum. The title “Pumpkin Zhang” has gradually become known to the insiders and continues to this day.

In June 2012, the “Butterfly Lab”, an organization specializing in the development of bitcoin mining machines, announced that it was preparing to develop an integrated circuit (ASIC) mining machine and promised to deliver the first ASIC miners in October of that year. The Butterfly Lab also received a million dollar crowdfunding.

The performance of ASIC mining machine is far better than the mainstream FPGA mining machine at that time. Once the development is successful, Butterfly Lab will master the computing power of 51% globally, so they will have the ability to attack 51% of the Bitcoin network. A major threat.

"Never allow this to happen!" Zhang Nanyi announced in the Bitcoin Forum that he will launch an ASIC mining machine called "Avalon" before his opponent.

Not surprisingly, "Avalon" is also a word in anime. It is a mysterious fairyland. The island is guarded by elves and can resist all foreign invasions.

Zhang Nanyu said in a later interview that the study of ASIC mining machines was mainly for "world peace", preventing mining machine manufacturers from monopolizing the bitcoin network's computing power by more than 51%, causing damage to the network.

In order to concentrate on the development of the ASIC mining machine and deliver the product in front of the Butterfly Lab, Zhang Nanyi found a mentor and hoped to take a year off, but was rejected by the tutor. The communication was not approved.

After a long period of thinking and entanglement, one day in November 2012, he made an "adventure" decision – drop out of school to concentrate on the development of ASIC mining machines.

Bill Gates, who founded Microsoft, is also a story of dropping out of business. However, Bill Gates said in an interview that he did not completely drop out of school, but if he failed, he could continue to return to Harvard to complete his studies.

The difference in the education system between China and the United States has put Zhang Nanxuan, who has decided to drop out of school, from greater pressure. After more than two months, Zhang Nanzhen devoted himself to the research and development of ASIC mining machines. In January 2013, the world's first ASIC mining machine was finally developed and then delivered.

The Avalon generation uses 110 nm technology, and the computing power can dig up 357 bitcoins a day. According to the price of Bitcoin at the time, the daily income from the mining of Avalon was close to 200,000 RMB.

The Avalon mining machine became the "artifact" in the minds of the miners. After the second batch and the third batch of 1200 mining machines were sold out, they were sold out.

Established Jia Nan and the "Wolf Raising Plan"


After the successful development of Avalon, Zhang Nanyu, who had dropped out of school, decided to officially start a business.

In April 2013, Zhang Nanxuan registered and established “Beijing Jia Nan Jiesi Information Technology Co., Ltd.” in Beijing. The English name “Canaan” of “Jia Nan” is also from the anime that Zhang Nanxuan likes.

At that time, the opportunity for the bitcoin market to rise sharply after the outbreak of the Cyprus crisis, the mining benefit benefited. The Avalon mining machine with higher computing power is also highly sought after. An Avalon mining machine is in stock, and the highest has been fired to 400,000 RMB. It is hard to find a machine in the market. Even Wu Jihan, who later founded Bitland, was an agent of Avalon chips.

Just as Jia Nan relied on the Avalon mining machine to enter the gold market, when the business was booming, Zhang Nanxuan made a decision that was unexpected. He announced that Jianan will terminate the sale of the whole mining machine, focusing only on the development and production of chips, and open up all the hardware solutions in addition to the chip in addition to the Avalon mining machine.

Zhang Nanxuan’s decision made hundreds of mining machine assemblers appear in the market. The market share of the original Jianan family was also divided into the “wolf plan” of the mining machine market.

Many people do not understand why Zhang Nanzhen wants to do this? He explained himself:

"The core value of Bitcoin is people's yearning for freedom. Bitcoin mining should not be controlled by a few people."

  Crisis, winter and transformation

Shortly after Zhang Nanxuan announced his focus on the chip business, Jia Nan, who was in a strong momentum, encountered the first crisis since its establishment.

As the third batch of pre-sales miners and the fourth batch of pre-sale chips were not delivered as scheduled, plus another ASIC mining machine "roasted cat mining machine" has been released, Jianan suffered a serious credibility crisis and Market crisis.

In the face of the crisis, Jia Nan timely launched the second generation Avalon mining machine using 55 nm technology, and sold it on the official website and e-commerce website at the same time, and survived the crisis.

However, the "winter" of the big environment has arrived.

At the end of 2013, the central bank and other five ministries issued the "Notice on the Prevention of Bitcoin Risk". The notice pointed out that Bitcoin is not issued by the monetary authorities, does not have monetary attributes such as legal and mandatory, and is not a real currency.

At the same time, the price of Bitcoin also began to fall sharply at the end of the year, with a drop of nearly 50% in half a month. For a time, the industry was "sorrowful."

Mining machine manufacturers including Jia Nan began to "winter".

During this time, Zhang Nanyi led the team to continue the research and development of ASIC chips, while thinking about "What else can Jianan do besides the mining machine?"

In 2016, after AlphaGo defeated Li Shishi, AI became a very hot concept. Zhang Nanzhen felt that he had found the answer. He officially established the AI ​​chip as one of the company's strategic development directions, and organized the team to immediately start the research and development of AI chips.

In September 2018, Jia Nan launched the first generation of AI chip Kanzhi K210, becoming the first company in the industry to provide commercial edge AI chips based on RISC-V architecture and mass production.

"I have a habit. If an industry has already done a good company or product, for example, doing CPU, then I don't think I have to get it. And the AI ​​chip has not developed since the past years. Especially good, this industry is suitable for entrepreneurs to toss." Zhang Nanyu said.

Zhang Nanxuan made another decision he thought was the toughest in the entrepreneurial process – to abandon the traditional chip model, to do the Internet model, and to provide a total solution.

Zhang Nanyu hopes that Jia Nan can become a provider of super computing solutions, not just selling chips.

Zhang Nanxuan’s “reconstruction” of Jianan also made this traditional “mine machine enterprise” complete the transformation.

According to the prospectus, Jianan has established a high-performance computing department and an artificial intelligence business group, and has formed a two-wheel drive operation mode of “AI+ high-performance computing”.

The following is the interview content

1. "Tiantian Chain News": What is the trigger point and initial heart of your starting business?

Zhang Nanxuan: I am a person who likes to toss new things . I was in the Department of Computer Science at Beihang University. My major was computer architecture. The lessons were actually completed. I have worked in the Aerospace Science and Industry Group for several years. Although I have accumulated a lot of experience in technology and quality control, I still feel that it should be improved, and then continue to test and read.

I made the first ASIC-based computing device during my school. It was around 2011. I was exposed to Bitcoin and felt that it had a 1% chance of changing the world. By 2012, I think the possibility of this thing changing the world is not 1%, about 5%.

I have a point of view that judging whether a technology or business model is successful depends on whether it can really improve the efficiency of social operations.

At the time, I felt that a person rarely had the opportunity to participate in changing the world, so I dropped out of school. Around September 17, 2012, I decided to use the chip method as an ASIC computing device. At the time, there was no concept of blockchain.

Whether it's ASIC computing or AI chips, we have been focusing on doing things related to computing since we started our business. One has improved the efficiency of social operations, and one has changed the way people live. The ultimate goal is to improve people's lives through intelligent computing.

2 , "Tiantian Chain News": How did you get through the most difficult stage of entrepreneurship?  

Zhang Nanxuan: The most difficult choice is to abandon the traditional chip mode, do the Internet model, and provide a total solution.

We encountered a big challenge in the promotion of the AI ​​chip. The AI ​​chip is very different from the traditional chip, and the AI ​​chip has a high threshold. The initial positioning is still more traditional selling chips, and found that the effect is not particularly good.

After the Spring Festival, we actually changed the main direction of the main, which took a long time to explore. Now we are equivalent to provide the overall solution to the customer , the chip is also sold, the algorithm is also provided, the module is also sold, even we set up the product group, the product has also done a lot, such as smart door lock module, non-inductive access control system, smart meter Modules and more.

3. “Tiantian Chain News”: What opportunities and challenges have historical opportunities and industry changes brought about in the process of entrepreneurship? How do enterprises and individuals resonate with the times?   

Zhang Nanxuan: For us, 2019 is a key node . The popularity of 5G will directly lead to the outbreak of large connections, low latency and low power applications. All end-end devices have a new communication base, which means that the end-to-end smart mass commercialization will go to a substantial start.

We chose the development of the edge-side AI chip mainly because of the following two opportunities:

First, from a technical perspective, AI has had a transformative impact on traditional computing architectures. In fact, the field dominated by traditional giants is not suitable for startups. At present, the specialization of AI chips has become a trend, and this is our opportunity.

Second, from a market perspective, the development of 5G will promote the application scenarios of more device interconnections and promote the development of the edge-side market in the future.

4 , "Tiantian Chain News": Do you think that you and the company have made important contributions to commercial civilization and social progress?   

Zhang Nanxuan: Turning the commercialization path of smart chips into a big way and improving the efficiency of social operations and improving human life through computing services.   

Computation is a new strategic resource. It will bring people's work styles and business models to the new platform of artificial intelligence. In service, we are committed to providing super power solutions.

Second is the reshaping of the trading model. The ideal trading environment is decentralized . Our continuous breakthrough in the underlying computing architecture provides a solid computing power for decentralized trading networks.

5 , "Tiantian Chain News": In the next decade, what stage do you want the company to develop? What are the expectations for the industry and policies?   

Zhang Nanxuan: We hope that in the future, Jianan will develop into a provider of super computing solutions. We hope to use computing as the core to provide enterprises with a full lifecycle of intelligent services, from the acquisition of data, open data, to every step of data-driven services.

We believe that with the development of AIOT+5G, the outbreak of the edge-side market will force a breakthrough in the underlying computing architecture.   

I believe that Chinese chips must be the world's number one in design and product applications. China has the world's largest chip market, and also has the world's most complete supply system and advanced technology. The final IC design center will also migrate to the mainland. We hope that the policy will give more support to IC design and accelerate the arrival of this result.

6 , "Tiantian Chain News": How do you define the mission and dream of entrepreneurs?  

Zhang Nanxuan: From the perspective of historical progress, China's entrepreneurial group is divided into three generations. The first generation is an era in which entrepreneurship is initiated within the system, such as Liu Chuanzhi and Ren Zhengfei. They often have original passion for the market and strong feelings of homeland.

Since the beginning of market reforms in 1994, and the wave of informationization, the rise of the second generation of entrepreneurs has been born. For example, after Ma Yun, Ma Huateng, and Li Yanhong, the entrepreneurs after 70 years have lost some of their feelings, and they have been advocating successful studies. Their choices are more in line with the market's behavioral framework.

Today, we will usher in a true era of technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the era of early grasshopper era and model innovation. Entrepreneurs in the 1980s should have a strong spirit of innovation and craftsmanship to achieve technological ideals as the origin of behavior and to carry out local original value output.

With the rise of technologies such as AI and Internet of Things, the computing architecture has entered a period of profound change. Computational power has become an important strategic resource for enterprise development. Whoever can grasp the power of calculation can take the initiative.

No matter which company, its ultimate goal is to create value and provide good service to users. The mission and dreams of entrepreneurs need to be physically implemented and accepted by the market. Otherwise, they will be castles in the air.

Our positioning is a super power solution provider. We hope to use the ever-improving super-computing power as the productivity of the company, to provide customers with AI competitiveness, to help customers achieve self-worth in the intelligent world, and to meet the new era of intelligent economy.