Paifang Technology, a student-led Tsinghua startup company, won the runner-up award at the national final of the 6th China International College Students' "Internet+" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition held at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, last week.
The tech startup focuses on providing smart equipment management solutions by combining artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) to the machinery and equipment industry.
Over six million people from 4186 schools in 117 countries and regions have registered for 1.47 million programs in this annually-held competition since its inception in 2015. Despite the tough competition, a number of startup projects developed by Tsinghua students managed to get shortlisted in this year's contest, with a total of five getting through to the final. For two consecutive years in the competition, Tsinghua-affiliated teams have shown continuous improvement and achieved outstanding results.
Wu Tongda, a PhD student from the Department of Electronic Engineering and the team leader of Paifang Technology, was determined to fix the inefficiency of the oil industry, the dominant industry in his hometown. Inspired by his supervisor Professor Liu Yongpan, he looked into the potential usage of AI chips. In 2018, Wu founded Paifang Technology with his partners, joining Tsinghua Chuang+ Program in 2019.
Based on the outcomes of the team's research spanning nearly a decade, Paifang Technology developed a series of AI chips called Sticker that perform vanguard energy-efficient edge computing. To the success of the startup, its product package, composed of both software and hardware, is being used by oil-industry giants like PetroChina, Sinopec, and Singapore-based Winston Engineering.
"We are in the best time of intelligent industrial upgrading era." Wu said. "So we need to do practical work, solve the real problems that clients need. Always adhere to the 'market demand oriented, technology innovation as the core' policy, and make our contributions."
Writer : Long Xinli
Editors: John Olbrich, Sangeet Sangroula, Liu Shutian, Guo Lili