China has the largest number of sweeping robots in the world now, and special-purpose chips emerge from AMICRO and other players
Chinese article by 张浩
English Editor 张未名
03-25 21:42

By Li Panpan

Sales of sweeping robots hit a new record in China in 2021. Chip company AMICRO (一微半导体) and some other companies have developed special-purpose chips for this market with opportunities. 

China has become the world’s largest sweeping robot market, with sales volume increased from RMB5.2 billion ($815.94 million) in 2017 to RMB12 billion ($1.88 billion) in 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 23%. This has covered a penetration rate of less than 5%, and Chinese manufacturers see great potential. 

In 2021, the top five brands of sweeping robots in the online market were Ecovacs, Xiaomi, Roborock, Narwal, and Midea, with market shares of 45%, 16%, 14%, 11%, and 2%, respectively, totaling 88%. 

Most of the current manufacturers use general-purpose chips, which are complex and have low performance, so special-purpose chips with small size, low power consumption, high cost-effectiveness, and computing power are needed. 

Special-purpose chips with SLAM algorithm and motion control dramatically simplify the design process and reduce the BOM cost of sweeping robots. They have gradually become the new darling, entering the mainstream market.

AMICRO, based in Zhuhai of southern China’s Guangdong Province, is one of the companies that has offered special-purpose chips for sweeping robots. Its industry-leading SLAM SoC chips have entered the mainstream market with the shipments of tens of millions of units used in household and commercial cleaner clients, including Xiaomi, Haier, Midea, KARCHER, SEB, Anker, and other leading manufacturers. They shorten the development cycle of mobile robots by more than six months and lower the entry threshold for the intelligent robot industry. 

Founded in 2014, AMICRO focuses on robotics and large-scale high-integration digital-analog hybrid chip design. 

The company has also been recognized by the capital market and obtained strategic investment from well-known investment institutions, including Xiaomi and China Merchants Capital.  

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