Concept: California-based hardware startup Anari AI has introduced a new cloud-based technology named Thor X to enhance 3D applications. Thor X is a system-on-cloud focused on semantic segmentation of 3D point cloud data structures.

Nature of Disruption: Thor X is an effective and optimized system made from different hardware and software architectures. It is integrated with ML models to transform the way AI compute systems are used. Anari AI claims that it can enable 30 times more efficient processing to a graphic processing unit (GPU) available in the market. Thor X is embedded with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to address 3D point cloud datasets needs that are obtained through photogrammetry or light detection and ranging (LiDAR) scanning. The 3D point clouds provide continuous, comprehensive, and metrically accurate information about the object, and can generate its topology with enhanced three-dimensional accuracy. Thor X can provide custom hardware acceleration to businesses including Building Information Modeling (BIM), metaverse, digital twin, and geospatial.

Outlook: General-purpose hardware such as the GPUs or central processing units (CPU) are capable to process 2D images but are inadequate for the complexity of 3D structures. Moreover, 3D applications are gaining more traction from use cases of AR or VR, retail, and autonomous vehicles. It is important to maintain high-quality data to deliver value to end-users. Anari AI’ Thor X can deliver accuracy and speed to process 3D point cloud data. The startup claims that Thor X’s combination of hardware, software, and ML models can deliver 18 times improved processing compared with a regular CPU. In April 2021, Anari AI has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Earlybird. The startup aims to utilize these funds to further develop its AI platform and commercialize it.

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