Internet of Things (IoT) chip and systems manufacturer Key Asic Bhd said it is currently collaborating with a major system provider based in Russia to develop smart transport system.

Key Asic specialises in design and manufacturing of IoT chips and systems, connecting any electronics and non-electronic items to the internet.

“The next big thing for us now is ‘connected cars’. That means getting the cars connected to the internet,” the group’s chairman and CEO Eg Kah Yee told reporters after its AGM.

“So all the data that is related to the car then get uploaded to cloud, and can be used for basic application such as collecting toll, parking fee and also for safety,” he added, noting the cooperation is still in the designing phase.

Eg, who is also the chairman and managing director of Palette Multimedia Bhd said in recent months, the group also received inquiries from major medical equipment manufacturers to adopt its IoT products for medical devices.

“We actually have a big Japanese company that has made purchase of our chips to design into cameras for medical use. This thing will take several months to design and another few months to go through approval process before it goes to the market,” he said.

Currently, Eg said the healthcare and smart transport are the main markets for the group, noting about 50% of its IoT chips come from the healthcare market. Its customers are largely from Europe, Taiwan, Japan and the US.

For the past six years, Eg noted that the group has invested over RM120 million (€24.57 million) on research and development (R&D) activities for its IoT related products.

He said the group, which has been making losses for the last four years, is ready to make profit from its IoT investments by the second half of current financial year ending May 31, 2018 (FY18).

“The chip business is a very long term business. We have to invest probably about four to five years, before the chips start to sell for the next five to ten years.”

“Our customers are the people who designed the system. They will then use our chip to build the system and sold them, therefore our chip sold with that,” Eg said.

For its three months ended March 31, 2017, the group’s net loss narrowed to RM2.1 million (€0.43 million), from RM4.9 million (€1 million) in the comparative quarter of the preceding year. There were no year-on-year comparative figures as the group had changed its financial period from Dec 31 to May 31.

Key Asic’s share price gained 2.04% to 25 sen with 8.72 million shares traded.

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