5-22: MediaTek plans to spin off its VR division to form an independent company; Truly 4.5-Gen AMOLED fab with capacity of 15K substrates per month; BBK has registered a new mobile phone brand imoo; etc.

MediaTek plans to spin off its VR division to form an independent company; Truly 4.5-Gen AMOLED fab with capacity of 15K substrates per month; BBK has registered a new mobile phone brand imoo; Apple iPhone launched in 2H17 is reportedly going to use glasses casing; Foxconn is reportedly building a new factory for Huawei in southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou; ODM Compal Electronics reportedly will undertake the production of a Google Project Tango-based smartphone for Lenovo; etc.

Chipsets

Google has designed its own computer chip Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) for driving deep neural networks, an AI technology that is reinventing the way Internet services operate. This might influence the chipset leaders especially Intel and NVIDIA. (CN Beta, Wired)

google-tpu

Chip orders from Apple have been relatively slow in 2Q16 compared to 2Q15, due to poor sales of the vendor’s existing iPhone and iPad devices. (Digitimes, press)
The production value of Taiwan’s IC design industry is expected to increase 7.4% on year to NTD570.75 billion (USD17.4 billion) in 2016, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)
MediaTek plans to spin off its virtual reality (VR) division to form an independent company in a bid to boost its VR business. (OfWeek, Digitimes, Fudzilla)

Touch / Display

Truly Semiconductors started working on an AMOLED fab in 2014, and in May 2015 estimated that production will begin in 1Q16. Truly’s fab is a 4.5-Gen AMOLED fab that will have a capacity of 15,000 substrates per month (although this could be expanded to 30,000). (OLED-Info, OLED Association, How Buy)
Tesla decided to use tires manufactured by Hankook Tire and LG Display will possibly be supplying its OLED panels for the automotive systems. (Korea Times, OLED-Info)
Samsung is to compete with Microsoft, Apple and Google in a race to develop HoloLens, a new display technology based on interactive augmented reality (AR) software. (Korea Times)

Sensors

The Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab has used their l33t 3D printing skills to produce a 3D-printed micro-pillar object they call Cilllia, with the smallest strands measuring an impressive 50µm, which can respond to and interact with the environment around it. (Digital Trends, MIT, Tencent, IT Home)

cilllia-hair-sensor

Battery

Tesla Motors is approaching LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation as part of its strategy to diversify its battery-sourcing channels beyond Japan’s Panasonic. (PC Pop, ZOL, Korea Times)

Connectivity

Volkswagon car models that hit the market after July 2016 will be equipped with a smart system co-developed with HTC, dubbed Customer-Link. (Digitimes, China Post, Sohu)

Smartphones

BBK has registered a new mobile phone brand “imoo”, targeting students and featuring learning function. (CN Beta, My Drivers)

bbk-imoo

Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, talking about issues such as retail stores, manufacturing, and app development. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Times of India)

apple-india-pm india-pm-apple-2

Catcher Technology chairman Hung Shui-shu indicates that in 2016 even 2017 the machines that use glasses casing and production capacity thereof are low, thus not going to impact the revenue of Catcher. However, there are reports indicate Apple iPhone launched in 2H17 is going to use glasses casing. (TechNews, Digitimes, press)
Foxconn is reportedly building a new factory for Huawei in southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou. On the other hand, Foxconn’s shipments of Xiaomi handsets will drop about 10% in 2016 from the previous year. Xiaomi is also cutting back on second-half orders from its other assembler, Taiwan’s Inventec Group. (CN Beta, iFeng, Nikkei)
ODM Compal Electronics reportedly will undertake the production of a Google Project Tango-based smartphone for Lenovo. (Digitimes, press)

Wearables

According to Indian actor Emraan Hashmi — who met with Tim Cook this week — “Apple VR” is on its way. (CN Beta, Cult of Mac, Only Gizmos)

apple-vr-twitter

Facebook has hired a team of virtual reality experts in London, creating the first European base for its burgeoning Oculus division. (CN Beta, Telegraph, TechBuzz)
Speck Pocket-VR headset, which is built to the Google Cardboard specifications, meaning it’s compatible with Google’s VR ecosystem. It is priced at USD70. (Digital Trends, The Verge, 163)

pocket-vr

Internet of Things

Ecovacs launches Unibot, Unibot, which is a robot housekeeper with combined functions and smart control. The Unibot features smart planning, air purifying, floor cleaning and humidification functions. It is priced at CNY3999. (CN Beta, Fuganglou, Shanghai Daily)

unibot unibot-2

LeEco is investing CNY2 billion in car rental service in the coming 4 years. LeEco car rental includes two models: one is Yongche.com car asking service, and the other one is LeShare, which is a hourly electric car rental service. (CN Beta, 163)

leeco-car

According to Tesla founder JB Straubel, despite an uptick in Tesla 3 preorders here, making China the biggest market outside the US, the electric car titan still needs a convincing scale before it decides to add a production site. Adding a factory only makes sense after the market has reached a “critical mass”. (CN Beta, Forbes, China Topix, ECNS)

tesla-model-china

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