09-03 [IFA2017]: Huawei has officially unveiled the Kirin 970 with AI built-in; Intel shows off the Movidius Myriad X; etc.

Chipsets

[IFA2017] Huawei has officially unveiled the Kirin 970, the OEM’s new flagship SoC that has built-in AI computing capabilities. The AI platform runs on a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Huawei claimd that the NPU in the Kirin 970 can perform 1.92 TFLOPs (i.e., teraFLOPS) when using 16-bit floating point numbers (i.e. FP16). FP16 and FP8 have become increasingly important in the field of AI. (Android Authority, CN Beta, Laoyaoba, Forbes, Android Central)

Intel shows off the Movidius Myriad X, flaunting new sophisticated deep-learning capabilities by way of its new “Neural Compute Engine”, which makes it easier to interpret information from their surroundings.The Myriad X can handle 4T operations per second.  (TechCrunch, Intel, Leiphone, Engadget)

Intel has invested USD15.3B in the ADAS vendor Mobileye, which would help Intel to exceed Waymo, NVIDIA, Tesla and Baidu in self-driving automotive segment. In 3 years, Mobileye’s 7nm EyeQ processor can process operations in 15TOPS. With the help from Intel, this could increase to 24TOPS, catching up NVIDIA’s automotive computer. Additionally, Intel has already acquired Movidius, Nervana Systems and Itseez technologies, which complement its asset of Wind River. (Laoyaoba, ESM China, EE World, Digitimes)

Touch Display

Samsung Display has tried to produce foldable OLED in Dec 2016, but considering materials and components, Samsung suddenly changed the mind of the folding direction. Market speculates that Samsung has 2 obstacles to tackle—technical and market before deciding mass production plan. (CECB2B, Laoyaoba, Digitimes, EE World)

LG Display (LGD)  first large flexible OLED production line, the E5 line in Gumi was supposed to start producing panels in Jun 2017, but LG has reportedly delayed the mass production to Aug 2017 (which caused LGD to lose a 3M OLED supply deal with Xiaomi). (OLED-Info, Ruliweb)

IHS has revised downward its AMOLED smartphone display shipment forecast for 2017 by 13% to 445M from its previous forecast of 513 M. This indicates that demand for AMOLED smartphone panels did not increase as much as expected in early 2017. By substrate solution, the flexible AMOLED panel shipment forecast for 2017 was revised upward by 5%. The rigid AMOLED panel shipment forecast was cut by as much as 20%. (Laoyaoba, UDN, CAN, IHS Markit, press)

Smartphones

Taiwan has 3 main brands namely ASUS, HTC and Acer, and they are stalling, with their marginal positions in the global smartphone market. They have not achieved their targets in 2016. ASUS shipped 20M units, which is less than their target of 25M; HTC shipped only 12M in 2016; and Acer only shipped 500K, only 50% of its target. (CTITV, Sina, XCN News, Laoyaoba)

Foxconn reported has gained majority orders for Apple iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and 8 (iPhone 8 is exclusive manufacture).  By end of Sept 2017 Foxconn will complete 5M orders, and with production ramp up, it expects to ship 30M~35M units in 4Q17, and by 1Q18 it can increase to 40M units. (Laoyaoba, Sina, Sohu)

Samsung Galaxy J7+ is announced in Thailand with dual-camera – 5.5” FHD Super AMOLED display, MediaTek Helio P20 processor, rear dual 13MP f/1.7-5MP f/1.9 + front 16MP f/1.9 cameras, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, 3000mAh battery, THB12,900 (USD390). (GSM Arena, Samsung, Gizbot)

Wearables

[IFA2017] Fossil Group says it is going to add to the brands under its umbrella that offer Android Wear smartwatches in 2018, too, in addition to adding new models to its existing smartwatch brand lineup. It has announced a “massive expansion” of its wearables lineup across brands like Diesel, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Misfit, Relic, Skagen, Michele, and Tory Burch. (TechCrunch, Digital Trends, Yesky, Sohu)

Clay Bavor, VP of Augmented and Virtual Reality at Google indicates that Google wants 100M AR-capable Android phones within just the next few months, with the help of ARCore.  (Upload VR, The Verge, Bloomberg, CN Beta, Sohu)

Internet of Things

Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu indicates that the company targets to sell 10M units of TV globally in 2017. In 2016 Sharp sold 5.5M units of TV, which is near Panasonic’s 6M units, but only half of Sony’s 12M. Regarding acquiring back Europe TV business, Mr. Tai indicates that currently he aims to sell 3M units of TV in Europe. (TechNews, Asia Nikkei)

German industrial group Siemens has agreed to buy Dutch self-driving software specialist Tass International for an undisclosed sum to strengthen its automotive business. Tass makes software that can simulate complex traffic scenarios, validate autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems and replicate the impact of a car crash on a human body. (Laoyaoba, Engineering, Reuters, The Street)

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