05-17: Unisound has announced world’s first IoT AI chipset –UniOne; After a year of separation, Meizu and Meilan (m series) have merged again; etc.

Chipsets

Beijing-based AI startup Unisound has announced world’s first IoT AI chipset –UniOne, and also announced the first generation UniOne IoT AI chipset and its solution—Swift. It adopts cloud-intelligent autonomous AI instruction set, DeepNet and uDSP (digital signal processor) with independent intellectual property rights, and supporting various deep neural network models such as DNN / LSTM / CNN, the performance is improved over 50 times than that of the universal solution. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, JRJ, CCIDNet, Medium)

Intel has quietly launched its first 10nm processor, codenamed i3-8121U. The dual-core Core i3-8121U sports the Cannon Lake architecture. It comes equipped with Turbo Boost 2.0. (CN Beta, Tom’s Hardware, WCCF Tech, TechRadar)

Intel has confirmed plans to invest USD5B (NIS18B) into expanding its Kiryat Gat production plant, through 2020. In return, Intel will be granted an extension of its reduced tax rate of 5% until 2027. The Finance Ministry said it was also considering giving Intel a NIS700M grant, with a second grant of the same size to come with future investments. (TechNews, CNBC, Times of Israel)

Cadence Design Systems has announced its work with TSMC in 5nm and 7nm+ FinFET chip design for mobile devices.  Cadence said its digital, sign-off and custom / analogue tools have achieved the latest Design Rule Manual (DRM) and SPICE certification for the silicon foundry’s 5nm and 7nm+ processes. (Laoyaoba, 52RD, ESM China, Business Wire, Electronics Weekly)

Touch Display

LG Display (LGD)’s planned LCD supply to Samsung Electronics has been delayed for more than 1 year. The two rival firms may have not yet finalized the supply volume and price due to volatilities in the market.  (TechNews, IB Times, The Investor)

Camera

Leica’s spokesperson Michael Röder has indicated that Leica and Huawei have “agreed not only on purely business-relevant aspects but also precisely scrutinized areas such as corporate policy and business ethics beforehand and set them out in the form of an honesty and integrity agreement”.  (Android Headlines, PDN, My Drivers, Sina)

Battery

Panasonic is growing wary of the risks posed by its battery partnership with Tesla, which has been eating through capital while production of its mass-market sedan Model 3 struggles to get off the ground. (CNBC, TechNews, Asia Nikkei)

Phone

According to Counterpoint, the Bangladesh smartphone market declined 18% YoY and grew 3% sequentially in 1Q18. Chinese brands continue to grow in Bangladesh and now capture 38% of the smartphone segment, growing 25% YoY. Symphony remained the leading smartphone brand in Bangladesh with 21% market share. iTel, became the fastest smartphone brand growing +564% YoY in 1Q18 capturing 10% market share during the quarter. (Counterpoint Research, press, Laoyaoba)

After a year of separation, Meizu and Meilan (m series) have merged again with internal re-structuring. This is the 3rd time re-structuring after Huang Zhang went back to Meizu in 2017. (CN Beta, CN Beta, Sohu, Caijing)

Samsung Electronics said on 15 May 2018 it has sold more than 1M units of the Galaxy S9 smartphone first released in Mar 2018. (Android Headlines, Pocket Now, GSM Arena, The Investor, TechNews, IT Home)

Samsung Electronics seems to be speeding up the schedule for new flagship smartphones slated for launch later 2018 and 2019. The company is preparing to unveil their flagship phones slightly earlier than previous years for various reasons, including low sales of the latest Galaxy S9 series. (CN Beta, Pocket-Lint, Korea Herald)

A recent benchmark listing for an unreleased Samsung with model number SM-J260G has suggested that it is an Android Go smartphone. The device is listed having a processor codenamed Universal7570_Go with 1GB of RAM, both key indications of a Go-branded device. This device would be called Galaxy J2 Core. (Ubergizmo, Sam Mobile, TechWeb, My Drivers)

360 Mobile has announced strategic collaboration with JD.com to integrate resources of both parties surrounding 360 Mobile’s first launch rights, retails and IoT collaboration. In fact, in Apr 2016 both parties have signed strategic collaboration for 2016 aiming to sell 4M units of 360 Mobile phones. (CN Beta, CNMO, My Drivers)

OnePlus 6 is announced – 6.28” 2280×1080 Optic AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear dual 16MP (1.22um) OIS – 20MP + front 16MP, 6 / 8GB + 64 / 128 / 256GB, Android 8.1, USB-C, rear fingerprint scanner, 3300mAh, from USD529. (Android Authority, CN Beta, Android Central)

Nokia X6 is announced in China – 5.8” 2280×1080 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, rear dual 16MP – 5MP + front 16MP, 4 / 6GB + 32 / 64GB, Android 8.1, USB-C, 3060mAh, from CNY1299. (GizChina, CN Beta, TechRadar, The Verge, GSM Arena, Nokia)

PC / Tablet

Microsoft is allegedly planning to release a line of lower-cost Surface tablets as soon as 2H18, seeking a hit in a market for cheaper devices that Apple dominates with the iPad. (Liliputing, Bloomberg, The Verge, Sohu, 163)

Wearables

Inventec shipped more than 20M Apple AirPods in 2017. Total AirPods shipments this year is estimated to be between 26M~28M units, analysts forecast. Inventec’s smart devices unit, Inventec Appliance, plans to set up “one or two more” new manufacturing facilities in an inner Chinese city later 2018 to increase production capacity while lowering land and labor costs, CEO David Ho said. (China Times, Laoyaoba, HQEW, UDN, Asia Nikkei)

Automotive

AutoNavi has released publicly its “GAIA Project”. The company will provide its partners “component-type” drop-off solutions for industries including ride-sharing, overseas shipments, and gaming. The monthly number of smart devices covered by AutoNavi is more than 1.1B units. (My Drivers, JRJ, TechWeb)

Drive.ai plans to launch an on-demand self-driving car service on public roads in Frisco, Texas. Launching in Jul 2018, and established in coordination with the Frisco Transportation Management Association, the service will provide autonomous rides around Frisco’s  “North Platinum Corridor” commercial area. (CN Beta, CNET, Wired)

ClearMotion, a company that develops high-tech chassis components for vehicles, is working on ways to make cars smoother over rough roads. ClearMotion’s Activalve system adds a softball-sized electrohydraulic unit that works in tandem with a car’s shock absorbers. It applies pressure onto the dampers every millisecond to counteract road disturbances.  (CN Beta, Motor Authority, Future Car)

Artificial Intelligence

ICT Ministry has announced that Korea will invest KRW2.2T (USD2B) in developing core artificial intelligence (AI) technology over five years with the aim of becoming a global powerhouse in the sector by 2022. Under the plan announced by the Ministry of Science and ICT, the South Korean government will spearhead a national program on AI, including research and development, to join the list of world powers. (Laoyaoba, Korea JoongAng Daily, Sina)

Payment

Ant Financial has revealed a surge to more than 600M users and disclosed for the first time the scale of its wealth management business. Ant claims a rise in user numbers to 622M. The Ant Financial Services group’s wealth management business now has assets under management of CNY2.2T (USD345B). (Financial Times, CN Beta)

Fintech

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is partnering with ConsenSys’ blockchain startup Kaleido to offer simplified blockchain cloud platforms for its clients. Kaleido is a blockchain business cloud that helps enterprises build and manage blockchain platforms without having to start from scratch, and is based on the Ethereum blockchain. (TechNews, Coin Telegraph, CNBC, Investing)

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