07-08: US tariffs on USD34B of Chinese goods have come into effect, signaling the start of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies; etc.

Chipsets

Baidu has released the latest artificial intelligence (AI) reasoning acceleration engine – Anakin v0.1.0. Anakin is highly flexible and can run on different hardware platforms, including the deep learning acceleration card SC3 / SC3+ based on Bitmain’s AI chipset BM1682. (Laoyaoba, Huanqiu)

Passive components have been in shortage for 2 years, and vendors have been expanding their production. Walsin Technology, Chilisin and other MLCC, inductors, resistors vendors have achieved good revenues, which also bring revenues to the whole supply chain. Passives components upstream equipment and material vendor Laser Tek revenues in Jun 2018 have increased 20%, and expects better performance in 2H18. (UDN, Laoyaoba, China Times)

Touch Display

Fully digital screens are replacing speedometers and dials in vehicles, making industry leader Japan Display Inc (JDI) optimistic about boosting sales to global carmakers. While most new models usually have a center information panel for maps, entertainment and other functions, manufacturers are also increasingly replacing the dashboard facing the driver with a flat screen. Look inside the latest BMW or Mercedes-Benz, chances are Japan Display made the panel. (Laoyaoba, Apple Daily, Bloomberg)

Camera

Apple iPhone to be released in 2019 reportedly will be equipped with a triple-lens array with advanced 3D sensing for augmented reality capabilities. The rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones will feature “more advanced” sensing than the front-facing TrueDepth system on the current iPhone X, with a triple-lens setup capable of stereoscopic imaging.  (CN Beta, Digitimes, press, eZone, Yahoo, Xuehua, Mac Rumors, UDN)

Chassis

Metal chassis maker Waffer Technology has been expanding its customer portfolio in the automobile field and managed to obtain new orders from Europe-based car vendors. Waffer has been delivering electric vehicle components to its new clients since 2Q18 and has established 2 new plants in China to satisfy their demand. One of the plants will join the production in Jul 2018 and the other Nov 2018. (Digitimes, press, UDN, UDN, UDN)

Connectivity

Huawei has launched a Customer Solutions and Innovation Center (CSIC) in Sydney, Australia, to showcase its 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities to customers, governments and industry. (GizChina, My Drivers, China Byte)

University of Sussex and the telecom consultancy firm Plum have recently announced they have successfully tested indoor coverage of 5G signals. The study focused on the indoor coverage and spectrum co-existence of 5G signals that run on the 3.5GHz band and other frequencies below the mmWave spectrum. (Android Headlines, Science Daily, Technology Reviews)

Phones

Investors are still skeptical of BlackBerry’s prospects despite the company’s turnaround overseen by CEO John Chen. BlackBerry’s revenue has dropped 92% in 5 years, falling from USD11B to USD932M in 2017. (Motley Fool, Android Headlines)

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple regained the top spot in the global best selling smartphone list with the iPhone 8 in May 2018. Xiaomi saw strong performances from its Xiaomi 5A and Xiaomi 5 Plus series.  (Counterpoint Research, blog, GSM Arena, Sina, iFeng)

US tariffs on USD34B of Chinese goods have come into effect, signaling the start of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The 25% levy came into effect at midnight Washington time. China has retaliated by imposing a similar 25% tariff on 545 US products, also worth a total of USD34B. Beijing accused the US of starting the “largest trade war in economic history”. (BBC News, article, Laoyaoba, BBC, BBC)

OPPO A5 is announced – 6.2” 1520×720 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 13MP – 2MP + front 8MP, 3 / 4GB + 64GB, Android 8.1, 4230mAh, CNY1500. (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, First Post, OPPO)

PCs / Tablets

Zebra Technologies — a company that makes handheld scanners, printers and other portable hardware, and develops the technology to tag things to be read by them — is acquiring Xplore Technologies, one of the older and bigger makers of ruggedised tablets and other hard-wearing hardware for about USD90M. (TechCrunch, Globe Newswire)

Wearables

Samsung will allegedly launch a smartwatch running Google’s Wear OS, rather than its own Tizen OS. It will feature a blood pressure monitor. There will be a large 470mAh battery and panel-level packaging (PLP) tech which enables the processors to be shrunk down somewhat. (CN Beta, Trusted Reviews, Android Authority, Android Central)

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality

The new Jarvish helmet, X-AR, not only includes the assorted smart and connected features, but also introduces an AR heads-up display (HUD) to show information on things such as weather condition or traffic. The helmet is equipped with voice control support, which provides access to smart assistants like Amazon Alexa. (Pocket-Lint, Wearable, VR Focus)

Automotive

Baidu Level 4 autonomous driving mini bus Apolong has finished 100 units production, and SoftBank’s subsidy SB Drive already acquired 10 units for testing. Honda also joined Baidu Apolong research team, so is Pioneer and Renesas Electronics. (Laoyaoba, DW, New Atlas, Asia Nikkei)

Artificial Intelligence

Baidu SLG GM Jin Kun has announced that by Jan 2018 DuerOS powered smart devices activation has exceeded 50M; and up to Jun 2018 the number has exceeded 90M. The monthly active devices have exceeded 25M units.  Baidu has released the DuerOS 3.0 of the conversational AI system DuerOS and Baidu Brain, making more than 110 new features open to the public. (Laoyaoba, CN Beta, Sohu, UDN, Pan Daily, Medium)

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