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07-17: Huawei’s internal AI project dubbed “Project D”; Samsung will heavily promote the in-display fingerprint scanner with ultrasonic technology in 2019; etc.

Chipsets

Huawei is seeking to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) technologies across a wide variety of product categories through Project Da Vinci, an internal initiative that some of the company’s executives also call “Project D”. It includes the development of a new Huawei AI chip for the data center, which can support applications such as voice and image recognition in the cloud.  (CN Beta, The Information, Android Headlines, GizChina, Seeking Alpha)

Touch Display

LED vendor Lextar plans to boost Mini LED backlight application for 2H18. Lextar is preparing Mini LED sample products and plans for small amount shipment in 2H18. The applications include gaming notebooks, automotive panels, medical displays and drawing displays. (UDN, Laoyaoba, LEDInside)

Memory

Samsung has announced that it has successfully developed the industry’s first 10nm class 8-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR5 DRAM.  The 8Gb LPDDR5 boasts a data rate of up to 6,400Mb/s, which is 1.5 times as fast as the mobile DRAM chips used in current flagship mobile devices (LPDDR4X, 4266Mb/s).  (CN Beta, AnandTech, Samsung)

Micron and Intel have announced an update to their 3D Xpoint joint development partnership, which has resulted in the development of an entirely new class of non-volatile memory with dramatically lower latency and exponentially greater endurance than NAND memory. The companies have agreed to complete joint development for the second generation of 3D XPoint technology, which is expected to occur in 1H19.  (My Drivers, PC World, The Register, NASDAQ)

Biometrics

Cloudwalk Technology has launched its “3D structured light facial recognition technology”. CloudWalk is the leading supplier of facial recognition solutions to China’s banking sector, with a market share of over 70%. The technology achieves an accuracy rate of over 99% and shortens the recognition time from 1s~2s to the millisecond level.  (China Daily, Yicai Global, Leiphone)

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Samsung will heavily promote the in-display fingerprint scanner with ultrasonic technology in 2019. The devices to equip with this technology would be Galaxy S10, high-end Galaxy A series and Galaxy Note 10. The volume shipment with in-display fingerprint scanner would reach 60M units. (Phone Arena, CNET, Laoyaoba, China Times, CTEE)

Samsung mid-range smartphones in late 2018 or early 2019 are reportedly equipped with iris scanner, with the ultimate aim of replacing physical banks with mobile banking. Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Plus (2018) reportedly will be launched with iris scanner. (Phone Arena, XDA-Developers, Korea Herald)

Connectivity

Verizon confirms that US largest carrier is no longer activating devices that do not support 4G LTE connectivity. Verizon’s decision to stop activating 3G phones is a precursor to its plan to shut down its 3G CDMA pipeline by the end of 2019.  (Phone Arena, Android and Me, Droid-Life)

Samsung Electronics has unveiled its 3.5-gigahertz band 5G operating equipment system that the company says will be ready for South Korea’s commercialization timetable. (VentureBeat, Yonhap News, Samsung Central, Huanqiu, People.com)

Huawei is allegedly in the running to supply equipment to all 3 of South Korea’s national mobile carriers including SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus. At stake: initial contracts that could be worth KRW10T (USD9B). (Laoyaoba, Bloomberg)

Phone

Fewer than 1M Apple iPhone were sold in the country so far in 2018. Three Apple sales executives have reportedly left the company as its now restructuring operations in India. Counterpoint Research has revealed that Apple may have sold only 3.2M iPhone in India in 2017.  (The Verge, Bloomberg, Ubergizmo, 163, Tencent)

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. There is no denying the power dynamic between Facebook and Instagram is shifting. Instagram has 1B users, more than Facebook had at the time of the acquisition. Instagram is worth more than USD100B, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.  (CN Beta, Bloomberg)

Microsoft is reportedly actively working on ‘a new line of phones’. These new phones will allegedly be new edition of Android-powered phones to be sold on Microsoft Store. (Ubergizmo, Windows Latest, Sohu, My Drivers)

Wistron reportedly could have 17% (from previously speculated 30%) manufacture orders of Apple’s 6.1” LCD version of iPhone. Previously there is rumour Wistron has lost all the orders because of the quality issue. (Laoyaoba, UDN, UDN)

Affected by Apple’s overly-optimistic expectations for sales of the iPhone X, inventory of finished chassis, and other parts and components at the iPhone X’s supply chain makers are still hovering at persistent high levels at the end of Jun 2018, almost equaling to 3 times of what they had shipped previously. (Cult of Mac, Digitimes, press, IB Times, Caijing, Money Link, CN Beta)

After many false starts, the Maharashtra government and Foxconn are likely to sign a deal under which the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of consumer electronics will finally set up a manufacturing hub in the state. Executives of Foxconn held meetings with state government officials on Jul 4 2018 in Nagpur and subsequently went on to meet Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. (CN Beta, My Drivers, UDN, First Post, Economic Times)

TCL launches Alcatel 5V – 6.2” 720×1500 HD+ 2.5D Dragontrail, MediaTek Helio P22 MT6762, rear dual 12MP-2MP + front 8MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 8.1, 4000mAh, USD200. (GizChina, GSM Arena, PR Newswire)

Wearables

iFlytek has further advanced its healthcare initiative by leading the Pre-A round investment into Cyrcadia Asia, a company developing a smart wearable bra insert that provides accurate early breast cancer detection. (China Money Network, Asia One, OfWeek)

Artificial Intelligence

Leading Swedish online bank Nordnet is letting go of its AI co-worker Amelia as a result of underwhelming performance. Nordnet’s digital worker was launched through a partnership with American tech company IPSoft in 2017.  (TechNews, iFanr, Business Wire, Nordnet Dagens Industri, Business Insider)

Based on the survey conducted among 1,000 nationally representative US adults, 43% of people use intelligent assistants more these days than they did in 2017. Over 43% of them said they would gladly discuss career and financial matters, 43% of them said that they would have no problem discussing health issues, while 40% said they would be comfortable talking to AI assistants about relationships, and ask for relationship advice. (Android Headlines, ZDNet, WT Vox)

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