09-09: Tsinghua Unigroup hopes to finish the development of DDR4 within 2018; Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix both intend to defer their capacity expansion plans for DRAM; etc.

Chipsets

China-based chipset design company Canaan Creative has officially launched a Soc with AI neural networking computing function Kendryte. It is the first generation AI chipset with model number K210, aiming mainly for IoT market. It is a chipset that integrates visual and hearing SoC. (CN Beta, JRJ, C114)

Besides reiterating plans to start high-volume manufacturing (HVM) using extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) tools in the coming quarters, along with reaffirming plans to use gate all around FETs (GAAFETs) with its 3nm node, Samsung has also added its brand-new 8LPU process technology to its roadmap. In 2019 the company will offer its 3D SiP (system-in-package) solution that will enable it to pack a variety of devices into a single three-dimensional package with a small footprint. (CN Beta, Leiphone, AnandTech)

Touch Display

Apple has allegedly visited AUO and Epistar to learn their progress of Micro LED technology and discuss the possible cooperation regarding Micro LED display development. (LEDInside, Baijiahao, Sohu, OfWeek)

Memory

Micron has announced it will be the launch partner for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics cards. The RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti all feature GDDR6 memory, and Micron will be at least one of the manufacturers providing 8Gb chips to Nvidia’s latest graphics card lineup. (CN Beta, Extreme Tech, Micron)

Tsinghua Unigroup indicates that on DRAM chipset, the company already owns the globally acknowledged design capability. According to Tsinghua Unigroup, their DDR4 chipset is still under development, and expects to push to the market by end of 2018. Currently DDR3 is still mainstream product, but the company hopes to finish the development of DDR4 within 2018. In addition, Tsinghua is still developing 128-layer of 256Gb 3D NAND, by end of 2018 the 32-layer 64Gb 3D NAND will enter mass production. In 2019 64-layer 128Gb will enter mass production. (CN Beta, My Drivers)

The global DRAM and NAND flash sectors are expected to see their combined output value grow less than 30% in 2018, according to Digitimes Research. The growth will slow to a single-digit rate in 2019. The output value of the global DRAM sector will reach a record high of nearly USD100B in 2018, buoyed mainly by robust demand for servers, said Digitimes Research.  (Digitimes, press)

According to Morgan Stanley analyst Shawn Kim, memory markets have worsened in recent weeks. For DRAM, demand is weakening, inventory and pricing pressures are building, and vendors are struggling to move bits. In NAND, there is just too much supply. Earnings risks are emerging from 3Q18. (China Times, CNBC, Seeking Alpha, Street Insider)

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix both intend to defer their capacity expansion plans, as a slowdown in customer demand will be dragging down DRAM and NAND flash memory prices through 1H19, according to Digitimes. NAND flash and DRAM memory prices will be under downward pressure through 1H19. (Digitimes, press, Sina)

Phone

Android has managed to maintain its global lead in the smartphone market over the past year but feature phones and sub-USD100 devices are building traction in some markets, according to DeviceAtlas.  Android’s largest market share growth happened in Malaysia with 22.57% in increases to Apple’s 22.33% loss, landing at 93.39%. But it did lose 11.84% in India that does not appear to have been picked up by the iOS. (Android Headlines, DeviceAtlas, report)

President of Huawei Honor Zhao Ming reveals that in 2019, Huawei and Honor first 5G smartphone will be launched, in which Honor will be the first to launch in the market. (CN Beta, Sohu, Caijing, GizChina)

HTC is reportedly in the initial phase of sampling Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. HTC seems to be looking forward to the 5G global adoption and is looking for the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem.  (My Drivers, GizChina)

Morgan Stanley Research forecasts for Apple iPhone shipment growth is a deceleration to 0.6%, equating 220M units, for the full year 2019, down from 0.9% year-on-year growth for the full year 2018. Two reasons: 1) the replacement cycles could lengthen at a slower pace, and 2) an estimate of 46% of the current iPhone base owns an iPhone 6s or older, equating to 300M iPhones that are at least 3 years old and in need of an upgrade.  (Apple Insider, CN Beta)

Motorola P30 Play is launched in China – 5.86” 1520×720 HD+ 2.5D glass, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, rear dual 13MP-13MP + front 8MP, 4GB+64GB, Android 8.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh, CNY1899. (GizChina, XDA-Developers, Gizmo China, My Smart Price)

Wearables

Snap has launched 2 new versions of its 2nd generation Spectacles—Veronica and Nico, priced from USD199. Nico and Veronica capture up to 70 videos or hundreds of photos on a single charge — then transfer them to your phone, wirelessly. (CN Beta, The Verge, TechCrunch, Refinery29, GSM Arena, The Inquirer, Snap)

Lenovo officially launches the HX03W Cardio Plus smartband in India. It comes with a 0.96” OLED (128×32) display and has the usual smartband functions. It is equipped with optical heart rate tracker, gyro sensor, vibration motor. It is priced at INR1,999 (USD28). (GizChina, Economic Times, Indian Express)

Xiaoxun Technology, which manufactures smartwatches for children, has announced Xiaoxun Children Smartwatch S2, which is priced at CNY299. It is equipped with 1.3” dial interface, 730mAh battery. (Gizmo China, My Drivers)

Automotive

BMW has announced that it is putting a new proprietary AI assistant into its cars that it calls the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Drivers can harness the AI to control vehicle settings, navigation, entertainment systems, explain vehicle functions, and conduct conversations. BMW plans to debut the AI in 2019. (36Kr, Sina, VentureBeat, TechCrunch, The Verge, Mashable, Hot Hardware)

Harley-Davidson has announced it will open an R&D space in the Bay Area by the end of 2018 to support its commitment to build electric vehicles. The facility in Silicon Valley “will initially focus on electric vehicle research and development, including battery, power electronics and e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing”. (TechCrunch, Electrek, JS Online, China Times)

Robotics

Skydio, a Redwood City, California-based startup that makes a drone that flies and films 4K video footage entirely on its own, is announcing today that its introductory device, the Skydio R1, is now open to third-party app developers. The Skydio Autonomy Platform will let app makers and drone enthusiasts develop custom software. (TechCrunch, The Verge, CNET)

Artificial Intelligence

Kinta AI aims to make manufacturers smarter about how they deploy equipment and other factory resources. The CEO Steven Glinert said it will run “millions and millions of factory simulations”,  where the system gains “a statistical understanding of how factory works and learning what actions do to get what result” — and it can then use those simulations to choose the best schedule. (TechCrunch, Tech the Lead, Sohu)

NewtonX, an artificially intelligent (AI) “expert search engine” that connects executives to experts in virtually any industry, has announced a USD3M funding round from XFund, Third Prime Capital, and select investors. (VentureBeat)

DARPA has announced plans to invest USD2B in artificial intelligence (AI) research over the next 5 years. In a program called “AI Next,” the agency now has over 20 programs currently in the works and will focus on “enhancing the security and resiliency of machine learning and AI technologies, reducing power, data, performance inefficiencies and exploring ‘explainability’” of these systems. (The Verge, TechCrunch, DARPA, CN Beta)

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