07-11: Xiaomi may plan a third sub-brand to take on OPPO and vivo in the Chinese market; Faraday Future halted plans to build a USD1B factory in Nevada; etc.

Chipsets

NVIDIA and Baidu are announcing that they have signed a multi-faceted AI technology partnership that will see the Internet giant utilize NVIDIA’s hardware for several of their products and services. At the same time, ahead of the launch of the SHIELD TV in China, the deal sees NVIDIA turning to Baidu to get Baidu’s technology on NVIDIA’s STB. (AnandTech, JRJ, 36Kr, Sohu)

Baidu has deployed Xilinx FPGA-based application acceleration services in their public cloud, according to Xilinx. The Baidu FPGA Cloud Server, a new service in Baidu Cloud, features Xilinx’s Kintex FPGAs, tools, and the software needed to develop and deploy hardware-accelerated data center applications such as machine learning and data security. (Laoyaoba, OfWeek, Digitimes, press)

SK Hynix has officially launched a new affiliate, which will focus on the company‘s foundry business. SK Hynix System IC, wholly owned by SK Hynix, will focus on the foundry business, which refers to making chip designs for other companies that do not have a semiconductor fabrication plant. (Laoyaoba, Pulse News, The Investor)

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have designed a system that reallocates cache access on the fly, to create new “cache hierarchies” tailored to the needs of particular programs.The researchers tested their system on a simulation of a chip with 36 cores, or processing units. They found that, compared to its best-performing predecessors, the system increased processing speed by 20%~30% while reducing energy consumption by 30%~85%. (CN Beta, Neowin, MIT)

Intel AI CTO Amir Khosrowshahi introducing the collaboration between Intel and Baidu in artificial intelligence (AI) areas, which involve Baidu Brain, Baidu Cloud, and DuerOS. (Laoyaoba, Sina, PR Asia)

MediaTek general manager Xie Qingjiang indicates that AI has just started globally, which is good to Taiwan semiconductor industry. He expects by 2025 global AI chipset production value would reach USD12.2B, with CAGR 42.2%, and every household should have at least 500 devices connected to smart network. (UDN, EE World, Laoyaoba)

MediaTek has reported Jun 2017 consolidated revenues increased 18.75% sequentially to NTD21.89B (USD715.9M). Revenues for 2Q17 came to NTD58.08B, coming within the company’s guidance of NTD56.1B~60.6B. MediaTek’s monthly revenues stayed below NTD20B in Apr and May, due mainly to disappointing smartphone demand in China. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba, MediaTek)

Globalfoundries’ 22nm FD-SOI process, dubbed 22FDX, has obtained orders from Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics, according to Digitimes. Shanghai Fudan will use the process to manufacture mainly processor chips for AI and Big Data applications. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba, Sohu, My Drivers)

Touch Display

Industry expects Micro LED application not restricted to smartphone, but also on smart home appliances with high definition requirement. The main focus is to reduce the cost of production, and to increase the commercialization speed. Apple, Samsung, Sony and Foxconn have been actively planning their 8K ecosystem. (UDN, Laoyaoba)

LG Display (LGD) decided to produce rollable OLEDs for 55” and 75” TVs on a full scale beginning in 2020. The panel will be produced at Paju P10, an OLED- specialized production base being expanded with an investment of KRW10T. A rollable 55” OLED TV is expected to fetch well over KRW30M. (OLED-Info, Business Korea, Digitimes)

Sumitomo is now actively promoting the use of P-OLED materials and ink-jet printing processes for the production of OLED displays. JOLED is using Sumitomo’s materials. Sumitomo succeeded in developing new materials and technologies that will enable to cut production costs by 50% compared to evaporation materials and processes. (OLED-Info, LED Inside, Asia Nikkei, PJ Time)

The global active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panel market is forecast to surge 63% in 2017 from a year ago to USD25.2B on growing demand for AMOLED panels in the smartphone and TV industries, according to IHS Markit. Mobile display resolution continues to increase, and in 2017 68% of shipments will be of FHD, QHD and WQHD resolutions. (IHS Markit, press, OLED-Info, EET China)

Sensory

Apple’s patent related to AirPods details earbuds with biometric sensing function. This meant that users would no longer have to rely on separate devices like a heart rate chest strap and other gadgets since these headphones would offer up those capabilities.  (Digital Trends, Patently Apple, Ubergizmo, USPTO, CN Beta)

Biometrics

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves thinks Apple might not be able to get a fingerprint sensor in the high-end iPhone 8. This increases the potential that the new OLED iPhone could be delayed, or ship without a fingerprint sensor, either of which could increase risk to unit sales and mix for the cycle. (BGR, CNBC, Seeking Alpha, Barron’s, blog, CN Beta)

Battery

The global market for lithium batteries witnessed an average price increase of 15%~25% for battery cells in 1H17 compared with 2H16, according to EnergyTrend. This rise was mainly attributed to the cobalt price hitting a 5-year high. Going into the 2H17, the price upswing in the cobalt market is expected to start leveling off. EnergyTrend projects that battery cell prices on average will increase by about 10% 3Q17 compared with the previous quarter and will continue to be on a gradual uptrend through 4Q17. (TrendForce[cn], press, TrendForce, press, Laoyaoba)

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has announced that it has again teamed with LG to enable wireless charging in the electronics giant’s flagship smartphones. The IDT wireless power chips are integrated into LG G6. IDT’s advanced wireless power technology includes all of the hardware and software needed to efficiently charge mobile devices with any charger deploying both WPC Qi technology and AirFuel Inductive standards. (Laoyaoba, Market Wired, Telecom Paper)

Samsung Electronics is recruiting experts in the US and Europe as part of its efforts to better control battery safety on devices following the unprecedented recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016.  (Phone Arena, The Investor, Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Connectivity

According to MIIT, China is required to speed up the implementation of NB-IoT in China, and to build 40B base stations by the end of 2017, 1.5B by 2020. MIIT also said that China aims to achieve over 20M M2M connections based on NB-IoT in 2017 and over 600M in 2020. (Laoyaoba, MIIT, EE World, C114)

Smartphones

Xiaomi already has 2 really competitive sub-brands, Redmi and Mi, in the mobile market during the past few years, but recent rumors suggest that the company may plan a third one, in order to take on OPPO and vivo in the Chinese market. (Gizmo China, Sohu, GizChina)

Huawei announced that it has shipped more than 1M of its Honor 9 after 28 days since launched in mid-Jun 2017. (Playful Droid, GSM Arena, Sohu)

China Mobile A3s is launched – 5.2” HD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras,2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, Android 7.1, 2800mAh battery, CNY799. (JRJ, iFeng, CN Beta)

LG Q6 series is official with 5.5” FHD+ (2160×1080) FullVision display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 3000mAh battery: Q6 – 3GB RAM, 32GB storage. Q6+ – 4GB RAM, 64GB storage.Q6a – 2GB RAM, 16GB storage. (Android Authority, Liliputing, Phone Arena)

 

 

PCs / Tablets

Lenovo Tab 4 and Tab 4 Plus are announced, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Android 7.0, USB Type-C, Wi-Fi / LTE versions: Tab 4 – 8” 1920×1200 display, 4850mAh battery, from CNY1999. Tab 4 Plus – 10” 1920×1200 display, 7000mAh battery, from CNY2399. (My Drivers, Sohu, CN Beta)

Wearables

HTC has teamed up with Volkswagen to develop VR solutions and applications for internal production and logistics operations of the German-based automaker. In cooperation with startup company Innoactive, HTC is integrating Volkswagen’s existing VR applications and related tools into a single platform, dubbed Digital Reality Hub. (Digitimes, Android Headlines, HTC, 91.com, Sohu, Baidu VR)

Practical Magic has collaborated with Warner Bros and Intel to create a VR experience for Christopher Nolan’s new film Dunkirk. The Dunkirk Virtual Reality Experience puts the viewer into each of the film’s 3 perspectives of land, sea and air, offering a virtual reimagining of the World War Two Battle of Dunkirk. (Intel, Digital TV, Laoyaoba)

Internet of Things

Faraday Future, the electric-vehicle startup backed by former LeEco Chairman Jia Yueting, halted plans to build a USD1B factory in Nevada as the troubled tycoon fights for the survival of his Chinese car business. The plant in North Las Vegas that was due to build Faraday’s 1,050-horsepower FF 91 has been put on hold. (CN Beta, Sina, The Verge, TechCrunch, Bloomberg)

Apple will spend DKK6B (USD921M) on a new data center in Denmark, its second in the Nordic country to run entirely on renewable energy. Apple said the data center would begin operations in the second quarter of 2019 in Aabenraa in southern Denmark near the German border. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Fortune, Reuters)

Google is launching a new initiative called PAIR (People + AI Research). A part of the Google Brain team, PAIR’s goal is to “study and redesign the ways people interact with AI systems.” This initiative will take into account both developers/researchers and the average end-user. (Android Authority, Google, 9to5Google, CNBC)

Alibaba launched a digital home speaker that is much cheaper than the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod. Meanwhile, Baidu has announced its own DuerOS digital assistant. (Laoyaoba, IoT Home, ETT Taiwan, Investors, Quartz, Techseen)

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