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Lithography tool vendor ASML is optimistic about increases in demand from China’s chipmaking industry, and believes it will land orders for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) litho equipment from China customers looking to make advanced 7nm chips, according to Shen Po, president of ASML China. The optimism comes despite the fact that United Microelectronics (UMC) has devoted more to mature processes, and Globalfoundries has put on hold its 7nm development. Shen noted that ASML is moving at full throttles to turn out 20 EUV machines in 2018, which will be increased to 30 units in 2019 and 40 in 2020. (Digitimes, press, My Drivers)

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said a bitter standoff between the chip maker and Apple is entering a period when both sides have an increasing incentive to settle. (CN Beta, Bloomberg)


OPPO’s spinoff Realme has announced that the company has achieved 1M in total unit sales in India. The Realme 2, launched in Aug 2018, sold 200K units in the first flash sale, the second sale brought the total to 370K.  (GSM Arena, Twitter, Fone Arena, My Drivers)

Ireland’s finance minister Paschal Donohoe indicates that Ireland has fully recovered EUR13.1B in disputed taxes from Apple plus interest of EUR1.2B, which it will hold in an escrow fund pending its appeal against an EU tax ruling. The European Commission ruled in Aug 2016 that Apple has received unfair tax incentives.  (Apple Insider, Reuters, CN Beta)

Global consultancy Prophet has announced the results of the 4th Prophet Brand Relevance Index (BRI), a ranking of the most relevant brands in consumers’ lives today. Apple maintained its standing as the most relevant brand for the 4th year in a row, while KitchenAid and Nike moved into the top ten, replacing Disney and Pixar. (CN Beta, Prophet, report, Globe Newswire, Business Insider)

Samsung announcing 2 new J phones in India, featuring 6.0” 720×1480 HD+ IPS, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, Android 8.1, 3300mAh: Galaxy J6+ – Rear dual 13MP-5MP + front 8MP, 3GB+32GB / 4GB+64GB. Galaxy J4+ – Rear 13MP + front 5MP, 2GB+16GB / 3GB+32GB. (Neowin, GizChina, Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Samsung, Samsung)

Xiaomi has announced 2 new smartphones: Mi 8 Youth Edition (or Mi 8 Lite) – 6.26” 2280×1080 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE, rear 12MP-5MP + front 24MP, 4/6+64GB / 6+128GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 3250mAh, from CNY1399. Mi 8 In-Display Version (or Mi 8 Pro) – 6.21” 2248×1080 FHD+ AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear 12MP-12MP + front 20MP, 6/8+128GB, Android 8.1, pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner, IR face unlock, 3000mAh, from CNY3199. (GizChina, My Drivers, Android Headlines, Android Authority, GSM Arena)

Meizu V8 and V8 Pro are announced, both featuring 5.7” 1440×720 HD+: V8 – MediaTek MT6739, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 3+32GB, Android 8.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3200mAh, CNY799. V8 Pro – MediaTek MT6762, rear dual 12MP-5MP + front 5MP, 4+64GB, Android 8.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3100mAh, CNY1099. (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Meizu)

Meizu X8 is launched – 6.2” 1080×2220 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, rear dual 12MP-5MP + front 5MP, 4+64GB / 6+64GB / 6+128GB, Android 8.0, 3210mAh, from CNY1598. (GizChina, Gizmo China, Engadget CN, Tom.com, CN Beta, GSM Arena)

Meizu 16X is announced – 6.0” 1080×2160 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, rear dual 12MP-20MP + front 20MP, 6+64GB / 128GB, in-display fingerprint scanner, 3100mAh, from CNY2098. (GSM Arena, Meizu)

Samsung Galaxy A7 with tri-cam is announced – 6.0” 1080×2220 FHD+  Super AMOLED, Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, rear tri-cam 24MP AF-8MP UW-5MP depth + front 24MP, 4+64GB / 4/6+128GB, Android 8.0, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, 3300mAh,  EUR348. (Sammy Hub, Android Headlines, Phone Arena, Samsung)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Mozilla has released Firefox Reality 1.0, the first version of its web browser geared for three virtual-reality headsets, the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Google Daydream. The new browser uses voice control to sidestep the difficulty of typing while wearing a device that replaces view of the real world, including keyboard, with immersive computer-generated scenery.  (Liliputing, CN Beta, TechCrunch, Mozilla, CNET, ZDNet)

Artificial Intelligence

Ontario based company DarwinAI has announced USD3M in seed funding, led by Obvious Ventures, iNovia Capital, and angels from the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto. Its technique, which it calls generative synthesis, ingests virtually any AI system — be it computer vision, natural language processing, or speech recognition — and spits out a highly optimized, compact version of it. (VentureBeat, Betakit, Globenewswire)

Tamr has announced that it has closed a USD10M round with participation from Pear Tree Partners and Granite Hill Capital Partners. Tamr provides a machine-driven, human-guided approach to data unification that increasingly is a foundational component of large enterprise data management strategies. (VentureBeat, Business Wire)

The Helsinki- and Berlin-based startup Ultimate.ai has built an AI-powered suggestion engine that, once trained on clients’ data-sets, is able to provide real-time help to (human) staff dealing with customer queries via chat, email and social channels. It has completed USD1.3M seed round co-led by Holtzbrinck Ventures and Maki.vc. (TechCrunch)

TECHnalysis Research has conducted a survey with over 500 US-based businesses that were actively involved in either developing, piloting, or running AI applications in full production, were asked about the kinds of applications they use in their organizations. The top 2 choices amongst the respondent group were Data Security and Network Security, with roughly 70% of all respondents saying they had some kind of effort in these areas. (TECHnalysis Research, press, Techspot)

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