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09-25: Alibaba Group has introduced its first AI inference chip Hanguang 800; Samsung is to unveil the KRW13T investment plan to upgrade its LCD production lines at its plant in Asan; etc.

Chipsets

Alibaba Group has introduced its first AI inference chip, a neural processing unit called Hanguang 800. In the Resnet-50 industry test, the Hanguang 800 can process 78,563 images per second at its peak — four times more than the present top performer on the market. Its computational efficiency is at 500 images per second per watt, beating the previous top dog by 3.3 times. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Reuters, SCMP)

Touch Display

Samsung is expected to unveil the KRW13T (USD10.8B) investment plan to upgrade its liquid crystal display (LCD) production lines at Samsung Display Co.’s plant in Asan, 100km south of Seoul, to quantum dot (QD) display-manufacturing facilities. SDC operates two LCD production sites in South Korea and one in China. (CN Beta, Korea Times, Reuters)

Visionox has allegedly entered Huawei’s supply chain, and the basic test has been passed. It is expected to be supplied in small batches in mid-Oct 2019 and officially in volume supply in 2020. The cooperation agreement focuses on rigid display, flexible display, 3D curved display, foldable display and related module technology for mobile applications. (CN Beta, IT Home)

TCL Group has revealed that a flexible LTPS-AMOLED production line with a planned production capacity of 5K (1500×1850) per month has been put into operation in Wuhan, and has already reached cooperation with some tier-1 phone vendors. Its flexible AM-OLED products are expected to enter mass production in 4Q19. (Laoyaoba, Yicai, 36Kr, Sina)

Camera

Samsung has introduced ISOCELL Slim GH1 that offers 43.7MP which is an industry’s first 0.7μm-pixel image sensor. The new sensor can also record videos at 4K with minimum loss in field of view (FoV). Using Tetracell technology, the GH1 is converted down to 3,984×2,740, a resolution that snugly covers the 4K (3,840×2,160) resolution. (Sammy Hub, GizChina, Samsung, My Drivers)

Battery

Sunwoda Electronics indicates that in line with 5G phone applications, it is estimated that the battery capacity will increase from the original average of 3,800mAh to about 4,500mAh. Their major customers include Apple, Huawei, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, OPPO, Geely Automobile, Guangzhou Auto, etc. (Laoyaoba, JRJ, East Money)

Phone

Xiaomi is allegedly returning to the loan market after a 2-year absence with a USD1B refinancing facility. Xiaomi is in early discussions with lenders for a 5-year bullet club loan at an all-in rate of low to mid 100 basis points area over Libor. (CN Beta, Bloomberg)

Jefferies equity analyst Kyle McNealy thinks that the arrival of a 5G iPhone is going to be much bigger for Apple than Wall Street realizes. The first 5G iPhones are set to arrive toward the end of 2020. McNealy thinks that in the following year, 2021, Apple will sell 208M iPhones. That is well above the 190M total handset sales Wall Street estimates are predicting. (CN Beta, Cult of Mac, CNBC, PED30)

Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G is announced in China – 6.39” 1080×2340 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, rear tri 48MP-12MP 2x telephoto-16MP ultrawide + front 20MP, 8+128 / 8+256 / 12+256 / 12+512GB, Android 10, under display fingerprint, 4000mAh 40W, 30W wireless charging, CNY3,699 (USD520) – CNY4,299 (USD605). (Android Central, Android Authority, GSM Arena, CN Beta)

Xiaomi MIX Alpha concept phone is announced – 7.92” 2088×2250 wrap-around flexible OLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, tri cam 108MP-12MP telephoto-20MP ultrawide, 12+512GB, Android 10 + MIUI Alpha operating system, 4050mAh 40W, CNY19,999 (USD2,810), small volume mass production and launched in end Dec 2019. (CN Beta, CN Beta, GSM Arena, Phone Arena)

Redmi 8A is announced in India – 6.2” 720×1520 HD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 439, rear 12MP (1.4µm) + front 8MP, 2+32 / 3+32GB, Android 9.0, no fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 18W, INR6,499 (USD91) / INR6,999 (USD98). (Android Central, GSM Arena)

Realme X2 is announced in China – 6.4” 1080×2340 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, rear quad 64MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 32MP, 6+64 / 8+128GB, Android 9.0, under display fingerprint, 4000mAh 30W, CNY1,599 (USD225) / CNY1,899 (USD265). (GSM Arena, CN Beta)

vivo U10 (India) / U3x (China) is launched – 6.35” 720×1544 HD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, rear tri 13MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 8MP, 3+32 / 4+64GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 18W, INR8,990 / INR10,990 or CNY799 (USD110) / CNY999 (USD140). (India Today, Live Mint, vivo, vivo, GSM Arena)

Sharp AQUOS Zero 2 with 240Hz refresh rate display is announced – 6.4” 2340×1080 FHD+ OLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, rear dual 12MP ultrawide-20MP + front 8MP, 8+256GB, Android 10, under display fingerprint, 3130mAh. (Gizmo China, CN Beta)

Wearables

According to the Wear OS companion app for Android, Xiaomi might be working on a smartwatch powered by Google’s wearable platform. Wear OS 2.28 features a string that references a “Mi Wear” companion app. (Android Authority, 9to5Google, Gizchina)

Automotive

Honda Motor has announced that it would phase out all diesel cars by 2021 in favor of models with electric propulsion systems, as the Japanese automaker moves to electrify all of its European cars by 2025. The plan is part of its long-term goal to make electric cars, including all battery-electric vehicles, to account for two-thirds of its line ups by 2030 from less than 10% now. (CN Beta, Reuters)

Hyundai is forming a new joint venture with autonomous driving technology company Aptiv will total USD4B in aggregate value. The goal of the new venture will be to develop Level 4 / 5 production-ready self-driving systems intended for commercialization, with the goal of making those available to robotaxi and fleet operators, as well as other auto makers, by 2022. (Laoyaoba, TechCrunch, Reuters)

Robotics

Boston Dynamics has announced that it is finally ready to release Spot into available to industries. The dog robot able to run at speeds of 3mph (4.8kph) for 90 minutes at a time; open doors; create 3D maps of indoor spaces using LIDAR; function in the rain; check for gas leaks, and more. (Digital Trends, CN Beta, TechCrunch)

Boston Dynamics is showcasing its humanoid robot Atlas. Atlas can already move with ease across a range of terrains using its built-in Lidar and stereo sensors and even get back up by itself if it falls down. The humanoid robot has hydraulic 28 joints that allow for this impressive mobility, and lightweight 3D printed parts that allow it to weigh only 80kg. (Digital Trends, Engadget, TechNode, Sina)

Payment

Ant Financial chairman and CEO Eric Jing said that Alipay and its local e-wallet providers served 1.2B customers around the world in June 2019, a 20% jump from the 6-month period ended in Dec 2018. Alipay itself had more than 900M annual active users in China by the end of Jun 2019. (CN Beta, Mobile Payments)

Manila-based financial tech startup PayMongo has raised USD2.7M in seed funding to give merchants in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian markets simple ways to set up online payments. More than 1,000 businesses have started using its platform and the startup says its total transaction value processed is growing at an average of 117% week over week. (TechCrunch, Rappler, Inventiva, East Day)

Fidel, the U.K.-headquartered startup that offers an API to let developers build functionality, such as rewards, on top of the major card payment networks, has raised USD18M in Series A funding. Working in partnership with Mastercard, Visa and American Express, Fidel has developed a suite of APIs that make it easy to link a user’s payment card to an app. (TechCrunch, IBS Intelligence, Tech.eu)

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