10-21 #Hiking : Nio’s first self-developed chip will go into mass production in Oct 2023; Intel has announced a new initiative, the AI PC Acceleration Program; Nokia is to cut 9,000-14,000 jobs by the end of 2026 to cut costs; etc.

Huawei allegedly to launch Kirin 830, which will be adopted by its nova 12 series to be expected by end of 2023. The performance of the Kirin 830 is rumored to be on par with Snapdragon 778G or Snapdragon 870 by Qualcomm. (GSM Arena, Weibo)

Nio’s CEO, William Li, has announced that the company’s first self-developed chip will go into mass production in Oct 2023. Now, according to the National Intellectual Property Administration’s Trademark Office website, NIO Automobile Technology filed a registration application for the “NIO Yang Jian” on 21 Sept 2023. The company has incorporated multiple subcategories into this trademark, such as computer software, chatbot software for simulated conversations, CPUs, AI-based interactive software, smart glasses for data processing, operating system programs, interactive computer systems, and more. (Gizmo China, Pandaily, IT Home, Huanqiu)

With Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) reportedly delaying its planned mass production of 2nm chips, Samsung Electronics will likely get a chance to get ahead by being the first to produce the next generation chips, following the Samsung’s achievement of becoming the world’s first producer of 3nm chips. Samsung has announced its goal to complete the mass production preparation of 2nm automotive solutions by 2026 and expand its product portfolio, including new-generation 5nm embedded MRAM (eMRAM) and 8” BCD processes.It is also aiming to have the capacity to manufacture 1.4nm-based chips in 2027. TSMC is projected to complete its ongoing construction of a 2nm plant in Baoshan, Taiwan, by 2Q25. TSMC will start mass production of 2nm chips, with a monthly volume of 30,000 wafers, as early as 4Q25. (Pulse News, SamMobile, Sammy Fans, CN Beta, Digitimes)

Intel has announced a new initiative, the AI PC Acceleration Program, which is meant to help developers create new AI-powered features that take advantage of Intel’s upcoming Core Ultra mobile chips. This program aims to connect Intel with hardware and software makers looking to enhance their products with onboard AI technology. Intel projects that this program, which has more than 100 independent software vendor (ISV) partners already, will help enable AI on more than 100M PCs by 2025. Intel has a vested interest at play here: Its new neural processing unit (NPU) in its upcoming Core Ultra-branded laptop processors, it hopes, will play a huge role in achieving this goal. (CN Beta, Intel, PC World, Engadget, PC Mag)

Intel and Submer have unveiled the Forced Convection Heat Sink (FCHS) package designed to cool down chips with thermal design power of 1000W and above. The device promises to be a reliable and cost-effective solution for future datacenter processors with extremely high heat dissipation. Intel and Sumber said that the FCHS combines the benefits of forced convection with passive cooling mechanisms and is designed to be integrated seamlessly into existing server and immersion tank setups, ensuring operational continuity and enhanced thermal management in high-performance computing environments. (CN Beta, Submer, Tom’s Hardware)

IBM has detailed NorthPole, an internally designed artificial intelligence (AI) chip that it says is significantly more power-efficient than competing processors. The chip builds on an earlier IBM research project that produced an AI-optimized processor called TrueNorth. According to IBM, NorthPole is about 4,000 times faster. The newly debuted chip consists of 22B transistors made using a 12nm process. According to IBM, those transistors are organized into 256 cores that can each perform 2,048 calculations per clock cycle with eight-bit precision. This means the calculations are carried out on relatively small numbers that take up to eight bits of space This chip is poised to take AI capabilities to new heights, offering a remarkable 22x increase in speed and a 25x boost in energy efficiency compared to its predecessors. (CN Beta, IBM, Nature, Silicon Angle, Medium)

Samsung may only manage to ship a total of 10M foldable smartphones in 2023. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 will account for 7M of those, with older models making up the rest. The company’s foldable inventory is said to be higher than expected two months after the launch of the new foldable models. It shows poor sales amid an economic slowdown. It’s only selling 66% of its initial estimates. Samsung expects to bounce back as early as 2024. Despite the arrival of new players in the foldable market, the company is aiming to double the sales of its Z-series devices in 2024. Samsung plans to sell a total of 20M foldables in 2024. It may be expecting the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 to account for at least 60% of the total sales. (Android Headlines, The Elec)

Finnish telecoms giant Nokia is to cut 9,000-14,000 jobs by the end of 2026 to cut costs. The company blamed slowing demand for 5G equipment in markets such as North America. It currently has 86,000 employees around the world, and has axed thousands of jobs since 2015. Nokia wants to cut costs by EUR800M-1.2B by 2026. (Gizmo China, BBC, Reuters, Business Insider)

Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has highlighted the potential dangers posed by falling satellites to both people and aircraft. Commissioned due to growing concerns about space debris, FAA predicts that by 2035, the probability of someone being injured or killed by a falling satellite could reach 0.6 per year, equating to an occurrence every 2 years. Furthermore, the FAA has identified a small but non-zero risk of an aircraft being downed by a satellite, estimating the probability to be as high as 0.0007 per year by 2035. One primary focus of the FAA report is SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation. Currently consisting of over 5,000 satellites with plans to launch tens of thousands more, Starlink poses a significant portion of the risk associated with falling satellites, accounting for more than 85% of potential harm to individuals on the ground. SpaceX has criticized its findings, claiming that the assumptions upon which it is based are flawed. (GizChina, IT Home, NY Post, Daily Mail, TS2)

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened up 6GHz Wi-Fi spectrum to low power devices like AR / VR wearables. Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and more teamed up in 2019 to ask the FCC to allow Very Low Power (VLP) devices that transmit at a low power threshold to use 6GHz spectrum without restrictions, which the FCC has now approved. The approval is for short range, tethered connections between two devices, such as the Vision Pro headset and an iPhone or an in-car system like CarPlay and an ‌iPhone‌. (MacRumors, FCC, The Verge)

Google has announced that it will be manufacturing its flagship Pixel line-up of phones in India. The company has said that it will start manufacturing the Pixel 8 in India and the devices will roll out in 2024, as a part of the Make in India initiative. Google’s Rick Osterloh, Head of Devices & Services, has indicated that India is a priority market for Pixel. (Android Headlines, Google, CN Beta, Reuters, Money Control, Economic Times)

vivo is to launch OriginOS 4, vivo’s latest skin based on Android 14. The first phones to ship with it should be the iQOO 12 series and the X100 flagships. vivo has also teased that it will be announcing another self-developed OS. The OS will allegedly be used in IoT devices. Additionally, Vivo will also release a self-developed AI large model. The company has revealed that the model will be used for the first time in the upcoming OriginOS 4 system, and will include five self-developed large models with three different parameter levels. These models will cover a comprehensive range of core application scenarios.(Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Sparrow News)

India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that vivo employees, including Chinese nationals, concealed their employer’s identity while applying for Indian visas. This revelation gains importance in the backdrop of rising tensions between India and China, particularly after border conflicts in 2020. The ED has accused Vivo employees of violating visa conditions by entering sensitive areas in India like Jammu and Kashmir without proper permits. This issue comes to light after the arrest of vivo executive Guangwen Kuang in a money laundering probe. The agency claims that vivo channeled an INR1.07T (around USD13B) out of India, raising questions of tax evasion. These allegations could dent vivo’s position in the Indian market, where it holds a 17% share. (Gizmo China, SCMP, CN Beta, Live Law, Inc42)

Mobile internet is connecting more people to the internet than ever before. By the end of 2022, the number of people using mobile internet increased to 4.6B people (57% of the global population). However, the growth rate at which people are adopting mobile internet has slowed in 2022, and significant digital divides persist. Despite the benefits of connectivity, 38% of the global population are living within mobile broadband coverage but are not using it – the usage gap. Furthermore, 5% are still not covered by mobile broadband – the coverage gap. According to GSMA, over half (54%) of the global population, now owns a smartphone. This is around 4.3B people. However, there are currently about 600M people in the world who rely on feature phones. This is around 8% of the global population. In addition, there are 350M smartphone owners who choose not to use the mobile Internet. At the end of 2022, 69% of smartphones used by mobile Internet users support 4G, 17% support 5G, and 14% are limited to 3G. (GizChina, GSMA, report, IT Home)

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is internally discussing launching the more affordable version of the Vision Pro in USD1,500-2,500. He claims that Apple might not equip the product with an external display like that on the Vision Pro to keep the price low. Apple Vision Pro comes with an external display that enables EyeSight. It is a feature that lets others see a real-time render of the wearer’s eyes so that they can interact with each other in a better way. Apple is shifting employees working on the development of the upcoming AR glasses to the development of the cheaper version of the Vision Pro, as the company wants to prioritise the development of the former over the latter. (Gizmo China, Bloomberg, Mixed News, SamMobile)

There are approximately 50 domestic EV brands in China that produce pure-electric cars and plug-in hybrids, according to information compiled by research company MarkLines. UBS analyst Paul Gong has indicated that by 2030, there will be between 10 and 12 major Chinese automakers operating on a large scale. Since Tesla sparked a price war in China late last year, the pace of industry consolidation has picked up. WM Motor, another EV start-up based in Shanghai founded by a former chair of Volvo China, told creditors that it had started restructuring proceedings in early Oct 2023. Other Chinese companies Singulato Motors and Levdeo became involved in bankruptcy proceedings in recent months, while Shanghai-based EV start-up Enovate suspended production in Apr 2023. (CN Beta, Financial Times, iFeng, Techgoing)

Foxconn has announced plans for mass production of the sporty and smart Model B, a crossover set to redefine the electric vehicle landscape. The Model B comes equipped with cutting-edge technology, including a spacious 15.6” IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) screen and UWB (ultra-wideband communication technology) digital keys, showcasing Foxconn’s commitment to blending sophistication with practicality. Chairman Liu has emphasized Foxconn’s comprehensive vertical integration capabilities, exemplified through a diverse array of electric vehicles, ranging from high-end cars to SUVs, compact pickups, and commercial buses. He highlighted Foxconn’s unique business model, CDMS (commissioned design and manufacturing services), offering tailored solutions to the automotive industry. This model significantly reduces costs and accelerates time to market, proving pivotal in the electric vehicle sector’s future success. (Gizmo China, IT Home, Digitimes)

In 2Q23, Tesla has listed Gigafactory Shanghai’s annual capacity simply as >750,000 vehicles. This was despite local reports suggesting that the electric vehicle factory could already produce about 1.1M vehicles per year. The Model 3 and Model Y produced at the base are also being continuously exported to European and other markets. The Shanghai Gigafactory, Tesla’s highest-capacity factory, is still increasing its production capacity and has the ability to produce more than 950,000 electric vehicles annually. In addition to the Shanghai Gigafactory, the production capacity of Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory also increased in 3Q23, adding 125,000 units. This is mainly due to the upcoming delivery of the electric pickup truck Cybertruck. Among other factories, the production capacity of the Fremont factory in California and the Berlin Gigafactory remains unchanged from 2Q23, and they still have the annual production capacity of 650,000 and 375,000 electric vehicles respectively. The production capacity of the Texas Gigafactory Model Y is also unchanged from 2Q23. It still has the ability to produce more than 250,000 vehicles per year. (CN Beta, Teslarati, Tesla)

Mitsubishi Motors has decided to end automobile production in China, and is discussing its exit with local joint venture partner Guangzhou Automobile Group. GAC will likely convert the plant, in Hunan province, to a production base for electric vehicles. Mitsubishi Motors said talks about the future of its China business with the shareholders in the joint venture (JV) in the country were ongoing and that nothing had been decided about it. Mitsubishi Motors sold only 515 of its electric Airtrek sport-utility vehicles in China in 2022, while its overall production in the country slid to 1,530 cars in Jan 2023, and then to nothing as operations were suspended. The company said in Mar 2023 it plans to invest as much as JPY1.8T (USD12B) on electrification by 2030. (CN Beta, Asia Nikkei, Reuters, Japan Times)

Volvo Cars reported 61,666 global car sales in Sept 2023, which is 25% more than a year ago. During the first 9 months of 2023, the company sold 509,158 cars (up 19% YoY). Volvo plug-in electric car sales increased even faster, by 37% YoY to 21,103, which allowed plug-ins to achieve a share of 34.2% (compared to 31.3% a year ago). During 3Q23, Volvo sold almost 57,000 plug-in cars, including 21,369 all-electric cars. So far in 2023, Volvo plug-in car sales amounted to over 193,000 cars (up 50% YoY), which is also 38% of the total volume. For reference, in 2022, Volvo sold over 205,000 plug-in electric cars (about 33% of the total volume). In 2023, Volvo Recharge car sales should easily exceed 250,000 but 300,000 currently seems out of range.(Gizmo China, InsideEVs)

Nokia Drone Network has showcased its new hexacopter drones. Nokia is offering a new lineup of affordable and simple drones. Nokia Drones provide a wide range of possibilities for aerial insights and mission-critical flights. The new Nokia unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a 5G-compatible drone with industry-grade components. The Nokia hexacopter drone is designed to be robustly protected from dust, water, and weather elements. It has a dual gimbal camera module with integrated RGB lighting and a thermal camera. Furthermore, the drone can accommodate the integration of other accessories like searchlights, loudspeakers, or customizable sensors for smoke, motion, radiation, and LIDAR.(Gizmo China, Nokia, Nokiamob)

Amazon has announced plans to start delivering packages via drone for the first time in the UK and Italy as it attempts to get its ambitious airborne delivery program off the ground. Amazon will introduce autonomous aircraft delivery in Britain and Italy “in late 2024”. Amazon has unveiled its new generation of drones at its headquarters in Seattle. The company’s drone-based service is currently only available within 2 small sites in California and Texas, where it launched less than a year ago. Amazon intends to add a third American location in 2024.(CN Beta, BBC News, The Guardian)

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