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Alibaba AI Labs, MediaTek sign accord on IoT cooperation

2018/01/10 20:46:32

Taipei, Jan. 10 (CNA) Alibaba AI Labs, the artificial intelligence development division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has signed an agreement with Taiwan-based integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. for long-term cooperation on the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to a statement released by Alibaba, Alibaba AI Labs inked the accord with MediaTek at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, which kicked off Tuesday in Las Vegas, featuring a wide range of advanced technologies, including AI.

According to Alibaba, through the strategic partnership, the two parties will work together on various initiatives, including smart home protocols, customized IoT chips and AI smart hardware, with the aim of developing a connected world in the IoT era.

Alibaba said MediaTek has designed customized Bluetooth chips for Tmall Genie -- Alibaba's Amazon's Echo-like voice-controlled smart assistant, which allows users to order products from online vendor Tmall's website.

Both MediaTek and Alibaba AI Labs have cooperated in the development of the first Smartmesh connectivity solution in China, which is based on Alibaba AI Labs' self-developed IoT protocol named IoTConnect, and a Bluetooth chip co-developed by both parties, to enable smart home devices to automatically connect to Tmall Genie.

"We are excited about partnering with MediaTek to explore collaboration in the IoT ecosystem," Miffy Chan (陳麗娟), head of Alibaba AI Labs, said in a statement.

"Our AI and cloud computing capabilities, along with MediaTek's cutting-edge technology in chip design, provide unique advantages to our connectivity solutions for smart homes, offering real benefits to consumers in China and paving the way for a more connected world through innovation," Chan added.

Jerry Yu (游人傑), corporate vice president and general manager of MediaTek's Home Entertainment Business Group, said the smart home market is booming as technologies advance.

"With MediaTek's strength in connectivity and baseband, computing and multimedia, coupled with Alibaba's leading advantages in cloud computing and AI, we are confident that the collaboration will mark a milestone in the development of the IoT era," Yu said.

A day earlier in Las Vegas, MediaTek introduced an AI platform -- NeuroPilot AI -- which is expected to bring a wide range of applications together to power many consumer products, including smartphones, smart homes and cars.

Sony Corp. of Japan, which has worked with MediaTek on smart TVs since 2015, said it looks forward to cooperating with the Taiwanese firm in AI technology development.

On Wednesday, shares of MediaTek gained 1.81 percent to close at NT$309.50 (US$10.46) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, outperforming the broader market, where the weighted index ended down 0.77 percent at 10,831.09 points.

(By Jeffery Wu and Frances Huang)
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