Xiaomi spins out new IoT chip unit, eyes for new financing

Nanjing Big Fish Semiconductor splits from Xiaomi’s chip R&D unit Pine Cone.

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Xiaomi spins out new IoT chip unit, eyes for new financing

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi said the company will reshuffle its wholly-owned chip research and development subsidiary Pine Cone, a move to implement its “AI plus Internet of Things” strategy.

Pine Cone is behind Xiaomi’s first in-house smartphone chipset Surge S1 which was unveiled in early 2017. Part of this firm will now be spun off to form a new company called Nanjing Big Fish Semiconductor, Xiaomi told KrASIA.

Xiaomi will own a 25% stake in the new company, which will focus on AI and IoT chips R&D.

The research team of Nanjing Big Fish, which will start fundraising soon, will hold another 75% stake.

The rest of Pine Cone will keep concentrating on smartphone and AI chips R&D.

Xiaomi said Monday that it has sold over 10 million units of its flagship Xiao AI smart speaker since July 2017.

The device is China’s second-best selling smart speaker and the fourth-best worldwide, according to research firm IDC. The company’s 2018 annual report showed that Xiaomi’s smart speaker had more than 38.8 million monthly active users by the end of last year.

As of December 31, 2018, the number of connected IoT devices (excluding smartphones and laptops) on Xiaomi’s IoT platform reached approximately 150.9 million units, a quarter-over-quarter increase of 14.7% and a year-on-year increase of 193.2%, according to the annual report. Xiaomi sells various IoT devices such as smart air-purifiers, water purifiers, and TVs.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad

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