Sat, Jun 17, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Inventec plans research in AI, 5G

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Inventec Corp (英業達) plans to allocate more research and development (R&D) resources to products related to artificial intelligence (AI), 5G technology and automotive electronics, as the company aims to cultivate new growth catalysts in the long term, Inventec chairman Tom Cho (卓桐華) said yesterday.

“We believe that AI, 5G and automotive electronics will be the next growth drivers in the technology industry and we do not want to miss opportunities in these areas,” Cho told a media gathering in Taipei after being elected chairman following former chairman Richard Lee’s (李詩欽) retirement.

As Inventec’s strength is not writing algorithms for AI and 5G, Cho said the company’s focus would be developing high-powered computing capabilities and hardware for the new technologies.

Cho said Inventec is confident it can secure a firm position in the AI industry, as the company has been maintaining close business relationships with large technology companies that are interested in developing such products.

The company also plans to establish a new business unit for automotive electronics in two years with a focus on supplying solutions of vehicle-to-vehicle systems and advanced driver assistance systems, Cho said.

Inventec chief financial officer Yu Chin-pao (游進寶) said Inventec has budgeted US$200 million for capital expenditure this year and plans to spend some of that on R&D for the new areas.

The company’s annual revenue this year is to climb by a single-digit percentage from last year’s NT$428.49 billion (US$14.1 billion), Cho said, citing positive factors such as increasing orders for servers and “smart” devices, as well as improving demand for solar power products.

Shipments of notebook computers, which contributed more than 50 percent to the firm’s revenue last year, could be flat from last year’s 18.2 million units on the back of stable demand, Cho said.

Inventec’s “smart” devices subsidiary, Inventec Appliance Corp (英華達), whose clients include Apple Inc and Xiaomi Corp (小米), is expected to see shipments surge significantly next quarter, as demand is likely to increase in the traditional peak season, Inventec Appliance chief executive officer David Ho (何代水) said.

Inventec Appliance’s plants in China’s Shanghai and Nanjing are to run at full capacity in the last two quarters, Ho said.

Inventec’s board yesterday appointed chief operating officer Maurice Wu (巫永財) to succeed president Huang Kuo-chun (黃國鈞), while Huang is to become a board member, Inventec said.

Lee is to remain a board member following his retirement, the company said.

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