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PEI: Chipmakers switched focus at Taiwan’s top tech fair this week with bets on new areas such as driverless cars, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, shifting away from smartphones where intense competition has pushed down components prices.
The Computex Taipei event, now in its 36th year, has historically been a central venue for electronic parts manufacturers to show off their processors and other components, products that play a large part in Taiwan’s export-driven economy.

As prices of processors fell, companies pushed into headline-grabbing launches like last year’s Zenbo, a child-friendly home robot unveiled by Asustek Computer Inc , that could sing, snap pictures and help in the kitchen.

This year, attention is back on core processing rather than novelties, but this time aimed more squarely at the “internet of things” (IoT), a buzzword used to describe connectivity between an increasing range of devices.

“We are going from hype phase to more a reality phase with real products. You can see them, you can feel them,” said Hugo Swart, head of business development and product management for Internet of Things and consumer electronics at Qualcomm Inc .

“I see last year was a year of a lot of promises and this year is a material realisation,” Swart said of IoT.

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