02-06: Sorry to be absent for 2 days! Honor has no plans to announce smartphones with 16:9 display aspect ratios from now on; India has announced import duties will jump to 20%, up from 15% previously; etc.

Chipset

According to analyst KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Intel’s baseband chips are expected to power communications across Apple’s entire 2018 iPhone lineup, a supplier switch that, it would deal a major blow to market leader Qualcomm. Previously, the analyst believed Qualcomm would take a 70% share of baseband chip orders, with the remainder going to Intel.  (Apple Insider, CN Beta)

The number of patents for quantum computing technology has increased drastically from 2014, and till 2016, every year the increase rate is about 12%~39%. (Laoyaoba, CSIA, Bnext, China Times, IEEE, Mashable, Engadget, Ars Technica, Financial Times)

GlobalFoundries (GF) is introducing EUV at 7nm. GF’ Fab 8, in Malta, N.Y. has been converted entirely to 14nm, with initial 7nm pilot production also underway, and will begin by end of 2018. The first customer would be AMD. AMD will be using 2 separate foundries, namely GF and TSMC to produce the chips sporting their upcoming 7nm process, starting with 7nm Vega GPU (to be launched in 2018). (Extreme Tech, Laoyaoba, PC Game SN)

Broadcom has raised its bid for Qualcomm to about USD121B. Broadcom has around USD5.25B of cash and cash equivalent on hand, and has garnered sufficient financing to seal the deal with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Silver Lake Partners. Qualcomm reported USD35.03B of the same on 24 Sept 2017. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, CN Beta, Sohu)

Touch Display

Huawei Honor Germany has reportedly confirmed that it has no plans to announce smartphones with 16:9 display aspect ratios from now on, which essentially means that its upcoming flagship, the Honor 10, will be the first flagship from the company to sport an 18:9 display. (Android Headlines, TechRadar, GSM Arena, CNII, iFeng)

The first diamond-based smartphone display is expected to be launched in 2019 by Akhan Semiconductor. The technology is already in testing, and is said to allow for 6 times stronger and 10 times harder displays. The company will partner with just one smaller smartphone manufacturer. (Android Headlines, Android Authority, CNET, CN Beta)

According to Sigmaintell, in 2017 Chinese panel vendors smartphone OLED panel surface shipment has reached about 78Km2, which is a big increase compared to 2016. In particular, GVO has shipped more than 30Km2, leading the market with 38.9% share. In terms of shipment, in 2017 Chinese OLED panel shipment has reached near 10M units (about 9.8M units), of which Everdisplay (thanks to Huawei, HiSense and other foreign customers) leads the market with 39% share. (Sigmaintell, press)

Storage

According to The Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK), global DRAM volume soared in 2017, with production value has increased about 77% on year, reaching USD72.5B, and ASP increased 55%. IEK also forecasts that the DRAM is still in shortage in 2018, but the cost increase rate not as high as 2017. However, vendors are controlling their production, causing the ASP increase about 32% in 2018, with production value reaching USD90B. (IEK, HQEW, UDN, LTN, Laoyaoba)

In regards to DRAM in 2018, PowerTech Technology (PTI) general manager Hong Jiayu indicates that in 2018 the newly added DRAM production still cannot fulfill the market demand, and expects that DRAM will be stable in 2018. In regards to NAND Flash, the market worries that once the new production capacity is released, it will cause the cost down. However, as the cost down, it will drive the application and demand. (China Times, UDN, Laoyaoba, Digitimes, press)

Sensory

Asia supply chain has begun preparation, Apple iPhone X 3D sensors module inventory is already sufficient to use for the coming several months. The production will only continue till Mar 2018, and there will no production in 2Q18. (CN Beta, My Drivers, iFeng)

Fabless IC firm Elan Microelectronics has been involved in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) chips with plans to assign a team of over 100 engineers to enhance further its offering over the next 3 years. Elan plans to enter volume production of its first AI product – a 3D facial recognition solution for smartphones and other mobile devices – in 1H18. (Laoyaoba, China Times, Digitimes)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is launching an initiative called MIT Intelligence Quest in an effort to combine multiple disciplines to reverse engineer human intelligence, create new algorithms for machine learning and artificial intelligence and foster collaboration. MIT IQ is an effort to break down multiple research silos across the institute to rally around human and machine intelligence. (CN Beta, Metro, TechCrunch, ZDNet)

Biometrics

Goodix agrees to buy Germany’s Commsolid GmbH, which is a cellular IP company providing leading edge ultra-low power solutions for the growing IoT market, with USD15M. (HQEW, Laoyaoba, Reuters, SSE)

Connectivity

Sprint has announced that it plans on being the first one to roll out nationwide 5G coverage during 1H19. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure says the carrier will add new antennas to its towers that are capable of sending and receiving large MIMO transmissions. 5G support will be added to the towers/antennas with a software update, and unlike other carriers, Sprint will be deploying its 5G network through its 2.5GHz spectrum. (Android Central, Fierce Wireless, iFeng)

Molex and Microchip Technology are collaborating on the development of integrated USB Media Modules and USB Power Delivery Solutions for automotive infotainment systems. Microchip’s USB devices optimize USB Power Delivery functionality, reducing overall BOM costs by architecting a total system solution that can be easily designed into a single module. (Laoyaoba, Business Wire, MEM)

KT, Verizon and Samsung have joined to demonstrate Samsung 5G solutions and use cases, including a prototype 5G tablet device, and a successful live video call conducted over 5G between Minneapolis, USA and Seoul, Korea during a sponsored sport event. (Android Headlines, Samsung, Telecoms, Sina, CC Time)

Phones

Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley has proposed an increase in customs duty, but all imports will be impacted as he has also proposed a social welfare surcharge of 10% on basic customs duty. The Minister has announced import duties will jump to 20%, up from 15% previously. This will impact all imported smartphones and other electronics including wearables and televisions.  (Android Authority, Economic Times, China Times, Tencent, Qudong, Sohu)

LG is reportedly pulling out of the Chinese smartphone market. A representative of the company at its Beijing office said “LG mobile phone business has quit China.” Throughout 2016, LG has sold only 160K units in China out of an estimated 480M total shipments. (GizChina, CN Beta)

A South Korean appeals court let Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee walk free from prison after suspending his sentence for bribery. The heir to the country’s largest conglomerate had appealed his sentence, which the court reduced by half to two and a half years on Monday. He will be on probation for four years, the court said. (CN Beta, Android Authority, NY Times, ABC, Bloomberg)

Samsung Semiconductor (LSI+ Memory) now contributes close to 3/4 of the operating profits, thanks to rising demand for memory as well as the tight supply situation that kept memory component prices at all time highs. According to Counterpoint Research, a strong quarter for Samsung as the component business continued to outperform the consumer business, effectively transforming Samsung into a semiconductor and systems company. Samsung’s component business is poised to surpass its DMC (CE + Telecom) business. (Counterpoint Research, blog, Laoyaoba)

vivo founder and CEO Shen Wei reveals that in 2018 the company will aggressively expand the company’s technology innovation—in addition to strategic plan early release of 5G and AI, vivo will also release world-rated innovative product. (Laoyaoba, China Daily)

A new “industry-first offering” from Cisco, Apple, Aon, and Allianz has been launched, allowing businesses small and large to utilize Apple devices, and Cisco security hardware, and in doing so, qualify for a “enhanced cyber insurance” program protecting the company from the financial impact of a cyber attack. (Apple Insider, Cisco, Sina)

Sharp Pi is announced in Vietnam and Indonesia – 5.2” HD IPS LCD, MediaTek MT6737W, dual rear 13MP-2MP + front 8MP, 2GB + 16GB, Android 7.0, 3000mAh, VDN2.99M / IDR1.89M (USD131). (Android Headlines)

Wearables

The prototype of Intel’s augmented reality (AR) glasses, dubbed Vaunt, with plastic frames, weigh under 50g, and look like regular eyeglasses. Their smart innards are built into the stems and control a class-one laser. This laser shines a red, monochrome 400×150 image into the back of user’s retina. (The Verge, Pocket Lint, Sina, Sohu, 163)

Xiaomi’s subsidy Amazfit launches a new smartwatch Bip, which promises 45 days of battery life after one single charge. It features a full-colour, always-on 1.28” touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3, GPS+GLONASS, optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, IP68 rating and 190mAh battery. It is priced at USD99. (GSM Arena, Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Internet of Things

Samsung is introducing its update on 5G, including what it described as “the industry’s first 5G-ready automotive solution”, also known as the Telematics Control Unit (TCU). TCU is a product of Samsung’s collaboration with Harman. TCU will serve as an individual car’s point of connection to the larger traffic network. In addition to the new TCU, Samsung provided a brief refresher on its Intelligent Digital Cockpit platform, which is designed to merge the car’s instrument cluster and entertainment systems. (Just Auto, Samsung, VentureBeat, Laoyaoba)

Daimler and automotive supplier Robert Bosch will start testing self-driving so-called robo-taxis in the next few months. Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler and Bosch teamed up in 2017 to develop self-driving cars in an alliance aimed at accelerating the production of robo-taxis. (Digital Trends, Reuters, IT Home, My Drivers)

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