02-27 MWC2018: Xiaomi is making AI chips; Qualcomm is working with an ecosystem of leading carmakers and automotive suppliers to accelerate the commercial introduction of C-V2X; etc.

Chipsets

NXP Semiconductors and 8 key partners from the industry will sign the first joint charter for greater cybersecurity. Initiated by Siemens, the Charter of Trust calls for binding rules and standards to build trust in cybersecurity and further advance digitalization. In addition to NXP, Siemens, the companies Airbus, Allianz, Daimler Group, IBM, SGS and Deutsche Telekom are signing the Charter.  (Laoyaoba, Globe Newswire, Bloomberg)

[MWC2018] Wang Xiang, Xiaomi’s head of its international business, has revealed that Xiaomi is researching chips that enable artificial intelligence (AI) on mobile devices, but has not made a decision on whether to make one. (Laoyaoba, CNBC)

[MWC2018] Qualcomm has announced the X24 chip using a 7nm FinFET process that integrates the X24’s Snapdragon 855 ). The handset chip will be available by the end of 2018. In the following 2 years, Qualcomm’s 7nm LTE chip foundry orders have reportedly been granted to TSMC, trial production of 5G chip in 2H18 will be using Samsung’s 7nm EUV process. (Digitimes, Laoyaoba)

Qualcomm has reversed its stance on an acquisition offered by competitor Broadcom, providing it raise the takeover bid to USD160B including USD25B in assumed debt. (Phone Arena, The Verge, Financial Times, Tencent, CS.com)

Touch Display

Innolux, an LCD panel manufacturing arm of Hon Hai Precision Industry, said it has filed lawsuits in China against Chinese peer HKC Corp over alleged infringement of its 17 LCD manufacturing patents. (Laoyaoba, UDN, UDN, LTN, Focus Taiwan, Taipei Times)

Global demand for smartphone panels are expected to total 410M units in 2Q18, up 12.4% from 1Q18, according to Sigmaintell. Demand for smartphone panels still remains in slack in 1Q18 due to high inventory levels of smartphones at the vendors and channels amid a traditional slower season for the industry. A clear-out of old models and plans to release new models in 2Q18 will push most smartphone vendors to step up their purchases of panels, said Sigmaintell. (Digitimes, press, Sigmaintell, Laoyaoba)

According to Sigmaintell, driving by the full display trend, a-Si LCD panel demand has begun to shrink. Additionally, during the off season, a-Si smartphone panel supply is bigger than demand, causing the panel cost to continuously decline. In Feb 2018, average price has dropped by about USD0.2. (Laoyaoba, Sigmaintell, press, China Times)

[MWC2018] Visionox has touted what it claims “China first mass production Notch AMOLED full display panel”. This product has already started shipped. Visionox has used its “chamfer” technique to realize the “notch” form factor of the display. (Qianlong, Visionox, China FPD)

[MWC2018] Visionox is showcasing a flexible ebook reader equipped with flexible AMOLED. At the same time, Visionox is also showcasing 2 flexible AMOLED display products— “dynamic flexible display” and “flexible ebook reader”.  (3MT, China FPD)

BOE Technology’s Gen-5.5 LTPS-AMOLED production line in Ordos has entered mass production: about 60K per month for LTPS and about 2K per month for rigid AMOLED. The product is positioned at mid-to-small sized LTPS and AMOLED display. (Semi Insights, OfWeek, Laoyaoba)

Camera

[MWC2018] Samsung introducing the newest addition to its ISOCELL image sensor family, the 3-stack ISOCELL Fast 2L3. The 1.4μm 12MP image sensor with integrated dynamic random access memory (DRAM) delivers fast data readout speeds to capture both rapid movements in super-slow motion and sharper still photographs with less noise and distortion. (GSM Arena, Sohu, Samsung, CN Beta)

Sharp and its Taiwanese parent, Hon Hai Precision Industry, or Foxconn, will allegedly set up a joint venture to produce cameras for cars. Sharp and a Hon Hai subsidiary will invest about JPY3B  (USD28.1M) in the joint venture to develop, produce and sell automotive cameras and electronic mirrors. (Nikkei, Asia Nikkei, TechNews, Laoyaoba)

[MWC2018] Sony has demoed a dual-cam prototype that can capture images in extremely low-light environments with up to ISO 51200 and take videos with ISO 12800. In an ultra-dark situation, the new ISP, called Sony Fusion, fires off simultaneously two cameras to maximize the light intake and to process the signal into an image.  (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Android Authority, SlashGear, IT Home)

Sensory

U.S. Stanford University has reported the first success in developing core elements for skin-like electronics that can adhere seamlessly to human skin or within the body in highly desirable applications such as health monitoring, medical treatment, medical implants and biological studies. (CN Beta, Stanford, Xinhuanet, Nature)

[MWC2018] Dolby Laboratories has announced a partnership with Samsung Electronics to launch the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ with Dolby Atmos sound. Dolby Atmos for mobile devices brings the premier sound experience. (Laoyaoba, Globe Newswire, Street Insider)

Connectivity

[MWC2018] Qualcomm is working with an ecosystem of leading carmakers and automotive suppliers to accelerate the commercial introduction of C-V2X using the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset solution”. Tier-1 suppliers, cellular module manufacturers, software solution providers and system integrators have expressed their support for the deployment of C-V2X technology in future production vehicles and roadside units (RSU) starting in 2019. (Android Headlines, Smart Highways, C114)

[MWC2018] ZTE Mobile Devices has announced they will be working with Qualcomm to drive the commercialization of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications technology.  It has developed a C-V2X module and test terminals based on the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset.  (Telecom Paper, PR Newswire, Huanqiu)

O2 has unveiled plans to launch a 5G test bed at The O2 in North Greenwich later in 2018, bringing a 5G experience to the world’s most popular entertainment venue. Installation of the network will begin in Mar 2018, with visitors able to enjoy the technology from 2H18.  (Android Central, O2O)

Phones

[MWC2018] Francois Mahieu, CCO of BlackBerry / TCL, and Alain Lejeune, the global general manager for BlackBerry Mobile have expressed their collective belief that the BlackBerry KeyOne’s launch was an unqualified success. However, BlackBerry only sold about 850,000 phones in 2017. (Android Authority, The Verge, Tencent)

[MWC2018] Finnish mobile OS developer Jolla has officially announced Sailfish 3. Jolla has also announced that its Sailfish OS is now supported on over a dozen handsets and devices including feature phones, wearables, tablets and corporate solutions. (Android Authority, Android Headlines, TechRadar, TechCrunch, NDTV, Gadgets Now)

[MWC2018] HMD Global’s CEO Florian Seiche has officially announced that in its first year of operation (2017) HMD Global shipped 70M Nokia devices. In one year, HMD established operations in 80 countries and the new Nokia phones are being sold in more than 170 markets.  (Laoyoaba, Nokia Mob, HMD Global)

Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals that Apple has long-term plan, is working on products ‘way out in the 2020s’. He has noted that Apple’s “forcing function” is its chip requirements, which mean that development often starts three or more years before a product hits the market. (Apple Insider, TechWeb, Fast Company, BGR, Sina)

[MWC2018]  HiSense Infinity H11 Pro is launched – 5.99” 2160×1080 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630,  rear dual 12MP-8MP + front 20MP, 4GB+64GB / 6GB+128GB, Android 7.0, 3400mAh. (HiSense, GizChina)

PCs / Tablets

[MWC2018] Lenovo is launching 100e / 300e / 500e Chromebooks, equipped with 11.6” 1366×768 LCD, Intel Celeron N3450 (500e), 4GB+32GB / 8GB+64GB, supports microSD, USB Type-C, supports Enhanced Touch (500e), priced at USD219 / USD279 / USD349. (Android Central, CN Beta, Lenovo, The Verge, TechRadar)

Wearables

[MWC2018] Sony has announced the Xperia Ear Duo – the new wireless “dual listening” headphones of the company, which are said to listen to music without isolating from the rest of the world. Available in May 2018, colored in either gold or black, and will be priced at USD280. (The Verge, Phone Arena, iFeng, Yesky)

Fitbit has revealed that the company would produce a “family” of smartwatches in 2018. Its aim is to produce smartwatches with “more mass appeal” while taking advantage of its core strengths in health and fitness.  (Fitbit, Engadget, iFeng)

Internet of Things

[MWC2018] D.J. Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile division, has revealed its attempt to enter the digital assistant-equipped smart speaker market will launch in 2H18.  (Apple Insider, WSJ, Sina, 163)

Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler will reportedly end production of its diesel passenger vehicles by 2022. FCA, which manufacturers Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat, will unveil its 4-year plan to phase out diesel vehicles. (The Verge, Financial Times, Bloomber, Tencent)

Ford vehicles equipped with the automaker’s SYNC 3 infotainment system will soon have access to a new voice-powered driving assistant behind the wheel – Sygic’s new aptly named “Driving Assistant.” The feature, which works with Sygic’s GPS navigation app, is described as a “voice-controlled co-driver that helps the driver identify nearby rest-stops, restaurants, hotels” and more.  (TechCrunch, Sygic, Digital Trends)

Economic

Tencent Holdings and JD.com have each bought minority stakes in Better Life, a Chinese retail conglomerate. Tencent has paid CNY886.9M (about USD140M) for a 6% stake, while JD.com took a 5% stake for CNY739.1M (USD117M). (TechCrunch, Asia Times, The Paper, Xinhuanet, EEO)

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