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04-08: Tsinghua Unigroup has struck deals with Intel to source 3D NAND flash chips from the US firm; Gionee VP Yu Lei indicates that the debt to suppliers and media will be cleared; etc.

Chipsets

Huawei will reportedly begin mass production of the Kirin 980 chipset in 2Q18. The 7nm chipset will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). (IT Home, Gizmo China)

China-based artificial intelligence (AI) chip developers including Hisilicon Semiconductor, Cambricon, DeePhi Tech, Horizon Robotics and Bitmain have been aggressively planning new business strategies to compete against global first-tier chip vendors leveraging assistance from the China government. The China government has recently announced a three-year plan to promote AI technology and industry development from 2018-2020 targeting eight major applications including smart cars and service robots. (Digitimes, press, China Times, Yahoo)

Touch Display

LG Display (LGD) is expected to set its 2018 capex higher than rival Samsung Display (SDC) for the first time since 2012 as the company has continued to accelerate the expansion of its flexible AMOLED production lines, Digitimes Research has observed. LGD saw its capex for 2017 increase significantly from the levels recorded in 2012-2016 due to the kick-off of the first- and second-phase production lines of its E5 6G fab for the roll-out of flexible AMOLED panels. LGD’s capex will climb even higher in 2018 as more 6G AMOLED lines from its P9-E6 and P10-E6 fabs will enter commercial production in 2018. (Digitimes, press, OfWeek)

According to Isaiah Research, Sharp and BOE are aggressively promoting their flexible AMOLED to the market in 2018 and targeting to start MP in 2H18. They forecast the high volume MP from Tianma, Truly and EDO will begin at least after 4Q18. (Isaiah Research report)

Camera

Canon has demoed a  sensor 120MXS, a 120MP APS-H CMOS sensor with 13,280×9184 pixels – that is 60 times the resolution of Full HD, and roughly 15x the resolution of 4K. The sensor is not full frame but smaller, approximately the equivalent size to an APS-H (29.22×20.20mm) sensor. (TechNews, Canon, TechRadar, News Shooter)

Even though the growth of overall smartphone shipments only reaches 2%~3% in 2017, Isaiah Research is still optimistic about the dual camera market growth in 2018. They expect that the dual camera smartphone shipments may reach 450M units in 2018, showing 66.7% YoY growth. (Isaiah Research report)

Storage

The average and the highest contract price of mainstream DDR4 4GB modules are still at USD33 and USD34 respectively in Mar 2018, according to TrendForce. On the whole, contract prices of PC DRAM have seen an average increase of around 5% in 1Q18 compared with 4Q17. Nitrogen supply issue at Micron Memory Taiwan may prolong current tight supply in DRAM market, and is expected to push up contract prices of PC DRAM by 3% in 2Q18 compared with 1Q18. (TrendForce[cn], TrendForce, press)

Tsinghua Unigroup has struck deals with Intel to source 3D NAND flash chips from the US firm in 2018 and 2019, while having subsidiary Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) continue to develop its technology in-house. Tsinghua Unigroup is gearing to create a one-stop supply chain for the memory market. (Digitimes, press, HQEW, Elecfans)

Sensory

Omni MedSci, a tech startup focused on “near-infrared and mid-infrared broadband lasers,” has filed a patent lawsuit against Apple, accusing them of infringing on several patents with the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor. (Phone Arena, Axios, SlashGear, Sohu, iFeng)

Biometrics

Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3B residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare benefits to mobile phones. (CN Beta, NY Times)

Phones

According to Fidji Simo, the company’s head of video, Facebook Live has racked up 3.5B broadcasts by hundreds of millions of people since it launched 2 years ago. Nearly 2B people have watched a live broadcast. (Engadget, CNET, Tech Spot, Facebook, Baijiahao)

AggregateIQ, a Canadian advertising tech and audience intelligence company, has been suspended by Facebook for allegedly being closely connected with SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. (TechCrunch, National Observer, The Guardian, Sina)

Gionee is rumored having financial crisis, and the market is not optimistic how it is going to solve the problem. Gionee VP Yu Lei indicates that the debt to suppliers and media will be cleared, and asking for some time. (CN Beta, Sina, Sohu)

According to Sino, till Sept 2017, China mobile phone users have reached 1.39B people, with the unused phones reaching billions of units. The data shows that in 2014~2017 the number of old and unused phones have reached 1.83B units, with potential value reaching CNY600B. (Laoyaoba, Weibo, report, 163)

According to TrendForce’s subsidy Topology, by 2021 global voice recognition market value would reach CNY15.979B, with CAGR reaching 43.64%. (Laoyaoba, UDN)

Internet of Things

Chinese EV start-up Singulato Motors said that it secured funding to invest CNY15B (USD2.39B) in a massive manufacturing hub in Suzhou (east China) over the next 5 years. (Eletrek, Caijing, Donews)

Fintech

India’s central banking authority, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has announced that it will cease doing any sort of business with anyone or any business that deals with cryptocurrencies. However, it has made it clear that plans to create its own cryptocurrency continue unabated. (Digital Trends, Coin Telegraph, RBI, Sinchew, China Times)

 

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