05-06: Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) has set up a semiconductor subgroup, which is mulling 12” fab construction; Corning has signed a contract with the administration of Wuhan Linkonggang economic and technological development zone; etc.

Chipsets

China Growth Capital has invested in China startup DeePhi Tech and US startup ScaleFlux, both of which are chipset companies. DeePhi Tech is AI chipset foundation technology provider, which has developed a DPU chipset, while ScaleFlux is developing IO acceleration technology based on memory. (Xue Hua, Sina, Crunch Base)

Director of Tsinghua University Microelectronics Wei Shaojun indicates that current AI chipsets are likely “overhyped”. He believes that currently there is AI CPU with general algorithm and “killer app” of AI chipset has not emerged yet. This industry has long road in the future. He even anticipates that in next 2~3 years, AI chipset industry would enter a low season, “today some or even most startups would become the martyrs of technological change or evolution”. (Laoyaoba, BJD, newspaper, Xinhuanet)

According to Digitimes, Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) has set up a semiconductor subgroup, which is mulling 12” fab construction. Foxconn’s chipmaking related affiliates, such as Foxsemicon Integrated Technology, Shunsin Technology and Fitipower Integrated Technology, are already operated under the semiconductor subgroup. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

About 50% of new smartphone models launched by China’s smartphone vendors, including the top-four players Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo, as well as other brands, by the year-end 2018 will come with enriched AI applications, according to Digitimes.  Qualcomm (Snapdragon 800, 700 and 600 series) and MediaTek (Helio P60) have provided positive business outlook for 2Q18 as the two firms are ramping up shipments of AI-centric chipset solutions to China-based smartphone makers. (Digitimes, press)

According to Digitimes, in 2Q18 smartphone application processor (AP) shipment is about 174M units. Inventory clearing has begun in early 2017 till end of 2Q17, some even have to do it till 3Q17. In 1Q18, the inventory control is managed properly by some vendors, causing recovery of AP demand in 2Q18, which could increase 17% on quarter. However, as AP demand has begun to pull-in in 1Q18, in addition to the trade-war between China and US, as well as some instability of supply of other components, Mainland China AP demand is likely to drop 2.2% on year. (Digitimes, Digitimes)

Touch Display

Corning has signed a contract with the administration of Wuhan Linkonggang economic and technological development zone in central China’s Hubei province to invest about USD1.4B to manufacture Gen 10.5 glass substrate for liquid crystal display, LCD, panels at its local plant. (Yicai Global, CN Beta, JRJ)

Shipments of large-size LCD panels (9” and above sizes) by Taiwan-based panel makers (excluding Foxconn’s affiliate Sharp) are expected to slip 1.4% sequentially in 2Q18 after falling 4.3% in 1Q18, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)

Camera

Zeiss is allegedly planning to launch the world’s first lens with ALON lens elements. Perhaps a 35mm f/1.8 Sony FE mount pancake lens. ALON is Aluminium Oxynitride, which is essentially “transparent aluminum”.  (CN Beta, DIY Photography, Sony Alpha Rumors)

Memory

TrendForce finds that the interference in pricing by the China’s National Development and Reform Commission in 1Q18 is still having an effect on the mobile DRAM market in 2Q18, causing the quoting to be more conservative. Quotes of mobile DRAM products have not gone up as much compared with quotes of DRAM products for other applications. For discrete mobile DRAM products, the QoQ increases in their quotes for 2Q18 were within 1% on average. The quotes of eMCP products actually fell by 1% QoQ on average due to the slide in NAND Flash prices. (TrendForce[cn], TrendForce, press)

Battery

Volkswagen is not starting its electric vehicle push in a big way until 2019, but it is already securing its battery supplies in order to be able to build those new EVs in volume. After announcing that it has already awarded USD25B in battery cell contracts, it has announced that it has now doubled the amount to about USD48B. (CN Beta, Clean Technica, Elektra)

Connectivity

Deutsche Telekom has announced the “first 5G antennas in Europe” are now live, as the operator updated on progress it has made towards its plans to launch the technology in 2020. Deutsche Telekom said the antennas, located in six cells across the city of Berlin,  supported “the new communications standard” and were now operating in real-world conditions on its network. (Phone Arena, Mobile World Live, CCID Net, CC Time)

Phone

Google wants to supercharge digital assistant platforms by investing in companies that help in development of such services. Nick Fox, vice president of search and Google Assistant and Sanjay Kapoor, vice president of corporate development have framed the effort as part of the company’s larger goal of encouraging open ecosystems around other products such as Android and Chrome. (Laoyaoba, VentureBeat)

Smartphone shipments in China fell 34% sequentially and 13.4% on year to below 90M units in 1Q18, affected by reduced production during the Lunar New Year holidays, inventory clear-up at channels as well as slower sales of new iPhone, according to Digitimes. China’s smartphone shipments as a proportion of total global shipments dropped below 30% in 1Q18. (Digitimes, press, XCN News, My Drivers)

PC / Tablet

Global notebook shipments for 2Q18 may fall by over 5% on year, Digitimes Research estimates. The shipment performance will be affected by high inventories and shrinking Chromebook sales in the education sector. This is despite two major favorable seasonal factors: the launch of some new products and back-to-school demand. Global notebook shipments excluding 2-in-1 detachable models reached only 34.22M units in 1Q18, falling on year for the second consecutive quarter. (Digitimes, press, China Times)

Automotive

The parking and maintenance of shared-bikes have become major issues in the management of the business, according to Shenzhen city’s transport commission. The survey of five shared-bike operators in the city found that Jiujiu, U-bike and Yibu bikes failed the satisfaction poll, receiving comprehensive scores below the threshold of 60 points. Mobike and ofo operators just passed the threshold. The scores were out of 100 total points. (My Drivers, SZ.gov, press, SZ.gov)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.