05-20: Alibaba Jack Ma believes that there is no bubble for blockchain, but there is a bitcoin bubble; Gree Electric wants to be successful in SoC R&D; etc.

Chipsets

Arvind Krishna, director of IBM Research, warns that quantum computers will be able to instantly break the encryption of sensitive data protected by today’s strongest security. Quantum computers can solve some types of problems near-instantaneously compared with billions of years of processing using conventional computers. (CN Beta, ZDNet)

According to China States Information Center (SIC), Malaysia is the country’s 2nd largest import country for integrated circuits (IC) in 2017. Under China’s “One Belt and Road Initiative”, the IC imports value amounted to USD114B, with Korea and China be the 2 largest import countries. The top 5 import countries amounted more than 95% share of the import value. (Laoyoaba, My Drivers, SIC, report)

With the shortage of multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC), costs are hiking, causing the supply chain downstream a lot of pressures, and need to use bidding to get the supply. Vendors including Pegatron, Inventec have approached Murata and Taiyo Yuden for their support. Murata has agreed to supply 1B units of samples to Pegatron and Inventec on a monthly basis. (China Times, UDN, TechNews, UDN, Passive Components)

Qualcomm is allegedly preparing to give up its push to develop processors for data-center servers, an effort that sought to break Intel’s hold on the lucrative market. Qualcomm touted the Centriq 2400’s performance saying that it offered quadruple the performance per dollar and 45% better performance per watt compared to Intel’s high-end Xeon Platinum 818. However, it was not enough to pry away any meaningful market share from Intel. (Laoyaoba, Network World, Motley Fool, Extreme Tech, Bloomberg)

Dong Mingzhu, the chairwoman of Gree Electric, has indicated that the company will aggressively invest in SoC development, even it costs CNY50B. It is vital to sustain the core technology for long term development. (My Drivers, China Venture, JRJ, Sohu)

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC)  will kick off risk production of its 14nm FinFET process and venture into the AI chip sector in the first half of 2019 after entering volume production of 28nm HKC+ process in the second half 2018, according to the firm’s co-CEO Liang Mong-song. SMIC will see an upper single-digit shipment ratio for 28nm process for the whole 2018, with the volume production of its 28nm HKC process to run close to that of its 28nm Poly-SiON process. (CN Beta, SIMM Tester)

Touch Display

Digitimes Research has found out that most of China’s panel suppliers are actively developing 18:9 all-screen and profile-cut panels in response to demand from the handset sector, the largest application market for small- to medium-size panels. The rapid shift of specifications from 16:9 to 18:9 aspect ratio and the adoption of profile-cut panels for high-end smartphones have actually extended to WVGA panels for entry-level models. (Android Headlines, Digitimes, press)

Kolon Industries, which is a main developer of colorless polymide (CPI) thin film that is a vital ingredient for foldable panel, has indicated that it has already shipped CPI samples to ‘S’ and ‘H’ companies — ‘S’ refers to Samsung and ‘H’ refers to Huawei. However, some industry insiders have indicated that the samples are not directly shipped to the smartphone vendors, but to the panel suppliers, which are the direct customer for Kolon Industries. Thus, the panel suppliers that receive samples might be Samsung Display and LG Display. (Digitimes, Sohu, Laoyaoba, Kolon Industries)

LG Display (LGD) will apply the industry’s highly-advanced 10.5 generation glass-cutting technology for the new OLED line at the company’s P10 facility in Paju, the city near the North border. The official claimed the initial monthly capacity of the new line would be around 45,000 glass sheets, up 50% from earlier. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, The Bell, Korea Times)

Memory

Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT)’s has conducted studies on the influence of Chinese corporate on DRAM and NAND Flash export from Korea in 2022. For DRAM Market, in 2022 the sales volume for Korean corporate is estimated at USD69.5B, but if Chinese corporate entering competition, the number will reduce to USD62.8B. For NAND Flash market, in 2022, Korean corporate estimates to have USD37.6B, but with Chinese corporate entering the market, the number will reduce to USD36.5B. (Laoyaoba, EEPW, DRAMx)

An anticipated rally in NAND flash memory prices during 3Q18 may be short-lived, according to CK Chang, president for memory module firm Apacer Technology. NAND flash prices will rebound in the third quarter if prices “fall extremely: in 2Q18, Chang noted. Otherwise, NAND flash prices should register only flat growth sequentially in 3Q18, Chang said. (Digitimes, Laoyaoba, Apacer, Digitimes, press)

Sensory

The global LiDAR systems’ market for automotive applications is showing an impressive growth 2017~2023: from USD726M to USD5B, it should reach a 43% CAGR during this period, according to Yole Developpement. The growth should continue until 2032 with a USD28B market value, for the automotive market segment alone, said Yole. (Yole Development, press, Digitimes, press, TechNews)

LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar is poised to ship VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) chips used to China-based smartphone vendors through EMS provider Lite-On Technology’s smartphone-use CCM (compact camera module) supply chain, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, Sina)

Taiwan-based VCSEL application solutions provider HLJ Technology has decided to invest NTD2.7B (USD90.08M) to build a 6” epitaxy wafer fab at its plant complex in northern Taiwan to better cash in on huge VCSEL application market potentials by integrating relevant epitaxy chip design, fabrication, packaging and testing operations, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press)

Renesas Electronics, an industry-leading supplier of automotive semiconductor solutions, and Magna, a mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, aim to accelerate the mass adoption of advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) features with a new cost-efficient 3D surround view system designed for entry- and mid-range vehicles. (Laoyaoba, Automotive World, Autopart Asia)

Biometrics

Xiaomi Mi 8 is allegedly to feature in-display fingerprint and 3D facial recognition technologies. (GSM Arena, Sina, CNMO)

Connectivity

CCID Consulting estimates that by 2026 the China 5G industry market value will amount to CNY1.15T, which is near 50% more than 4G. CCID Consulting also estimates that by 2020 5G penetration rate will reach 30%, and this will grow to 75% by 2024. By 2024, the installation base of 5G phone will reach 1B units. (CCID, Sina, NBD, 21Jingji)

China United Network Communications (China Unicom) has established a new unit in the Xiongan New Area, as part of its broader push to help build it into a high-tech, smart area. China Unicom Xiongan Industrial Internet, as the new company is called, is designed to co-ordinate innovative business teams and related resources such as cloud computing, big data, internet of things, and industrial internet for the Xiongan New Area. (Laoyaoba, China.org)

Phone

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple iPhone X remained the best-selling smartphone in Mar 2018, dominating the whole 1Q18 to be the number one smartphone. Xiaomi Redmi 5A became the best selling Android smartphone in Mar 2018, a first for Xiaomi. Redmi 5A was also the 3rd overall best-selling smartphone model in Mar 2018. (Counterpoint, IT Home, Gizmo China)

According to Canalys, in 1Q18 Samsung currently has a strong position (23% market share) but Transsion Holdings is stronger (38% market share collectively). Transsion Holdings owns Tecno, iTel, and Infinix – three of the most popular brands in the continent. Individually, Samsung tops the African market with 23% market while Tecno, iTel, and Infinix account for 18%, 13%, and 7% respectively. (GizChina, Sina, CNMO)

Huawei Y5 Prime (2018) is launched – 5.45” 1440×720 HD+, MediaTek MT6739, 2GB+16GB, rear 13MP + front 5MP, Android 8.1, Face Unlock, no fingerprint scanner, 3020mAh. (GSM Arena, Huawei, GizChina)

Fintech

There is a bubble in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency even as the underlying technology holds promise for safeguarding privacy and ensuring security, according to Alibaba Group Holding executive chairman Jack Ma Yun. He has indicated that there is no bubble for blockchain, but there is a bitcoin bubble. (Laoyaoba, Bc.Tech, JRJ, SCMP, CCN, Coin Telegraph)

Square’s decision to allow users of its mobile app to buy and sell bitcoin this year was a “pretty contentious move within the company” and remains a source of internal tension, the payment processor’s CEO Jack Dorsey said. He believes that the Internet will one day have its very own currency. (VentureBeat, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Bloomberg, Mashable, 10JQKA)

The China Electronic Information Industry Development (CCID) of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published its first Global Public Chain Technology Assessment Index. The index provides a detailed review of global blockchain and cryptocurrency projects by experts in the Chinese government, academia and industry. (Laoyaoba, Live Bitcoin News, Global Banking and Finance, CNYES, CCIDNet, Reuters)

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