06-01: DxOMark expects triple-camera setups to soon become much more prevalent in the industry; Samsung is allegedly introducing its in-display fingerprint sensor with Galaxy S10 in 2019; etc.

Chipsets

The global smartphone applications processor (AP) market declined 5% on year to USD20.2B in 2017, while the tablet AP market grew 3% to USD2B, according to Strategy Analytics. Qualcomm, Apple, MediaTek, Samsung LSI and HiSilicon captured the top-5 revenue share spots in the global smartphone AP market in 2017.  Strategy Analytics believes that 2018 will be an experimental year for on-device AI chips. In 2017, over 250M smartphone APs shipped with native AI engines to enable machine learning (ML) applications such as 3D face detection, image recognition and Animoji. (Digitimes, press, Telecom Lead, Fudzilla, Laoyaoba)

SQream, the GPU database developer, will deepen its focus on China after raising a USD26.4M Series B led by Alibaba Group. The round also included investors Hanaco Venture Capital, Sistema.vc, World Trade Ventures, Paradiso Ventures, Glory Ventures and Silvertech Ventures. (TechCrunch, Globes, Red Herring, Sina, Tencent)

Qualcomm has partnered with Microsoft for official Windows 10 support on the Snapdragon 835, which is extended to the 845. Qualcomm is reportedly working on Snapdragon 850 for Windows computers. Lenovo is working on a device dubbed ELZE1 (aka Europe), which will be built by Compal. HP has partnered with Quanta on the Chimera 2, while HP will be selling its Snapdragon 850-based computer to carriers in the US, the UK and Australia. (GSM Arena, GeekBench, Sina, iFeng)

Apple has reportedly poached multiple engineers and research staff from Intel for a new facility in Washington County, close to the chipmaker’s home base. The hiring appears to have begun back in Nov 2017, and is likely to further fuel speculation about Apple replacing Intel chips with its own ARM-based Mac CPUs within the next few years. (Laoyaoba, 9to5Mac, The Inquirer, The Oregonian, Mac Rumors)

Because of MOSFET shortage and cost up, up-stream 8” foundry production capacity is raising its alert, and the cost of 8” foundry reportedly is increasing continuously. Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) 8” foundry production is still under shortage, and industry expects this would not recover in a short term. (Laoyaoba, TechNews, UDN, HQEW, Digitimes, press)

Camera

Analysts believe from 2019 smartphone vendors will begin adopting triple camera, which could provide a bigger aperture and better focus performance (optical zoom can reach 3~5 times). Largan Precision, the leader of smartphone camera lens, is expected to benefit from this trend. The company’s revenue expects to have additional 9% and 18% in 2018, 2019, respectively. (Yahoo, UDN, Laoyaoba, Daily Mail)

Deutsche Securities analyst Jialin Lu claims the triple-lens camera system will enable advanced 3D sensing via stereoscopic vision, with two of the sensors able to capture images of a single object from different angles. According to Yuanta Securities, Apple could launch an iPhone with three rear 12MP cameras and optical image stabilization. (Daily Mail, Mac Rumors, Taipei Times, UDN)

DxOMark Marketing VP Nicolas Touchard said imaging systems comprised of multiple cameras are a logical method of circumventing the physical limitations of handsets – inability to house large sensors while remaining relatively thin. Due to that reason, DxOMark expects triple-camera setups to soon become much more prevalent in the industry. (Android Headlines, Gizmo China)

Biometrics

Synaptics has announced that a performance-enhanced optical in-display fingerprint sensor from its FS9500 Clear ID family will be integrated into Xiaomi’s flagship Mi8 Explorer Edition smartphone. (CN Beta, My Drivers, IT Home, Digital Trends, Biometric Update, NASDAQ)

Samsung is allegedly introducing its in-display fingerprint sensor with Galaxy S10 in 2019. The display panel will be supplied by Samsung Display whereas Qualcomm is said to be supplying the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. (Laoyaoba, TechRadar, Pocket-Lint, Sam Mobile, ET News)

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is expected to be launched in 3Q18, and will allegedly adopt Egistec’s fingerprint scanner IC. In addition to the exclusivity for S series in 2018, Egistec has also gained the orders for A, C and J series. (LaoyaobaChina Times)

Phone

Coolpad’s Global Chief Patent Officer, Nancy Zhang has stated that Coolpad is hopeful of Xiaomi putting an end to patent infringement. She has stated that her company is ready to actively co-operate with them to promote industrial progress but the infringement has to stop.  (Gizmo China, IANS)

Alcatel 1X Android Go smartphone is launched in US – 5.3” 480×960 FWVGA, MediaTek MT6739, rear 8MP + front 5MP, 1GB+16GB, Android Oreo (Go Edition), 2460mAh, USD99.99. (CN Beta, The Verge, ZDNet, Android Police)

Wearables

Chinese wearables maker NO.1 is launching NO.1 F13 smartwatch – 1” 3D spherical glass TFT, Nordic 51822 processor, HRS3300 heart rate sensor, Bluetooth 4.0, 350mAh. (GizChina, Android Headlines)

Automotive

General Motors (GM) has announced that the SoftBank Vision Fund will invest USD2.25B in GM Cruise Holdings LLC (GM Cruise), further strengthening the company’s plans to commercialize AV technology at large scale. GM will also invest USD1.1B in GM Cruise upon closing of the transaction. (Engadget, Fortune, GM, Reuters, JRJ)

Scoot, the electric moped company that first launched in San Francisco, is deploying 2 new modes of transportation in Barcelona. The first is an upgrade of its original scooter that the company deploys in San Francisco. Instead of maxing out at 30mph, this new moped can go up to 60mph. The second mode of transportation is a good old-fashioned pedal-assist bicycle. (TechCrunch)

Waymo orders 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minivans for its upcoming autonomous taxi service. Fiat Chrysler (FCA), which already has a partnership with Waymo, will add Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo’s existing fleet. Delivery of the cars is expected to begin in late 2018. (VentureBeat, Sohu, Sina)

Fintech

Chinese ethereum wallet startup imToken has raised a USD10M Series A from IDG Capital as it seeks to expand its product offering and finance international expansion into Asia, Africa, and the United States. The capital will also be used to add new features, including support for Bitcoin, EOS and other blockchains. (TechCrunch, Coin Desk, CCN, Tencent, Sohu)

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