06-09: TSMC is likely to move its 7nm process technology to mass production ahead of schedule; OPPO has reportedly ordered Samsung’s curved OLED panels ‘Edge’ display; etc.

Chipsets

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is likely to move its 7nm process technology to mass production ahead of schedule to meet growing demand from its fabless clients including MediaTek, HiSilicon and Qualcomm, according to Digitimes. TSMC moved its 7nm process dubbed N7 to volume production in 2Q18.  (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba, Sohu)

Former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs has started a company focused on wireless technology XCOM. XCOM will work to tackle issues related to next-generation mobile communications, including 5G. Qualcomm’s former president, Derek Aberle, and former chief technology officer, Matthew Grob, also have joined the new company. (My Drivers, CNBC, Electronics Weekly, CNET)

Touch Display

OPPO has reportedly ordered Samsung’s curved OLED panels ‘Edge’ display that will be delivered by the end of Jun 2018. Samsung ‘Edge’ display curves on both sides. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, The Bell, Android Authority, CN Beta)

Dialog Semiconductor, a provider of highly integrated power management, AC/DC power conversion, charging, and Bluetooth low energy technology, has unveiled the DA7280, a new Haptic Driver Integrated Circuit (IC).  (Laoyaoba, Dialog Semiconductor, Benzinga)

Samsung Electronics will debut TVs using Micro LED technology commercially the soonest in 3Q18. The new Micro LED TV is said could be “flexible” and customized as Micro LED panels could be spliced to fit any requested size. (Laoyaoba, Unwire.hk, Korea Times, LED Inside)

Biometrics

Dialog Semiconductor is in early talks to merge with U.S. touch-pad technology company Synaptics.  Dialog has a market value of about EUR 1.15B (USD1.4B) while Synaptics is valued at USD1.6B. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, Reuters)

Mozilla has announced that its Common Voice project, which is crowd-sourcing a large dataset of human voices for use in speech technology, will now be multilingual. Users currently can donate their voices in German, French and Welsh, and Mozilla will be adding 40+ languages soon. (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Linux Journal)

Battery

Honda Motor and General Motors have announced that they will jointly develop a next-generation battery system for electric vehicles. The two companies plan to develop the next-generation battery system based on new lithium-ion batteries now being researched by GM. (CN Beta, Xinhua, Japan News, Electrek)

Connectivity

Japanese consultancy firm Seedplanning indicates that with the standardization of 5G, expects every country will begin to provide 5G service from 2019. It expects that in 2020 global 5G service users will increase to 75M, by 2021 will increase 3-fold to 300M; by 2022 will increase 1.3 times to 700M. By 2022 it will increase to 700M, and by 2025 the number will increase to 2.187B. (Laoyaoba, Money DJ, Seedplanning, Elecfans)

Phone

Apple has allegedly asked its supply chain to prepare around 20% fewer components for iPhones debuting in 2H18, taking a cautious approach toward smartphone shipments compared with orders in 2017. For the iPhone X and iPhone 8 / Plus, Apple allegedly prepared for up to 100M units to be produced. Similar orders for 2018 new models indicate the total number of shipments will be closer to 80M units.  (Asia Nikkei, Phone Arena, Apple Insider, HEA)

Samsung Galaxy A9 Star series is announced: A9 Star – 6.28” 1080×2220 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, rear dual 16MP-20MP + front 24MP, 4GB+64GB, Android 8.0, 3700mAh, CNY3000. A9 Star Lite – 6” 1080×2220 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 16MP-5MP + front 24MP, 4GB+64GB, Android 8.0, 3500mAh, CNY2000. (Gizmo China, TechRadar, GSM Arena)

Wearables

Next-generation Apple Watch will allegedly carry over the same button layout as current devices, with two active physical controls in the side button and digital crown. It will integrate solid-state buttons that simulate physical presses using Apple’s Taptic Engine haptic feedback technology. The buttons also include capacitive elements for advanced health monitoring capabilities.  (Apple Insider, Fast Company, CN Beta)

Microwear L2 is announced – 1.3” 240×240 full round display, MediaTek MT2502, 32M+32M, IP68 rated, 380mAh. (GizChina, Xiaomi Today)

Automotive

Alphabet’s self-driving unit Waymo wants to bring its robo-taxi service to Europe after it launches in the United States later in 2018. Waymo’s Chief Executive John Krafcik said the company could enter European markets in collaboration with a partner, but did not give any timeframe. (Laoyaoba, CN Beta, CNET, Reuters)

Payment

Alibaba’s subsidy Ant Financial has raised about USD14B in its latest funding round as it accelerates the expansion of Alipay globally and develops new technology. The financing included a U.S. dollar tranche backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. as well as Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Silver Lake and Temasek Holdings Pte. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, Forbes)

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