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06-30: Huawei to launch a gaming phone in 2H18; and will launch a foldable phone in 2019; etc.

Chipsets

Huawei has unveiled GPU Turbo technology, which it claims increases device performance by 60% while reducing power use by 30%. Now, the company has revealed a detailed schedule for the roll out, sharing which devices as well as regions will get the update and when. (GSM Arena, Noypigeeks, CN Beta)

IBM develops a new chip tailor-made for AI training. They describe a system of transistors and capacitors that can train neural networks quickly, precisely, and highly energy-efficiently. Neural networks consist of interconnected units called neurons or nodes (a collection of nodes is called a layer), which receive numerical inputs.  (VentureBeat, Nature, Sina)

Qualcomm has announced its new QCC3026 headphone chip, a flash-programmable Bluetooth Audio System-on-Chip (SoC) that was purpose-built to take fully wireless headphones to the next level. With it, manufacturers will be able to offer up to 50% reduced power consumption and increased functionality, finally bringing the battery life of fully wireless in-ears to banded wireless levels. (Digital Trends, Laoyaoba, Qualcomm, VentureBeat)

Sales in the global semiconductor-grade silicon wafer market are forecast to rise over 20% in 2018, after surging 20.8% in 2017, thanks to a continued rally in silicon wafer prices, according to Digitimes Research. The average selling price (ASP) per square inch of silicon wafers came to USD0.86 in 1Q18 reaching the highest since 2013. The ASP is expected to reach USD1 at the end of 2019, approaching the 2009-2011 level. (Digitimes, press, HQEW)

Touch Display

Huawei Consumer Business President Jim Xu confirms that they are working on a smartphone focused on gaming to be released by 2H18. He also says a smartphone with moving mechanical parts similar to the vivo NEX and OPPO Find X is out of the question. Instead, a foldable phone is to be expected by 2019. (Android Authority, Gadget Match)

Samsung has reportedly built a pilot line at its OLED manufacturing site in Korea, and it will begin producing foldable OLED displays in summer 2018. If everything goes according to plan, Samsung will use those foldable displays for its first foldable smartphone, which will reportedly launch in early 2019. (Sohu, Laoyaoba, Android Authority, ET News, Phone Arena, Android Headlines)

Macroblock indicates that 2nd-gen Mini LED module yield rate has improved, and confident to enter mass production in 1Q19. The company is optimistic to enter the phone, TV and big display market with its Mini LED prpducts. Macroblock has planned to mass produce Mini LED display module in 1H19, and now the company is able to provide more precise schedule. (Laoyaoba, China Times, TechNews, LEDInside, LEDInside)

Nichia, the Japanese LED giant, has also reported that it has completed the development process of Mini LED and is ready to mass produce related products that will be released by the end of 2018. Currently Nichia is delivering samples with backlight application to its client and preparing to release the product in 4Q18. (Laoyaoba, LEDInside, Laoyaoba)

Camera

vivo NEX is using motorized pop-up selfie camera to maximize the screen ratio. The motor spins a spiral-shaped gear that raises the platform up and down. And each time, the ribbon cable that connects the camera has to delicately fold and unfold. It is manufactured and supplied by Shenzhen-based ZhaoWei Machinery & Electronics. (CN Beta, CNET, Forbes)

Sensory

Apple has considered ways to help the sensory impaired travel between locations, by using a combination of sensors to model the local environment, then providing tactile feedback to the user advising what objects and structures are near them.  (My Drivers, Apple Insider, USPTO)

Phone

ZTE Corp is expected to announce a radical management overhaul following a shareholder meeting on Friday, in line with conditions laid out in a USD1.4B settlement deal to lift a crippling U.S. supplier ban. (CN Beta, Reuters, Reuters)

Google is allegedly planning to roll out a streaming gaming platform and hardware to enable it, alongside “an attempt to bring game developers under the Google umbrella, whether through aggressive recruiting or even major acquisitions”. (Phone Arena, Kotaku, Ars Technica, TGBus)

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2018) and J3 (2018) are launched: J7 (2018) – 5.5” HD Super AMOLED, octa-core processor, rear 13MP + front 13MP, USD220. J3 (2018) – 5” HD IPS, Samsung Exynos 7570, rear 8MP + front 5MP, 2GB+16GB, Android 8.0, 2600mAh, USD150. (GSM Arena, Samsung, Android Authority, Android Police, Tech Times)

Wearables

OPPO has announced the O-Free, a pair of truly wireless headphones designed to pair up with the company’s recently unveiled sliding-camera equipped Find X smartphone. O-Free also features Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo technology for better power management and connectivity. (Android Authority, GizChina, The Verge, Baijiahao, Sina)

Home

Competition in the 8K TV market is expected to heat up in 2H18 as Samsung Electronics is expected to launch its 65” 8K models in 3Q18, taking directly on Sharp, according to Digitimes. Sharp has been a strong advocate of 8K LCD TVs, and claimed recently that its worldwide sales of 8K models so far in 2018 have exceeded its target. (Digitimes, press, Sina, Yahoo, My Drivers, Money DJ)

Sharp seeks to resume marketing its own-brand televisions in North America as soon as 2018, a change of strategy driven by the U.S. production plans of Hon Hai Precision Industry. Financial troubles drove Sharp to abandon the North American market and sell the rights to its Sharp and Aquos brand TVs to Hisense for 5 years starting in 2016. (Asia Nikkei, Laoyaoba)

Fintech

Blockchain-based database provider Fluence has announced it is using the blockchain to create a decentralized data organization layer, with the ultimate goal of building a decentralized internet. That is significant because in addition to the inherent features a database platform provides, such as storage, processing, and computations, it aims to eradicate data breaches and hacks. (VentureBeat, Finanzen, QKLYZ, Qukwaiwang)

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