07-03: HTC said it would cut 1,500 jobs; Xiaomi is pressing ahead with plans to enter the U.S. in 2019; etc.

Chipsets

Fujitsu Semiconductor and UMC have said that the latter will acquire 100% ownership of Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor (MIFS), a joint venture between 2 companies. The move essentially ends history of Fujitsu’s in-house manufacturing of microelectronics that began in 1956. Meanwhile, UMC will gain additional manufacturing resources in Japan. UMC will acquire 84.1% of MIFS from Fujitsu Semiconductor for around JPY57.6B (USD520.52M). (AnandTech, UMC, Laoyaoba, UDNEXP Review)

Apple would not make a final decision until MediaTek and Qualcomm – if they have been indeed in talks over modem chip supply – could reach a consensus on a number of aspects including product roadmap, technology development and collaborative efforts. MediaTek Helio M70 modem is capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 5Gbps while connected to a 5G network. (Digitimes, press, Apple Insider, CN Beta)

Wave Computing,the Silicon Valley start-up that is revolutionizing artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning from the Cloud to the edge with its dataflow-based systems and licensable IP solutions, today announced that it has started on-premise installation and testing of its first-generation AI systems with initial Early Access Program (EAP) customers. (Laoyaoba, Globe Newswire)

Touch Display

CLSA agrees that Samsung Display (SDC) fab utilization will rise from about 35% to 80% in 2H18, but CLSA also believes that Samsung is not even considering the A4 fab (30,000 monthly substrates) which will remain idle, which means that actual utilization will be lower than stated. CLSA further estimates that BOE will only be able to produce around 6M~8M flexible OLED panels in 2018, down from earlier guidance of around 20M. BOE failed to be qualified by both Xiaomi and OPPO.  (Motley Fool, OLED-Info)

Everdisplay Optronics (EDO) has opened a CNY27.3B (USD4.2B) AMOLED display plant that boasts Shanghai’s biggest industrial clean room to produce screens for smartphones and VR devices. The monthly capacity at the 390km2 plant, featuring an industrial clean room of 320km2, is designed to hit 30,000 units once operations are in full swing. (Laoyaoba, OfWeek, Sina, Shine)

Apple is granted a patent filed in 2014 for a smartphone with a spring-loaded bumper system. In this design, the corners of the iPhone would extend outwards in the event of a fall, giving extra cushioning to the landing and preventing the glass front from being damaged. (Laoyaoba, IB Times, Gear Brain, Daily Mail)

Camera

Camera maker Light has a working prototype phones with 5~9 lenses on the back. The company says its phone design is capable of capturing 64MP shots, better low-light performance and sophisticated depth effects. The company says a smartphone featuring its multi-lens array will be announced later in 2018. (Washington Post, Engadget, Liliputing, Sina, iFeng)

According to analyst Horace Dediu, Apple would not use motorised parts for its future iPhone. He thinks motorised parts would be more prone to “wear” than traditional materials used. He has insisted Apple will focus on the removal of the lightning port and SIM tray with its next iPhone. (My Drivers, WCCF Tech, CN Beta, Express Media)

Memory

LPDDR5 RAM, UFS 3.0 ROM, and SD Express memory cards will become the key features of the new round of flagship smartphones. (GizChina, Android Authority, Samsung, iFeng, iFeng)

Sensory

Autonomous driving demands that vehicles sense their environment. Sensor technologies are already making vehicles safer and more “intuitive”. By 2028, most vehicles will have senses better than humans—at least, that is the aim. According to Frost & Sullivan, sensor innovation is the key strategy stakeholders in the global automotive value chain are implementing. (CN Beta, Fleet Europe)

Battery

Samsung reportedly will adopt foldable lithium battery that is developed by Samsung SDI. The battery is using V-shape curved form factor, and currently its 3000~6000mAh can be commercialized already. (CN Beta, Sohu, Android Headlines)

Connectivity

China Mobile will fully push the development of 5G devices, planning to launch first batch of 5G chipsets end of 2018; in 1Q19 to launch first wave of 5G devices, and in 3Q19 to luanch 5G smartphone. For its sourcing plan, China Mobile will begin sourcing for smartphone, CPE and AR/VR from Feb 2019, and will deliver in Apr 2019. In Jul 2019, China Mobile will begin sourcing for 2nd wave of smartphone, AR/VR and 5G module and deliver in Sept 2019. (CCIDNet, report, Sohu, CN Beta, EE World)

Phone

ZTE Corp has formally announced that a total of 14 members of the original board of directors had submitted their resignations. (GizChina, ZTE, Engadget CN, VOA, EET China, Sinchew)

HTC plans to slash around a quarter of its global workforce through job cuts at its manufacturing unit in Taiwan, in a bid to better manage resources as the company continues to battle dwindling sales. HTC said it would cut 1,500 jobs in its manufacturing unit in Taiwan.  (TechCrunch, Liliputing, Reuters, CN Beta, UDN)

Xiaomi SVP Wang Xiang indicates that the U.S. market is “very attractive” and that the firm is adding engineering resources to develop versions of its handsets that are compatible with U.S. phone networks. Xiaomi is pressing ahead with plans to enter the U.S. in 2019. (Digital Trends, Reuters, CN Beta)

vivo Z1i is announced – 6.26” 2280×1080 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 16MP, 4GB+128GB,  Android 8.1, 3260mAh, CNY1898. (GSM Arena, vivo, GizChina)

vivo Z10 is announced in India – 5.99” 720×1440 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear 16MP + front 24MP, 4GB+32GB, Android 7.1, 3225mAh. (GSM Arena, vivo)

Huawei Honor 10 GT with GPU Turbo technology is announced – 5.84” 1080×2280 FHD+, Hisilicon Kirin 970, rear 24MP-16MP + front 16MP, 8GB + 64 / 128GB, Android 8.1, 3400mAh. (GSM Arena, Honor, CNMO)

Samsung Galaxy On6 is announced in India – 5.6” 1480×720 HD+ Super AMOLED, Samsung Exynos 7870, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 4GB+64GB, Android 8.0, 3000mAh, INR14,490. (GSM Arena, Flipkart, TechRadar, Economic Times)

Wearables

Huawei has patented a smartwatch that comes with a set of built-in Bluetooth earbuds. The patent details a few ways the earbuds could be stored: through a capsule with a spring mechanism that opens and shuts with a snap, or magnetically attached and stored in the watch band itself.  (The Verge, Engadget, LetsGoDigital, Sina, CN Beta)

Artificial Intelligence

Tsinghua University has revealed plans to open a center for artificial intelligence research and development in China. It said that Jeff Dean, Google’s AI chief, will serve on the University’s computer science advisory committee. (Laoyaoba, VentureBeat, Tsinghua University)

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