08-28: GlobalFoundaries has decided to stop all work on its 7LP (7 nm) fabrication processes; OPPO has officially announced that it has successfully completed the connection of 5G signaling and data links; etc.

Chipsets

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will start fabricating Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 800 series SoC chips in 4Q18. Qualcomm Snapdragon chip orders are expected to account for 8% of TSMC’s total revenues in 2019, which will boost the fabless chip firm’s overall orders placed with the foundry to 15% as a proportion of company revenues compared with 7% in 2018. (ET Today, Digitimes, press, My Drivers)

GlobalFoundaries has decided to cease development of bleeding edge manufacturing technologies and stop all work on its 7LP (7 nm) fabrication processes. The company will shift development resources to make its 14/12nm FinFET platform. (Apple Insider, AnandTech, GF, CN Beta)

Gree Electric has established a wholly-owned subsidiary chip company, Zhuhai Zero-Boundary Integrated Circuit Limited, investing CNY1B (USD146M). Gree said that the new subsidiary will be focusing on chip design for Gree’s key products such as air conditioners.  (My Drivers, Sina, 163, Asia Times, China Daily, Tech Node)

Touch Display

According to Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis,  it is “widely understood” that 3D Touch will be removed from Apple iPhone with OLED displays in 2019 (3rd-gen iPhone X and 2nd-gen ‘iPhone X Plus’). However, they caution that the plans are not finalized yet, so they could change. (The Verge, Mac Rumors, CN Beta)

Biometrics

Samsung is expected to have a fingerprint sensor built in the screen for its next Galaxy S flagship lineup in 2019. The two high-end Galaxy S models will come fitted with an ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner (powered by Qualcomm SoC) while the other one will house an optical fingerprint sensor beneath the screen. (CN Beta, The Investor, WCCFtech)

Connectivity

Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia has secured a EUR500M (USD572M) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to step up development of next-generation 5G technology capable of faster speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections. (GizChina, Reuters, Financial Times, FT Chinese, Sina, CNMO)

Phone

Xiaomi is reportedly planning to establish exclusive outlets in new formats in India. Xiaomi is setting up thousands of dedicated stores in rural locations – from around 500 Mi Stores by the end of 2018, the brand hopes to scale up to “a few thousand” by 2019. Xiaomi will be opening the franchisee-owned stores in taluk-level areas.  (CN Beta, Business Today, Economic Times)

OPPO has officially announced that it has successfully completed the connection of 5G signaling and data links on a commercially available smartphone. OPPO has used a modified version of R15 equipped with Qualcomm X50 5G baseband to test 5G connectivity. The connection is based on 3GPP Release 15 NSA standard, using 10MHz bandwidth of 4G LTE Band 5 and 20MHz bandwidth of 5G NR n78 band. (GizChina, Gizmo China, My Drivers)

OPPO Realme 2 is announced in India – 6.2” 720×1520 HD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 8MP, 3GB+32GB / 4GB+64GB, Android 8.1, 4230mAh, INR8,990 / INR10,990. (Android Authority, GSM Arena, NDTV)

[IFA2018] LG is announcing its first Android One phone LG G7 One – 6.1” 3120×1440 QHD+ FullVision IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, rear 16MP + front 8MP, 4GB+32GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh. (GizChina, GSM Arena, NDTV, LG)

[IFA2018] LG G7 Fit is announced – 6.1” 3120×1440 QHD+ FullVision IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, rear 16MP + front 8MP, 4GB+32/64GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh. (GSM Arena, NDTV)

Home

Harman Kardon is releasing new smart speaker Citation 500 that supports Google Assistant, which is priced at GBP549. It has 200W stereo speakers and can support 24 bit/96Khz high-definition audio streaming.  (The Verge, 9to5Google, Android Central, B&H, Hifi Shuo)

Automotive

Great Wall Motors (GWM) has launched new SUV – WEY VV6. GWM has officially declared Baidu as the designated cooperation partner of WEY, focusing on self-driving, high-precision HD maps, and positioning technology.  (My Drivers, People.com, Sina, Pandaily)

Artificial Intelligence

In 2017 Google outspent Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook on R&D spending with the majority being on AI and machine learning. Google needs new AI- and machine learning-driven businesses that have lower Total Acquisition Costs (TAC) to offset the rising acquisition costs of their ad and search businesses. One of the company’s initial forays into AI and machine learning was its USD600M acquisition of AI startup DeepMind in Jan 2014. (Forbes, CN Beta, CB Insights, report)

Fintech

MusicLife, a blockchain music exchange ecosystem operated by the Singapore-based nonprofit MusicLife Foundation and the Japan-based MusicLife Company, has announced a USD5M funding round led by Metropolis VC, which it says it will use to grow its music trading and sharing platform. (VentureBeat, FINSMES, PE Hub, iFeng)

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