10-09: Qualcomm has announced plans to set up its largest campus outside the US; Samsung allegedly to cut its 2019 capex with 8%, in which DRAM investment will be cut 20%; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm has announced plans to set up its largest campus outside the US in India. Qualcomm will be investing USD400M (INR3,000 crore) to set up their campus in Hyderabad, Telangana. This is one of the largest investment by a marquee company after the formation of the state. (CN Beta, Indian Express, Economic Times)

Intel has announced its 9th-generation desktop processors. The new Xeon W-3175X sports 28 cores and 56 threads with a base clock speed of 3.1GHz and a maximum clock speed of 4.3GHz. It is a 255W processor with 68 PCIe lanes, a 38.5MB Smart Cache and 6-channel DDR4 memory support with up to 512GB at 2666MHz, and four channels of DDR4-2666 memory. (Neowin, CN Beta, Forbes, AnandTech, Engadget, My Drivers)

The production value of the global foundry industry is expected to grow by a CAGR of 6.2% to reach USD81.94B in 2023, the final year of a 5-year forecast period, driven by chip demand for mobile devices, automotive, IoT and high-performance computing applications in the AI and upcoming 5G era, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

Storage

The semiconductor business, which includes the DRAM memory chips used in data center servers, has generated more than KRW13T for Samsung. The price of DRAM chips has more than doubled in 2 years. However, the DRAM market appears to be at a peak, and may take a downturn as soon as the start of 2019. To avoid the price to going down further, Samsung allegedly to cut its 2019 capex with 8%, in which DRAM investment will be cut 20%. (My Drivers, Expreview, Forbes, Asia Nikkei)

Connectivity

EE has launched the UK’s first real-world 5G network test. The trial, located at Montgomery Square in Canary Wharf, London, is the first of ten that the company are starting in October. All trial networks will run in East London and include locations at City Road, Old Street, Hoxton Square, St Paul’s and Chiswell Street among others. (CN Beta, Express, Daily Mail, Neowin, TechRadar Pro)

Nokia has teamed up with Australia’s University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to launch a new training facility aimed at broadening the skills base of Australia’s communications industry in 5G and other advanced communications technologies. It will focus on technology domains that will underpin the delivery of fixed and mobile high speed communications.  (CN Beta, Telecom Asia, Nokia)

PCs / Tablets

Global tablet shipments are expected to drop in both 2018 and 2019 to arrive at 141M units in 2019, cannibalized by large-size smartphones, according to Digitimes Research. With Apple’s release of its iPhone XS Max, the maximum size for a smartphone is now at 6.5” and it is unlikely to see a major expansion in screen size for future smartphones, easing some pressure from the table market.  (Digitimes, press, Phone Arena, China Flash Market, Sohu)

TCL announces Alcatel 3T 8 with T-Mobile – 8” 1280×800 IPS, MediaTek MT8765A, rear 5MP + front 5MP, 2+16GB, Android 8.1, 4080mAh, USD150. (CN Beta, Neowin)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Despite efforts by makers including Samsung, HTC, Sony and Oculus to accelerate the development of the VR industry globally, sales of VR devices, particularly, the high-end models, have remained lower than expected in 2018, according to Digitimes. Even if the global VR device shipments could grow to 78M units in 2021 from the 28M units shipped in 2017 as forecast by IHS Markit, VR headset shipments from each vendors are still lacking economies of scale. (Digitimes, press, Money Link)

Fnatic, one of the world’s leading global esports brands, has announced a new collaboration with Sansar, the premier destination for social VR: Fnatic Meta BUNKR, a virtual fan hangout designed to enable deeper community engagement. (VentureBeat, Business Wire, OfWeek, Baijiahao)

Home

Facebook unveils smart speaker with a screen and a 12MP camera, Portal and Portal+. Portal features 10” HD display, and Portal+ features 15.6” FHD display. The Portal has an artificial intelligence-powered camera that pans and zooms automatically to keep all faces in the screen. (CN Beta, Quartz, USA Today, Wired, Forbes)

Automotive

Ford Motor has told its 70,000 salaried employees that they will face unspecified job cuts as part of the automaker’s USD11B restructuring, a bid to reverse its fading fortunes and cope with competitive pressures more nimbly. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, WSJ, CNN, Detroit Free Press)

Faraday Future (FF) averted disaster at the end of 2017 when it secured a major new investment from the healthcare division of Chinese real estate group Evergrande. However, the investment of some USD800M is gone by Jul 2018. Now, Evergrande is accusing FF founder and CEO Jia Yueting of trying to back out of the deal, and says it will take “all necessary actions” to protect itself and its shareholders. (CN Beta, The Verge, 36Kr, Xinhuanet, IR Asia, Reuters)

Artificial Intelligence

Google subsidiary DeepMind said it has been given access to mammograms from roughly 30,000 women that were taken at Jikei University Hospital in Tokyo, Japan in 2007~2018. It will use that data to refine its artificially intelligent (AI) breast cancer detection algorithms. The collaboration builds on DeepMind’s work with the Cancer Research UK Imperial Center at Imperial College London, where it has already analyzed roughly 7,500 mammograms. (VentureBeat, Forbes, 163)

Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group has developed a piece of AI software that can determine what ingredients were used to make a certain dish and describe how they were assembled. The AI system can look at a photo of some banana bread, for example, list the ingredients that went into it, and describe the method required to make it. (CN Beta, Forbes)

Tencent has teamed up with a London healthcare firm Medopad to develop artificial intelligence (AI) software that can diagnose Parkinson’s Disease in minutes. The new AI system has been trained to spot Parkinson’s by looking at existing video footage of patients. The video analysis was done in collaboration with Kings College Hospital in London. (CN BetaVentureBeat, Bloomberg, Forbes, OfWeek)

FinTech

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is acquiring a stake of less than 1% in Klarna with SKR85M (USD20M) in a partnership that entails the Swedish fintech company providing online and in-store payments for customers of the fast-fashion retailer. The deal between the world’s second-largest clothes retailer and one of Europe’s leading fintech groups will start in 14 European countries, beginning with the UK and Sweden, but has the scope to expand to the US and Asia. (TechCrunch, Financial Times, Reuters, EFU, Ebrun)

Tencent has paid USD180M for an undisclosed minority stake in Brazilian financial technology company Nu Pagamentos SA. The move marks Tencent’s debut in Latin America’s largest economy at a time when Nubank, as the company is known, is preparing to make consumer loans by year end, going beyond its current mainstays of fee-free credit cards and digital payment accounts. (TechCrunch, Reuters, Baijiahao)

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