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11-16: SK Hynix has announced that it has developed 16Gb (Gigabits) DDR5 (Double Data Rate 5) DRAM; Xiaomi is allegedly negotiating to acquire Meitu’s mobile phone business; etc.

Chipsets

Apple is aggressively hiring engineers in Qualcomm’s home base of San Diego, seeking designers to develop wireless components and processors that would further weaken the chipmaker’s chances of again supplying chips for the iPhone maker’s future devices. (Ubergizmo, Bloomberg, WallStreet CN, 163)

Camera

Samsung Galaxy S10 is claimed to have a zero-bezel OLED display, i.e., it does not have top or bottom bezels. The phone would feature 2 holes at the top for camera lens and infrared sensor. All other sensors would go under the screen. (CN Beta, My Drivers, BGR, The Elec)

Memory

SK Hynix has announced that it has developed 16Gb (Gigabits) DDR5 (Double Data Rate 5) DRAM, the industry’s first DDR5 to meet the JEDEC standards. The same 1Ynm process technology used for the recently-developed 1Ynm 8Gb DDR4 DRAM was applied to the new DRAM. (Liliputing, CN Beta, AnandTech, SK Hynix)

The total revenue of the global DRAM industry grew by 9% QoQ in 3Q18, reports TrendForce. The survey of the price trends in 3Q18 shows that contract prices in the mainstream application segments (i.e. PC, server, and mobile) maintained QoQ increases of 0~2%. Particularly, the contract price of mainstream DDR3 consumer DRAM was the first to drop during the quarter because of the weakening demand. Also, contract prices of graphics DRAM products fell by around 3% QoQ due to the sharp drop in the demand related to cryptocurrency mining as well as the higher base of the previous quarter. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce CN)

Sensory

MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination — with no hardware modifications needed. The system, called RFIQ, includes a reader that senses minute changes in wireless signals emitted from RFID tags when the signals interact with food. (CN Beta, MIT, TechCrunch)

Biometrics

TF Securities expect under-display fingerprint scanner equipped smartphone shipment in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to be 23M~26M, 160M~180M and 270M~300M, respectively. For Egistec, the orders of optical fingerprint sensor from Samsung have  successfully driven the company’s growth and revenues, which also help the companies to win orders from other Android vendors. (TF Securities)

Connectivity

Imperial College London and M Squared have built a transportable, standalone quantum accelerometer, which can measure how an object’s velocity changes over time. With this, and the starting point of the object, the new position can be calculated. The current system is designed for navigation of large vehicles, such as ships and even trains. (TechNews, Imperial College)

Phone

TF Securities expect Samsung’s smartphone shipments in 2019 to be about the same as in 2018 (about 295M units). It is because the specifications of A series is upgraded (some models support under-display fingerprints and tri-cam), which drives the users to upgrade their phones. The shipments will grow by about 100% year-on-year to 60M~65M units in 2019, which is good for overall revenue and profit growth. (TF Securities, Shoujibao)

Xiaomi is allegedly negotiating to acquire Meitu’s mobile phone business. Xiaomi has officially declined to comment. There is rumor that the contacts between the 2 parties are not related to mergers and acquisitions, but rather strategic cooperation in imaging. Meitu’s revenue is mainly divided into 3 parts: Internet business, online advertising business and smart hardware business. (CN Beta, My Drivers, 36Kr, NBD)

Sharp AQUOS R2 Compact is launched – 5.2” 2280×1080 FHD+ IGZO, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear 22.6MP + front 8MP, 4+64GB, Android 9.0, IPX5/8 rated, 2500mAh. (Gizmo China, GizChina, Sharp, Trusted Reviews, Android Headlines)

Kyocera DuraForce PRO 2 is launched at Verizon – 5” Sapphire Shield, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, rear 13MP + front 5MP,  4+64GB, Android 8.0, IP68 rated, rear fingerprint scanner, 3240mAh, USD444. (My Drivers, The Verge, Business Wire, Verizon)

OPPO A7 is announced – 6.2” 720×1520 HD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 16MP, 3/4+32/64GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 4230mAh, from CNY1,599. (Gizmo China, Sina, 91Mobiles, GSM Arena)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Mojo Vision has announced it has raised over USD50M to date in venture and strategic funding to develop an augmented reality platform that will deliver the kind of immediate, powerful and relevant information people personally expect from technology, but without the frequent intrusion of today’s mobile devices. (Sohu, CN Beta, Business Wire, VentureBeat)

Home

French hardware startup Netatmo is acquired by the biggest manufacturer of switches and sockets in the world, Legrand. Back in 2017, the company announced that it would work with industrial groups to connect everything in home, starting with Legrand and Velux. (TechCrunch, EU Startups)

Worldwide smart speaker shipments grew 137% year on year in 3Q18 to reach 19.7M units, up from 8.3M in 3Q17, and well in line with Canalys’ forecast of 75M for the whole of 2018. Riding on the success of its Prime Day, Amazon shipped 6.3M Echo smart speakers in 3Q18, reclaiming the top spot after 2 quarters of playing second fiddle to Google. Google shipped 5.9M units, putting it just behind Amazon. (CN Beta, Canalys, press)

Automotive

Ford CEO Sherif Marakby has shared a detailed overview of the automaker’s self-driving strategy. Marakby has shown showed off Ford Fusions loaded with a self-driving system that the company has been testing in Miami. He also says Ford is still working closely with Argo AI to develop the technology behind its self-driving platform.  (Engadget, Medium, CNBC, Sina, People.com)

Robotics

The industrial machines market is forecast to be worth USD41.23B by 2020, according to Grand View Research, with startups like GreyOrange and RightHand leading the charge. Pittsburgh startup IAM Robotics has announced that it has raised USD20M in a funding round led by KCK.  (VentureBeat, Robot Report)

Artificial Intelligence

Huawei is working on its own voice assistant that works outside of China, potentially pitting it against software produced by Google and Amazon. In China, Huawei has its own voice assistant called Xiaoyi which operates in its smart speaker called the AI Cube and its smartphones. But it is only for the Chinese market. (CN Beta, GizChina, CNBC)

E-Commerce

According to eMarketer’s latest retail forecast, Walmart will overtake Apple to become the third largest ecommerce retailer in the US in 2018. By the end of 2018, Walmart (which includes Walmart, Sam’s Club and Jet.com) will capture 4.0% of all online retail spending in the US, totaling USD20.91B. In Jul 2018 forecast, eMarketer estimated that Walmart would capture a 3.7% ecommerce share in 2018. (CN Beta, Sina, eMarketer, CBS News)

Amazon has launched a new portal called “Second Chance”, which compiles information on how to recycle, repair and return devices. Amazon calls it a “one-stop shop” showing how to responsibly get rid of old gadgets lying around and taking up space.  (Engadget, Amazon, Amazon)

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