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01-22: Samsung has announced its latest Exynos 7 Series 7904; Samsung has introduced its smallest high-resolution image sensor; etc.

Chipsets

Samsung has announced its latest Exynos 7 Series 7904, a mobile processor with enhanced multimedia support that allows high-end features in mid-range smartphones. Built on a 14nm process, the Exynos 7 Series 7904 is equipped with two Cortex-A73 cores that run at 1.8GHz, and six Cortex-A53 cores at 1.6GHz.  (CN Beta, Android Central, Samsung)

Unigroup Spreadtrum announces will launch 5G chips in 2019. The first 5G chips have already taped-out. Previously, Li Liyou, the ex-chairman, has revealed that the 2 models of 5G chips will be launched in 2019 and will be based on the 7nm process. In 2018, Spreadtrum shipped 1.5B chipsets covering China, India, South Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, etc., and worked with 1300+ global brand for mutual development. (CN Beta, CSIA, EE World)

Touch Display

InZiv, a display inspection equipment start-up, announces that it has successfully closed a Series A round, partnering with Maverick Ventures Israel to secure USD2.5M in funding. This funding enables InZiv to further develop and expand its line of advanced inspection tools to better serve the flat panel display (FPD) industry. (PR Newswire, Globes, OLED-Info)

Chalmers University in Sweden has developed a new “double doping” process that basically doubles the efficiency of Polymer OLED emitter materials. The researchers explain that doping in organic semiconductors operates through what is known as a redox reaction, in which the dopant molecule receives an electron from the semiconductor which increases the electrical conductivity of the semiconductor. (Eureka Alert, Nature)

Apple is likely to drop LCD displays altogether in its 2020 iPhone lineup in favor of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays that allow for more flexible handset design. Japan Display Inc (JDI) is in advanced talks with Taiwan’s TPK Holdings and Chinese state-owned Silk Road Fund about an investment that would include a stake of about 30% with the possibility of greater control later. (CN Beta, 9to5Mac, The Inquirer, WSJ)

Camera

Samsung Electronics has introduced its smallest high-resolution image sensor, the ISOCELL Slim 3T2. While being the industry’s most compact image sensor at 1/3.4” (about 5.1mm diagonally), the 0.8μm-pixel ISOCELL Slim 3T2 delivers 20MP resolution for both front and back cameras in today’s sleekest mid-range smartphones. (Android Authority, Samsung, CN Beta)

In Nov 2018, Huawei disclosed the design patent for liquid lenses. Huawei has added a liquid fixed lens group between 2 conventional lenses. It only needs to change the voltage on the liquid of both sides to achieve zooming and focusing. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Sina)

Samsung’s recently published patent details a “full screen smartphone with second display area”. Samsung explains the technology utilizes small “transparent” displays in addition to the main display. In effect, they are different displays which might be best understood as when used in the same device result in a layered display space. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, TechRadar, LetsGoDigital)

Battery

Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4 charging technology was introduced back in November 2016. It is the first to be compatible with the USB PD2.0 protocol, and has eliminated the 12V charging and boosted the power to 28W. The standard 5V can output 5.6A max, and 9V can output 3A. There are 18 mobile phones from 9 brands that have obtained Qualcomm QC4/4+ certification. (CN Beta, GizChina)

Glass passivated package (GPP) bridge rectifier orders for Apple’s AirPower continue to pull in, according to Digitimes, who expect shipments for the wireless charger to boost further once it becomes available later in 2019. Lite-On Semiconductor has been shipping GPP bridge rectifiers for use in the forthcoming AirPower for over a year. (Digitimes, press, My Drivers)

Connectivity

ZTE Corp takes the lead in completing IMT-2020 third phase 5G test for core network performance stability and security function, fully verifying the maturity of ZTE’s 5G core network. (CN Beta, PR Newswire)

Huawei chairman and rotating CEO Ken Hu indicates that Huawei has deployed 5G in more than 10 countries, and expects to deploy it in another 20 over the next 12 months. He added that Huawei will be bringing out its 5G smartphone in Jun 2019. (My Drivers, 36Kr, Qianjia, Business Insider)

Phone

According to the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation, Korea’s mobile phone exports totaled USD14.61B in 2018, down 23.2% or USD4.42B from the previous year. Handset shipments peaked at USD33.44B in 2008, outpacing the country’s another mainstay export item semiconductor’s exports of USD32.79B, then started to fall below USD30B in 2009 and USD20B in 2017.  (Pulse News, GSM Arena, My Drivers, CN Beta)

Following its expansion in Europe, Xiaomi has opened its newest Mi Store in Paris. Located at the famous Champs-Elysees street, it is the second official store of the company in the country – and the biggest Mi Store of the whole continent. (GizChina, GSM Arena, Xiaomi, CN Beta)

Google has been fined nearly USD57M by French regulators for violating Europe’s tough new data-privacy rules, marking the first major penalty brought against a U.S. technology giant since the region-wide regulations took effect in 2018. France’s top data-privacy agency, known as the CNIL indicates that Google failed to fully disclose to users how their personal information is collected and what happens to it.  (CN Beta, Android Authority, Washington Post)

After the new low-end M-series, Samsung will reportedly be aiming for lower prices of its mid-rangers, too. Samsung is preparing to keep production costs in check and lower the prices of its upcoming A-series phones by equipping them with LCD displays. (Phone Arena, ET News)

Sony plans to shift its UK headquarters to the Netherlands as it fears the potential consequences of a no-deal Brexit.  The move will see the firm register its GBP3.3B European business in Amsterdam, moving it from its current location of Weybridge in Surrey. The move could be completed as soon as 29 Mar 2019.  (CN Beta, The Inquirer, The Telegraph)

Samsung could cease producing flagship phones like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 in India, reduce local manufacturing and exports of smartphones. India’s Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) aims to promote local manufacturing of components in India and is originally planned to take effect in Mar 2020. The Indian government has decided to demand production of said components start by Feb 2019 or it will impose a 10% duty tax (that could end up being 11%) on any imported components. (GSM Arena, Economic Times, Electronics B2B, CN Beta)

Home

Abode unveils its new second generation smart home gateway. The Gen 2 device acts as a central hub between all Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and abodeRF devices, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, ecobee, LifX, Philips Hue, and IFTTT. It will “soon” support HomeKit and Siri. (The Verge, Apple Insider, 9to5Mac)

Automotive

LG Electronics is allegedly the supplier for a Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz model that will feature a motion-detection system that can read a driver’s gestures in order to control some automobile functions. A camera installed in the car ceiling will read the driver’s hand gestures, letting them control tasks such as turning on cruise control and adjusting music volume. (CN Beta, Bloomberg)

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