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03-01: AUO is moving at full throttle to build up its production capacity for flexible OLED displays; Huawei reportedly will have a smartphone with 10× lossless zoom; etc.

Chipsets

D-Wave, the well-funded quantum computing company, has announced its next-gen quantum computing platform with 5,000 qubits, up from 2,000 in the company’s current system. The new platform will come to market in mid-2020. The company’s new so-called Pegasus topology connects every qubit to 15 other qubits, up from six in its current topology.  (CN Beta, ST Daily, IT Pro, TechCrunch, The Verge)

Touch Display

AU Optronics (AUO) is moving at full throttle to build up its production capacity for flexible OLED displays and will see its flexible panels used in new foldable smartphones launched by handset brands in 2019, according to company chairman Paul Peng. AUO is currently utilizing its 4.5G OLED line in Singapore to produce flexible displays mainly for AV/VR devices and smartwatches. (Digitimes, press, TechNews, UDN, China Times)

Apple’s patent “Electronic Devices with Flexible Displays” explains that foldable smartphone displays could be prone to damage when bent in cold temperatures, and describes various heating methods to mitigate the issue.  (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, USPTO)

While the release of high-priced foldable smartphones is still in the initial stage of testing market reaction, handset brands will need to overcome issues including securing steady supply from the upstream and integrating the use of related new materials before the market can take off. The observers indicated that instead of using glass covers, Samsung is using colorless polyimide (CPI) films from Sumitomo Chemical to manufacture the protective covers for its Galaxy Fold, so as to cope with the adoption of flexible OLED panels used by the gadget. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, press)

Xiaomi’s global spokesperson and director of product management Donovan Sung reveals that in terms of the specific launch time for foldable phone, the company wants to wait for it to be more mature before announcing it. The company is trying a variety of different foldable concepts. (CN Beta, VentureBeat)

Camera

Huawei reportedly will have a smartphone with 10× lossless zoom. The upcoming P30 Pro could show a wide-angle shot, a normal shot using primary camera, a close-up telephoto picture using optical zoom, and an even close shot that may be enhanced with digital zoom. (Liliputing, Sparrow News, Weibo, Sohu, CN Beta)

Memory

Toshiba Memory America has announced that it will begin sampling new JEDEC e-MMC Ver. 5.1 compliant embedded flash memory products for consumer applications in Mar 2019. The new products integrate the company’s BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory and a controller in a single package. (My Drivers, Zaeke, Tech Powerup)

Sony has announced the new CFexpress Type B spec and its newest CompactFlash memory card that’s supposed to be faster than anything else on the market. The new card’s read and write speeds are 1,700 MB/s and 1,480 MB/s, respectively. (CN Beta, The Verge, NDTV, Sony)

SK Hynix has revealed some additional technical details about its upcoming DDR5-6400 memory chip. The DDR5 memory chip described by SK Hynix is a 16 Gb device (organized in 32 banks and 8 bank groups) that features a 6400 MT/s interface transfer rate at 1.1 Volts. The device is produced using SK Hynix’s second-gen 10nm-class fabrication technology (also known as 1y nm tech) with four metal layers, its die size is 76.22 mm2

(My Drivers, AnandTech, Notebook Check, EE Times)

Battery

Toshiba has revealed that it has developed a new lithium-ion battery that can be quickly charged and durable. When used in a small electric vehicle (EV), it can travel 320km in 6 minutes, which is about 3 times that of the past. Toshiba strives to achieve mass production in the first half of the 2020s. The company claims it will retain 90% of its capacity after 5000 cycles. (My Drivers, Huanqiu, TechNews, Sankei Biz)

Electric vehicle battery makers, especially those in South Korea and Japan, are actively enforcing capacity expansions in China to cash in on great demand there, which is expected to soar to CNY101.9B (USD15.19B) in 2020 from CNY66B in 2018, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, Sohu, KK News)

Connectivity

As of now, 5G smartphones will be quite expensive and many people will not be able to afford it. Zhang Yunyong, president of China Unicom Research Institute, said that in 2H19, “commoners” will be able to purchase 5G phones as the prices will drop down to 4G level but for now, it may be a burden on users with a mid-range budget. (GizChina, My Drivers)

Phone

According to European Commission, Google, Facebook and Twitter have fallen short of their pledges to combat fake news, 3 months before key European elections. The tech companies and trade bodies representing the advertising industry signed up to a voluntary code of conduct in Oct 2018 to tackle the spread of fake news, aiming to stave off more heavy-handed legislation. (CN Beta, Ars Technica, Reuters, Europa)

Redmi Note 7 Pro is announced – 6.3” 2340×1080 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, rear dual 48MP-5MP + front 13MP, 4+64GB / 6+128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh 18W fast charging, INR13,999 / INR16,999. (My Drivers, Gizmo China, Android Central, GSM Arena, Mi.com)

Samsung Galaxy A10 is announced – 6.2” 720×1520 HD+ Infinity-V IPS, Samsung Exynos 7884 Octa, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 2+32GB, Android 9.0, no fingerprint scanner, 3400mAh, INR8,490 (USD120). (CN Beta, GSM Arena, Samsung)

vivo iQOO is announced – 6.41” 1080×2340 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, rear tri 12MP-13MP ultra-wide-2MP depth + front 12MP, 6/8+128GB or 8/12+256GB, Android 9.0, under display fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh 44W fast charging, from CNY2998. (My Drivers, GSM Arena, Engadget, vivo)

PC / Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is announced – 10.5” 2560×1600 Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 4+64GB / 6+128GB, Android 9.0, 4 AKG speakers with Dolby Atmos, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, face unlock, 7040mAh. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Samsung)

Eewrite E-Pad tablet is announced and launched for crowdfunding – 10.3” 1872×1404 E-Ink Carta Screen Capacitive Touch + Wacom Stylus (120ms latency), deca-core processor, 2+32GB, Android, GPS + WiFi+ Bluetooth + 4G, USD399. (Liliputing, Digital eReader, Ogadget)

Home

Baidu is launching Xiaodu Smart Display 1S – 7” touch display, Wi-Fi 2.4GBz / 5GHz, Bluetooth 4.0, 2MP built-in camera, 84º camera, supports 5m distanced voice interaction, powered by Baidu DuerOS and AI interaction. It is priced at CNY499 at launch. (My Drivers, NASDAQ, CCIDNet, Globe Newswire)

Automotive

Apple has confirmed plans to lay off 190 people from its self-driving car project, known as Project Titan, namely from facilities in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, Calif. (Apple Insider, SF Chronicle, iFanr, Xinhuanet)

Hyundai has announced its intention to build a dedicated electric vehicle platform that will be used for a new electric car set to be released in 2020. The platform, part of a planned USD40B investment into innovation, will move the car manufacturer away from using chassis that are shared with gasoline-powered vehicles like the ones used with Hyundai’s current EVs, including the Kona Electric and Ioniq. (Engadget, CNET, CNMO)

Tesla is offering a version of the Tesla 3 sedan priced at USD35,000. To trim costs, Tesla is closing “many” of its 378 retail stores around the world as it shifts to an online-only sales model. (CN Beta, RT, Tesla, Business Insider, Fortune)

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