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04-04: TSMC has announced delivery of the complete version of its 5nm design infrastructure; Xiaomi has restructured its semiconductor business Songguo Electronics; etc.

Chipsets

UBS’ analyst Timothy Arcuri indicates that Intel likely will not be ready with a single-chip, backwards-compatible 5G modem in time, asserting that alternatives like Samsung and Mediatek are either “technically or practically” outside Apple’s wheelhouse. Arcuri reiterated his belief that Apple is working on a self-designed modem for 2021, and that Intel should sell its modem operation, possibly even to its current largest client, Apple. (CN Beta, Apple Insider)

Xiaomi has restructured its semiconductor business Songguo Electronics and has even formed another company too. The restructuring has led to some of the teams splitting up to set up a new company called Nanjing Big Fish Semiconductor. (Gizmo China, IT Home)

Intel has launched its first Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless network adapter, codenamed Cyclone Peak. The Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 is a CNVi WLAN card that supports 802.11ax via 2×2 MU-MIMO antennas over the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. And never found too far from a Wi-Fi card, Intel’s AX200 also supports Bluetooth 5.0. (CN Beta, Tom’s Hardware, AnandTech, Intel)

SoftBank Group, which has reshaped the technology startup landscape with its Saudi-backed Vision Fund, is in talks with investors to add as much as USD15B more to its already-massive fund. In about two years, the Vision Fund has invested more than USD70B in tech companies. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, Seeking Alpha)

TSMC has announced delivery of the complete version of its 5nm design infrastructure within the Open Innovation Platform (OIP). TSMC’s 5nm process is already in risk production and offers IC designers a new level of performance and power optimization targeted at the next generation of high-end mobile and HPC applications. (Digitimes, press, LTN, My Drivers, Design Reuse)

Touch Display

Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, has revealed that Huawei “can make the chin shorter” but has chosen not to because there would be a number of “inadvertent presses” every time a user swipes up from the bottom of the display, thus making the design choice pretty inconvenient. (GizChina, Phone Arena, CN Beta, GSM Arena)

Japan Display Inc (JDI) will reportedly begin to supply organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for the Apple Watch later in 2019. (Apple Insider, Reuters, Sohu)

According to Digitimes, Japan Display Inc (JDI) will raise JPY60B~80B (about USD540M~720M) through the issuance of equity and debt, plus the support from INCJ, the total amount will be more than JPY110B. Currently there are 4 parties interested in participating in the JDI fundraising—TPK Holding, Harvest Fund, SOE, Fubon. The total amount of the 4 parties’ investment is estimated to be JPY60B~80B. (Digitimes, My Drivers, OfWeek, Sina, UDN)

Apple reportedly plans to launch 3 OLED-based new iPhone devices in 2020 available in 5.42”, 6.06” and 6.67” sizes, respectively, according to Digitimes. Additionally, the 5.42” model to be released in 2020 may come with either Samsung Display’s Y-Octa or LG Display’s TOE touch technology. (Pocket-Lint, MacRumors, Digitimes, press, Digitimes, press)

LG Display (LGD) a patent for foldable phone shows actual photos of a bendable display, along with schematics of how the “foldable plate” works. The screen will be on the inside and able to fold in half to make an easily pocketable device. The display will have a “bending radius of 2.5R”. (Pocket-Lint, CN Beta, USPTO, LetsGoDigital)

Memory

Kingston has introduced its new lineup of microSD cards designed for write-intensive applications in harsh environments. Aimed primarily at security cameras as well as dash cameras in vehicles, Kingston’s High Endurance microSD cards come in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities. (CN Beta, AnandTech)

Intel’s long awaited Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs have arrived. Intel’s Optane DIMMs will use 3D XPoint memory, a type of non-volatile memory that is something of an amalgamation of NAND and DRAM. The new Optane DIMMs will populate a standard DDR4 slot, offering capacities of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. (Techspot, CN Beta, Storage Review)

Phone

Mango.Me is an AI anti-harassment phone assistant that can answer calls for users. The AI can make pick-up call when the user is “unwilling” or “inconvenient” to answer. Through multiple rounds of voice calls, the caller’s intention is ascertained, and the caller is AI-communicated to mark the call, so that the user could judge the value of the call based on the record and decides whether to call back. (CN Beta, TechWeb)

Saudi Aramco, the oil giant from the sands of Arabia, bagged the whopping USD111B of net income in 2018, buoyed by the rising price of oil. The USD100+B figure is higher than Apple, Google and Exxon Mobil’s profits for 2018 combined. Still, Apple is the most profitable among the publicly listed companies. (Phone Arena, WSJ)

Samsung has announced that it has joined the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), a nonprofit organization formed by leading internet and media technology companies which intends to define and develop open standards for media compression and delivery over the web. As an AOMedia member, Samsung joins the ranks of fellow board members Amazon, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, NVIDIA and others. (CN Beta, CNET, Samsung)

George Zhao, president of smartphone brand Honor, has shared some of the company’s major goals for the future, calling them part of a “new strategic direction”. Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu aims  for Huawei to be the world’s No. 1 smartphone manufacturer. Honor’s target is now to become the world’s 4th-largest smartphone manufacturer globally, and the 2nd-largest in China. (Digital Trends, Facebook, NBD, Sohu, CN Beta)

Foxconn’s Android smartphone arm is scaling back its mobile business and moving into next generation automotive electronics in a bid to counter the impact of a deepening industry slump on the second tier brands that make up much of its client list. FIH Mobile, 62% owned by Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, is one of the world’s biggest contract manufacturers of Android phones with revenues of USD14.9B in 2018. (CN Beta, Telegraph, Asia Nikkei)

Xiaomi has confirmed that Redmi note 7 already hit the 4M shipment mark. That would amount to 1.3M sales per month since the device was launched back in Jan 2019. (GSM Arena, Huanqiu, Sina)

OPPO A7n is announced in China – 6.2” 1520×720 HD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P35, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 16MP, 4+64GB, Android 8.1, 4230mAh, rear fingerprint scanner, CNY1,499. (Gizmo China, GizChina, GSM Arena, OPPO)

Automotive

Microsoft and BMW have announced the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) to speed up innovation in the manufacturing sector, specifically with a focus on industrial IoT. The two firms hope that the move can break down the barriers between complex, proprietary systems used in manufacturing. (Neowin, PR Newswire, Sohu, Reuters CN)

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