05-17: ARM is unveiling its design for the Arm Mali-D77 display processor; Corning is introducing a new glass substrate, Corning Astra Glass; etc.

Chipsets

Apple iPhone 5G modem made by Apple allegedly might not be done before 2025 — a far cry from the original rumor of 2021. This slow progress was likely a major factor in Apple’s recent decision to cease all litigation against Qualcomm and sign a 6-years-long deal with the company to use its modems in future iPhones. (Android Authority, The Information, Apple Insider, CN Beta)

ARM is unveiling its design for the Arm Mali-D77 display processor, which is targeted at next-generation virtual reality head-mounted displays. The Mali-D77 enables offloading of specific compute functions from the graphics processing unit (GPU) to the display processing unit (DPU), leading to higher-quality visuals and eliminating motion sickness which in turn frees up more GPU cycles and associated system bandwidth. (My Drivers, CN Beta, AnandTech, VentureBeat)

Touch Display

vivo has recently registered 2 new mobile phone patents. In order not to sacrifice the space inside the screen, the design has put the camera and the sensor have on what could be called an external notch. (GizChina, My Drivers, LetsGoDigital)

Corning is introducing a new glass substrate, Corning Astra Glass, optimized for mid-to-large-size, immersive displays in high-performance tablets, notebooks, and 8K TVs. Astra Glass is precisely engineered to enable the higher pixel density of high-performance displays that panel makers require to meet consumer demand for brighter, faster, and more lifelike images. (CN Beta, AnandTech, Corning)

It appears that Samsung has addressed the issues that caused the Galaxy Fold review units to fail. The company is reportedly currently reviewing its launch schedule and might release the phone in Jun 2019. Samsung is to reduce the size of the hinge so the pre-existing protective frame on the device is the right size to protect the part. (Android Headlines, YNA, Engadget CN, EET China, CNET, TechRadar)

Camera

According to Counterpoint Research, in 2019, OEMs are taking the battle a step ahead with a triple camera setup now becoming popular. Almost 6% of smartphones sold globally had 3 or more rear camera sensors in Mar 2019. This figure is likely to go up to 15% by the end of 2019 and 35% by the end of 2020. Counterpoint expects that by the end of 2021, 50% of the smartphones sold globally will have three or more camera sensors. (Counterpoint Research, press)

Memory

Several Taiwan-based memory module makers have moved to urgently reshuffle the production lines between their local and China-based manufacturing to avoid the 25% of tariffs on USD200B worth of Chinese imports to the US, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, CN Beta, Digitimes, press)

ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) chairman Zhu Yilong reveals that the company has invested a total of USD2.5B in R&D costs, and built a rigorous and compliant R&D and technology system. CXMT has completed the construction of the first 12” DRAM memory fab. At present, the manufacturing process is progressing smoothly, and more than 15,000 wafers have been continuously invested. (My Drivers, STCN, CN Beta, Sina)

Major memory chip vendors are on track to enter mass production of 90 / 96-layer 3D NAND products in 2H19, according to Digitimes. NAND flash bit shipments climbed over 40% on year in 2018, thanks to chipmakers’ transition to 3D NAND from 2D NAND process technology. And with Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) planning to move directly to the 128-layer generation, major NAND vendors are set to transition to their 128-layer 3D NAND processes in 2H20. (Digitimes, press)

Samsung has recently begun sampling of its 32Gb capacity DDR4 memory chips. The new products will simplify production of high-capacity memory modules that use multiple DRAM packages. Samsung’s 32Gb A-die DDR4-2666 chips are comprised of two stacked 16 Gb DDR4 dies produced using the company’s 10nm-class process technology. Samsung offers two versions of 32Gb DDR4 packages: one featuring a 2G x8 organization, another featuring a 1G x16 organization. (CN Beta, AnandTech, Samsung)

Battery

Volkswagen has made no secret about its plans for electrification in the near future. With 20 battery-electric models slated to come to market in the next 6 years, Volkswagen will invest nearly 1 billion Euros in a battery cell production facility in the Lower Saxony region of Germany. It will have a partner in this battery cell production facility, which is believed to be a German battery company Varta. (CN Beta, CNET)

Connectivity

Japan first rolled out the 020 prefix for IoT devices in January 2017, while mobile phones typically use 070, 080, and 090 prefixes, all using 11-digit numbers. However, the country’s communications ministry expects that 11-digit numbers could run out by fiscal 2022 as new commercial 5G networks lead to an uptick in demand. As of Mar 2019, only 2 years after 80M 11-digit 020 numbers were allocated, 32.6M have already been taken by Japanese carriers. (VentureBeat, Japan Times, IT Home, My Drivers)

Mitsubishi Electric and a Dutch company called Here have been working on a vehicle-to-cloud-to-vehicle information system that would allow a car to report a road hazard and share it with other vehicles. The system is called Lane Hazard Warning, and unlike a lot of V2V systems, this one just completed its second successful real-world test. (CN Beta, CNET, Smart Highways)

Qualcomm has introduced the world’s first 5G NR mmWave antenna modules and sub-6 GHz RF modules for smartphones and other mobile devices, but Samsung is fast catching up. (Digitimes, Digitimes, press)

Phone

Apple iPhone 6s, now in its 4th year of existence, is the subject of a new marketing campaign in India where its local manufacturing is prominently advertised. It is made by Wistron at a plant that also produces the iPhone SE for the subcontinent. (My Drivers, The Verge, GSM Arena)

According to DIGITIMES Research, in 1Q19, frequent debt and company layoffs have resulted in consumer confidence to slump, causing poor sales of smartphones. A number of vendors have reduced orders to avoid the increase in channel inventory. The overall shipment fell to 71.7M units in 1Q19. Looking forward to 2Q19, as the trade wars worsen between China and US, the consumer confidence is unlikely to rebound. However, the Chinese vendors are releasing new devices to replenish access stocks. Digitimes expects the demand would recover to 84.1M units. (Digitimes, Digitimes)

Motorola One Vision is announced – 6.3” 1080×2520 FHD+ IPS, Samsung Exynos 9609, rear dual 48MP OIS-5MP + front 25MP camera on display, 4+128GB, Android One (9.0), 3500mAh 15W fast charging, EUR299. (Android Authority, GSM Arena)

Sony Xperia Ace is announced – 5” 18:9 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, rear 12MP + front 8MP, 4+64GB, Android 9.0, 2700mAh, IP68, JPY48,600 (USD444). (My Drivers, 91Mobiles, CN Beta, GSM Arena, Sony)

Home

In Jan 2019, Amazon said it had “well over” 30M Fire TV users compared with Roku’s then 27M active users. In roughly 4 months’ time, Fire TV has grown to more than 34M active users. Meanwhile, Roku  grew its account base by 2M in 1Q19, to reach 29.1M active accounts. (TechCrunch, Market Watch, Variety, Android Central)

One-third of U.S. homes (31%) now own a smart speaker – up from 8% only three years ago and a record-setting example of Americans embracing AI-enabled devices – according to Consumer Technology Association (CTA). For a second consecutive year, smart speakers experienced almost 100% growth in household ownership. (Digital Trends, Consumer Technology Association)

Automotive

Usain Bolt has officially launched an e-scooter and micro electric car from the mobility rental company. The scooters being backed by Usain Bolt, Bolt Original, Bolt One and Bolt Chariot, are designed to be recyclable and are fully custom built, designed for endurance, as well as being practical. The Bolt B-Nano is a small two-seater urban car, designed for journeys between 3km and 24km and is narrow enough to fit through a doorway while still carrying a small amount of luggage. (Pocket-Lint, Auto Car, Bloomberg, Auto Car)

Boosted, the maker of the electric skateboard Boosted Board, has unveiled its next mode of transportation: the electric scooter. The Boosted Rev features dual-wheel drive, is able to travel up to 24mph with a range of 22 miles, and climb and descend 25%-grade hills. (CN Beta, Engadget, Electrek, TechCrunch)

Nissan is launching a more advanced driver-assistance feature in Japan that will allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel during certain highway-driving situations. Nissan ProPilot 2.0 will be introduced on the Japanese-market Skyline this fall. It is described as for “on-ramp to off-ramp” highway driving. (CN Beta, CNET, Driving)

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