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05-22: SEMCO has begun mass-producing a 5× optical zoom camera module; Sony mobile will pull out of several markets in order to focus on a smaller client base; etc.

Chipsets

ARM has allegedly instructed employees to halt “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei and its subsidiaries to comply with a recent US trade clampdown. ARM’s designs form the basis of most mobile device processors worldwide. In a company memo, it said its designs contained “US origin technology”. (BBC, Pocket-Lint, China News Center, Android Central)

MediaTek is teasing the new 5G chipset featuring AI capabilities. It is expected to feature improved AI processor APU 2.0 as like on the Helio P90. The upcoming MediaTek 5G chipset is reportedly built on a 7nm process. The Helio M70 baseband chip is supposedly taking place on the MediaTek 5G chipset with sub-6GHz band support for better 5G connectivity. (Gizmo China, GizChina, Weibo)

Camera

Samsung Electro-Mechanics (SEMCO) has begun mass-producing a 5× optical zoom camera module, which is only 5mm thick. Samsung reportedly uses a periscope method to refract light at right angles and horizontally arrange sensors and lenses. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 to be launched in Sept 2019 is rumored to be equipped with this camera module. (Android Authority, ET News, Android Central, Sina)

Memory

The Korean Customs released export data for May 2019. The total export value as of the May 20 is USD25.7B, down 12% year-on-year. Among them, South Korea’s auto exports increases by 12.6%, wireless communications products exports increases by 5.2%, the main drop is in semiconductor exports, down 33%. South Korea’s semiconductor chip exports plummeted in tandem with the decline in ASP of NAND and DRAM. According to the 1Q19 earnings report released by Samsung and SK Hynix, the ASP of memory and flash memory has dropped by about 20% year-on-year, and 2Q19 is believed to continue to drop. (My Drivers, Financial Times, Korea Times, Xinhuanet)

TrendForce states that Intel, Samsung and Micron and other memory manufacturers have already begun investments into next-generation memory solutions such as MRAM, PRAM and RRAM. Due to the cheapening trend of existing memory solutions, it may not be the best time for next-generation memories to make their entrance. Yet restocking momentum built through the gradual recovery in demand and price flexibility may occasion a rebound in server price in 2020, giving next-generation solutions a better chance to penetrate into the market. (TrendForce, TrendForce, press)

Sensory

Purdue University, in collaboration with Nanyang Technology University in Singapore and ETH Zürich, has built sensors inspired by spiders, bats, birds and other animals, whose actual spidey senses are nerve endings linked to special neurons called mechanoreceptors. The idea would be to integrate similar sensors straight into the shell of an autonomous machine, such as an airplane wing or the body of a car. (Engadget, Purdue University, ACS)

The Boston Consulting Group predicts that people around the world will take 1B flights in air taxis in 2030. Bosch is leveraging its expertise in sensor technology to help automakers and tech companies make flying taxis a reality sooner rather than later. Bosch has developed a plug-and-play solution that promises to let flying taxis navigate the skies safely, comfortably, and reliably. (Digital Trends, Bosch)

Connectivity

Huawei’s chief representative to the EU institutions, Abraham Liu, has revealed that Huawei has been operating in Europe for nearly 20 years. We currently have 12,200 employees in Europe, 70% of whom are locally employed. In 2018, Huawei purchased more than EUR5.6B of goods and services in Europe. They have also established research partnerships with 140 top universities and research institutes in Europe. He said that Huawei is ready to cooperate with the EU to implement the 5G launch in Europe. (CN Beta, Yahoo, SCMP, JQK News)

UK mobile carriers EE and Vodafone have allegedly dropped Huawei devices from the launch of their respective 5G networks. Both the carriers were set to include Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, one of the world’s first 5G-capable smartphones, as part of their 5G networks. (The Verge, The Sun, Financial Times

Phone

Sony has announced its planning to cut operational costs of its mobile division by 50% and will pull out of several markets in order to focus on a smaller client base. The focus regions include Japan, Europe, Taiwan and Hong Kong. At their expense, Sony is pulling out of India, Australia, Canada, South America, Mexico, Africa, and the Middle East. (GSM Arena, Sony, Xperia Blog, IT Home)

Honor president Zhao Ming has indicated that in 4Q19 the company will launch its 5G phone. Despite the current situation, the company will continue to push their new products and they have corresponding replacement plan for the affected components and chipsets. He has also announced that the company will launch its offline retail store Honor Life in Chengdu to provide more brand awareness to the consumers. (CN Beta, Sina)

Honor 20 and 20 Pro are announced – 6.26” 1080×2340 FHD+ IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 980, Android 9.0, side-mounted fingerprint scanner: 20 – Rear quad 48MP wide-16MP ultrawide-2MP wide-2MP macro + front 32MP camera on display, 6+128GB, 3750mAh 22.5W fast charging, EUR500. 20 Pro – Rear quad 48MP wide-16MP ultrawide-8MP telephoto-2MP macro + front 32MP camera on display, 8+256GB, 4000mAh 22.5W fast charging, EUR600.(GSM Arena, Android Authority, Liliputing)

Honor 20 Lite is announced – 6.21” 1080×2340 FHD+ IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 710, rear tri 24MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 32MP, 4+128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3400mAh 10W fast charging, EUR299. (Liliputing, Honor)

Lenovo Z6 Youth Edition is announced in China – 6.3” 2340×1080 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, rear tri 16MP-8MP telephoto-5MP wide + front 16MP, 4+64 / 6+64 / 6+128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4050mAh 15W fast charging, CNY1,199 / CNY1,399 / CNY1,699. (GizChina, GSM Arena, Lenovo)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

AmazeVR, a premium, cloud-based platform for high-quality VR content creation and mass distribution, today announced that it has raised an additional USD7M in funding to accelerate the development of proprietary VR content, created and distributed through the Amaze platform and its partners. (TechCrunch, Finsmes, Business Wire, Sohu, Ebrun)

Robotics

The US Department of Homeland Security has allegedly warned of the dangers of Chinese-made drones. DJI says in a statement that safety is at the core of everything they do, and the security of their technology has been independently verified by the U.S. government and leading U.S. businesses. (CN Beta, The Verge, CNN)

Automotive

TuSimple, the self-driving truck startup, has announced that it is awarded a contract to complete 5  round trips, for a 2-week pilot, hauling United States Portal Service (USPS) trailers more than 1,000 miles between the postal service’s Phoenix and Dallas distribution centers. A safety engineer and driver will be on board throughout the pilot. (TechCrunch, Forbes, Fortune, NTDTV, PingWest, Bloomberg)

BNEF expects passenger EV sales to rise from 2M worldwide in 2018 to 28M in 2030 and 56M by 2040. Meanwhile conventional passenger vehicle sales fall to 42M by 2040, from around 85M in 2018. Policy support such as fuel economy regulations and China’s new energy vehicle mandate are expected to drive the EV market in the next 5-7 years before economics takes over the latter half of the 2020s. (My Drivers, Green Car Congress, BNEF, press)

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