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05-26: IBM intends to commercialize quantum computers within 3-5 years; Lenovo is planning to reveal the world’s first 5G Windows 10 PC and it will be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G platform; etc.

Chipsets

Norishige Morimoto, Director of IBM Research in Tokyo and global vice president at IBM, said that IBM intends to commercialize quantum computers within 3-5 years, when he expects quantum computers to outperform supercomputers in specific domains. (CN Beta, Interesting Engineering, Tom’s Hardware)

iSoft Infrastructure Software has revealed that HiSilicon Hi1620 is going to launch soon. iSoft is established on 20 Oct 2008, which is founded by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) with a registered capital of CNY289M. iSoft supports the Taishan 2180 and 2280 server series based on Huawei HiSili Hi1616, and iSoft implements deep optimization for multi-core, display and virtualization, and container applications for Huawei HiSilicon Hi1616 series processors. (CN Beta, TechWeb, My Drivers, Sina)

Pure-play foundries have seen order visibility for 3Q19 become blurred by the impact of the US trade ban on China’s Huawei, according to Digitimes. TSMC has become aggressive recently to vie for contract-manufacturing orders from Taiwan-based fabless firms, which appears unusual given that the chipmaking industry should be headed for peak season. (Digitimes, press, Yahoo, Digitimes)

CICC consolidates the supply chain of Huawei, with upstream chipset relying more on US suppliers. However, Huawei has taken various measures to ensure supply security. The proportion of downstream has been localized more, but there is still room for replacement in connectors and assembly. In addition to the processor, RF devices and some ASICs are highly dependent. Most of the middle and lower reaches have been localized, and there are still import substitution spaces in some links. (CICC report)

CSLA analyst Sebastian Hou says Huawei’s inventory buildup added 8% to the chip sector’s global revenue growth in 1Q19, or USD35B~40B.Huawei’s inventory pre-build has helped related tech / semi suppliers to report better-than-expected or less-than-feared numbers in 1H19. (Yahoo, WCCFTech, CNBC, EBC, On.cc)

Lenovo is planning to reveal the world’s first 5G Windows 10 PC and it will be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G platform. Snapdragon 8cx 5G is based on X55 5G modem to deliver ultra-fast multi-gigabit 4G LTE connectivity and multi-day battery life. It integrates X24 LTE modem that is said to deliver peak download speeds of up to 2Gbps and improvements by up to 70% in poor network conditions over non-gigabit LTE. (CN Beta, Cyberockk, MS Poweruser)

Touch Display

With the prospects of the financially-battered Japan Display Inc (JDI) to secure new sources of funds in the Japanese market becoming dim after the company reported its fifth consecutive yearly net loss for fiscal 2018 recently, Suwa Investment Holdings, a consortium formed by Taiwan- and China-based companies, is likely to become a major shareholder of JDI through a conditional bailout deal, Digitimes Research believes. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

Sensory

Sony’s patent reveals about the new VR glove which can convey a sense of touch with its sensory systems. The VR gloves with haptic feedback will create another dimension to feel “touch” while playing games. Users can feel the texture of clothes and can feel every object with their hands. (Gizmo China, USPTO, Engadget, CN Beta)

Biometrics

According to Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, Apple iPhone in 2020 will have more significant changes, including 5G support, 3D sensing via the rear camera system, and acoustic fingerprint technology that could allow for full-screen Touch ID. (GizChina, MacRumors, Ubergizmo, Sohu)

Connectivity

Huawei has allegedly temporarily losing its membership in the Wi-Fi Alliance, which could have serious long-term effects on its business. This implies Huawei will no longer have an influence on where Wi-Fi technology is going. (Android Authority, Asia Nikkei, Apple Insider, VOA Chinese)

Phone

Huawei Technologies is seeking about USD1B from a small group of lenders, its first major funding test after getting hit with U.S. curbs that threaten to cut off access to critical suppliers. The company had CNY37B (USD5.3B) of unsecured bank loans as of Dec 2018, of which CNY2.8B were due in one year or less, according to its 2018 annual report. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, BNN Bloomberg)

UBS estimates that Bill of Materials (BOM) for Samsung Galaxy S10+ (128GB) at USD373, S10 (128GB) at USD362, and S10e (128GB) much lower at USD289. The BOM cost is up for S10 mainly due to camera upgrades (to triple camera from single camera for S9) and under-glass fingerprint adoption. UBS sees the cost marginally starting to come down, mainly due to 1) memory prices having coming down meaningfully (DRAM 44%-45% YoY and NAND 58%-59% YoY in 2Q19) and 2) flexible OLED price also continuing to see double digit decline each year on a per-area basis. (UBS report)

vivo Z5x is announced in China – 6.53” 2340×1080 FHD+ IPS hole in display (4.59mm), Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, rear tri 16MP-8MP wide-2MP + front 16MP camera on display, 4+64 / 6+64 / 6+128 / 8+128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 18W fast charging, CNY1,398 / CNY1,498 / CNY1,698 / CNY1,998. (Gizmo China, NDTV, Sina, GSM Arena)

Wearables

Apple has reportedly acquired Tueo Health, a small start-up that was developing a system to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in sleeping children. Tueo Health is developing a mobile app that worked with commercial breathing sensors to help manage asthma symptoms in children. (CN Beta, CNBC)

Artificial Intelligence

The Samsung AI first undergoes extensive “meta-learning” by studying a huge trove of videos. Once it’s familiar with human faces, it can create talking heads of previously unseen people using one or a few shots of that person. For each photo, the AI is able to detect various “landmarks” on the face — things like the eyes, nose, mouth, and various lengths and shapes. (Gizmo China, CNET, Peta Pixel, Cornell University, Sina, Sohu)

Payment

According to GSMA, in 2018, the mobile money industry added another 143M registered customers globally with the total number of accounts reaching 866M — a 20% year-on-year increase. As in 2017, most of this growth came from Asia, where 90M new accounts were opened. East Asia and Pacific experienced the highest year-on-year account growth at 38%, and the region now represents 11% of registered accounts globally. (GSMA report)

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