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11-03: Google has announced that it will acquire US-based fitness company Fitbit; Samsung’s custom CPU core arm of the company is reportedly shutting down; etc.

Chipsets

Samsung’s custom CPU core arm of the company is reportedly shutting down. The research and development facility which housed around 290 employees will cease to work on future projects, according to a WARN letter filed with the Texas Workforce Commission. The layoffs will be effective as of 31 Dec 2019 and will be considered a permanent decision. (CN Beta, WCCFTech, Statesman)

Qualcomm and ZTE have jointly announced that under the organization of the IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group, the two sides successfully implemented China’s first smartphone-based 5G millimeter wave interoperability test (IoDT). It is reported that this test is based on the global 3GPP 5G New Airspace 15 specification, which is carried out on the 26GHz millimeter-wave band. (GizChina, My Drivers)

MediaTek allegedly plans to release an affordable 5G SoC in 2020, which is built on 7nm FinFET process, integrated with M70 modem, and Cortex-A76 as main cores for high performance. It supports both SA and NSA modes, and will be aimed at phones costing around CNY2,000 (USD280). (GSM Arena, Weibo)

Beijing-based Ingenic’s acquisition of Integrated Silicon Solution Inc (IMSI) is approved by the US CFIUS, and the purchase of USD7.2B is settled. Ingenic is a well-known domestic chip design company, focusing on the MIPS architecture. The total revenue for the first three quarters of 2019 is CNY240M, a year-on-year increase of 50%, and the net profit was CNY64.92M, a year-on-year increase of 212%. (My Drivers, Sohu)

Touch Display

Apple has filed a patent on the subject of foldable displays and their use in electronic devices. It is concerned with how to “present visual content” on any part of the device. It describes an “electronic device with wrap around display”, which contains at least a transparent housing and a flexible screen. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, USPTO)

Camera

Zhongtai International has consolidated 41 main smartphone models by 6 major OEMs in 2019. There are at least dual camera for all phones, 28 of which are equipped with triple cam (about 68%), with wide-angle + ultra wide-angle + telephoto as main configuration; 7 models are equipped with multi-cam (about 17%), basically adding 3D structured light / TOF compared to triple-cam, only 6 with rear dual camera. (Zhongtai report)

According to Zhongtai International, the mainstream packaging technology of camera modules includes CSP, COB, COF and FC. The technical threshold is lower than that of the upstream lens industry. There are more manufacturers with single-camera module mass production capability, and the competition is more intense. (Zhongtai report)

Memory

Western Digital has announced this week that it has started shipments of its first products based on 3D QLC NAND memory. The initial devices to use the highly-dense flash memory are retail products (e.g., memory cards, USB flash drives, etc.) as well as external SSDs. (CN Beta, AnandTech, Western Digital)

According to DRAMeXchange, the average content growth for mobile DRAM consumption reaches 21% in 2019 driven by cost-down trend. In 2020, the content growth could reach 15% especially at the mid-to-low segment. The 8GB adoption rate would become a standard specification at the premium models mainly because of 5G network. (DRAMeXchange report)

Connectivity

Air France has deployed the light-based wireless internet system “light fidelity” (Li-Fi) on a commercial flight for the first time, in collaboration with Oledcomm, which is the Paris-based startup that has been commercializing the technology. (LEDs Magazine, VentureBeat, Moore)

Phone

Collapse OS, a new Z80 processor-based open-source operating system being developed by software developer Virgil Dupras, is an operating system designed for a post-apocalyptic world. The goal of this project is to be as self-contained as possible. With a copy of this project, a capable and creative person should be able to manage to build and install Collapse OS without external resources (i.e. internet) on a machine of her design, built from scavenged parts with low-tech tools. (CN Beta, Collapse OS, Digital Trends)

Nomura believes all 2H20 new iPhones will support 5G, as faster migration to 5G in Android smartphones will make 5G a must-have feature to compete in the high-end smartphone segment, not to mention US telcos have also become more aggressive in 5G deployment. Nomura raises 5G iPhone forecasts to 75M  / 130M units in 2020 / 2021 (from 6M / 110M) and now assume 40%-50% (vs. the prior 20%-30%) of 5G iPhone volume will support mmWave and Sub 6GHz simultaneously. (Nomura report)

vivo Y19 is announced in Thailand – 6.53” 2340×1080 FHD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P65, rear tri 16MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro + front 16MP, 6+128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 18W, THB6,999 (USD232). (GSM Arena, vivo)

PC Tablet

The worldwide tablet market returned to growth in 3Q19 with 37.6M units shipped globally for a year-over-year increase of 1.9%, according to IDC. Apple maintained its lead and grew 21.8% over last year. The introduction of a new iPad late in the quarter helped the company gain share, growing from 26.3% in 3Q18 to 31.4% in 3Q19. (GSM Arena, IDC, press)

Wearables

Google has announced that it will acquire US-based fitness company Fitbit for approximately USD2.1B. The transaction is expected to close in 2020. (Android Authority, Google, CN Beta)

Automotive

Chinese autonomous air mobility company EHang has filed with the SEC the paperwork required to go public in the U.S. on the Nasdaq exchange, with a USD100M initial public offering. (TechCrunch, Forbes, The Verge, JRJ)

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