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12-28: Samsung is planning a decade-long, USD116B push for their semiconductor business; JDI is reportedly discussing the sale of its main smartphone screen factory to Apple and Sharp for JPY70B~80B; etc.

Chipsets

Taiyo Yuden, a Japanese maker of ceramic capacitors, sees increasing demand for its components in 2020 as China pushes ahead with 5G cellular technology. The CEO Shoichi Tosaka has revealed that the company is already getting orders for 5G base stations, and early 2020 they should start seeing 5G-related orders for smartphones. (CN Beta, SCMP)

Samsung is planning a decade-long, USD116B push for their semiconductor business. The company is investing heavily in the next step in miniaturizing semiconductors, a process called extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV). A single EUV machine from ASML Holding NV costs USD172M and Samsung is setting up dozens of them in Hwaseong in an effort to be first with the technology. (CN Beta, Business World, Techspot)

Mentor, a Siemens business, has announced that MediaTek has selected the ReadyStart edition of the Nucleus RTOS platform for the development of its next-generation modem chipsets. MediaTek selects the Nucleus RTOS based on it being one of the most proven, stable, scalable, and highest-quality commercial real-time operating systems in the industry. (Laoyaoba, Mentor)

Touch Display

Japan Display Inc (JPI) is reportedly discussing the sale of its main smartphone screen factory to Apple and Sharp for JPY70B~80B (USD730M-820M). (CN Beta, CNBC)

Hefei ESWIN, the largest COF tape production base in mainland China, has officially started mass production. It has delivered COF tape products to well-known design companies Novatek, Solomon-Systech, and Raydium. The total investment of the project is CNY1.27B, the designed production capacity is 70M pieces per month, and the annual output value at full production is CNY1B. It mainly produces COF tapes, which are used to connect semiconductor display chips and terminal products. It is a key material for COF packaging. Its COF tapes can fully match the technology trends of 4K, 8K and flexible display panels. (Laoyaoba, Xueqiu, DRAMX)

Visionox has announced that Gu’an’s Gen-6 fully flexible AMOLED production line has received government subsidies of CNY110M. This production line is Visionox’s first Gen-6 flexible AMOLED production line in China, enabling KK-level delivery of flexible AMOLED displays. (IT Home, Laoyaoba, Guancha)

Volume production of large OLED panels at LG Display (LGD) newly completed Guangzhou Factory in China is likely to be postponed to after 1Q20. the yield of the multi model glass (MMG) process, which is used for volume production of OLED panels in the Guangzhou plant, still remains well below 90%. LGD’s new fab has a monthly capacity of 60,000 substrates, which will be expanded to 90,000 by 2021. (Laoyaoba, OLED-Info, Business Korea)

BOE has announced that to meet the needs of the AR / VR high-end market and enhance the competitiveness of Kunming BOE Display Technology Co., Ltd. (the company holds a 67% stake), the company has increased its capital by CNY2.04B for the construction of a 12” OLED micro display device production line. (Laoyaoba, Yicai Global)

Royole reportedly considers IPO (initial public offering) in US for a maximum financing of USD1B. In Mar 2018, Royole seeks financing of about USD1B, valuing the company at least USD8B. In previous financing, Royole’s valuation has reached about USD5B. At present, Royole is trying to expand sales, marketing and R&D. (CN Beta, IFRE)

OPPO’s VP and global sales president Wu Qiang has revealed that OPPO has begun developing foldable display for more than 2 years now, but they have not found the core value for users yet. Currently foldable display is still for niche market. (Laoyaoba, Sina, Sohu)

Sony’s new patent showcases the user interface of an upcoming device as well as its screen which sports minimal top bezels. The patent suggests Sony could employ a centered punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera. (Laoyaoba, NDTV, Pocket-Lint, LetsGoDigital, GSM Arena)

vivo has registered a patent with the CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) for a smartphone with 4 punch-hole display cameras. The rear view of the device reveals a setup of triple cameras. (GSM Arena, Tiger Mobiles, CNIPA, CN Beta)

BOE Technology has been shifting its focus to the development OLED panels and is likely to wage a “Game of Chicken” in the race for capacity against Samsung Display in 2020-2021. According to DSCC, BOE is expected to ship 45M OLED handset panels to Apple in 2021, followed by LG Display with 26M units, while Samsung Display will see its shipments decline to 150M units from 230M units in 2019. (Digitimes, press, Business Times)

Huawei reportedly plans to launch its next-generation Mate X foldable smartphone in 2H20, seeking to maintain its leading position in the segment. Hinge specialist Jarllytec has revealed that it plans to install more batch furnaces in 2020 for the production of metal injection molding (MIM) parts for foldable smartphones and other devices. The firm has formed partnerships with two Chinese smartphone brands for design and production of hinges for their foldable models. (Digitimes, press, CN Beta)

Camera

Sony opens Osaka-area design center for CMOS image sensors on 1 Apr 2020. With the opening of the Osaka office, Sony has strengthened its CMOS image sensor design and development capabilities for mobile devices and the IoT market, which are expected to expand in the future, by acquiring talented analog and logic design engineers in Kansai. (Laoyaoba, Sony, Image Sensor World)

Biometrics

Goodix has revealed that up to now there are already 101 smartphone models adopting their in-display fingerprint sensor solution, which has shipped more than 100M units. (Laoyaoba, Goodix)

Connectivity

Kyocera plans to enter Japan’s 5G market and is already developing base stations and terminals. As of 2019, Kyocera’s sales in the information and communications sector accounted for approximately 16% of the company’s total sales. The company plans to use the accumulated experience in smart phone and PHS base station business to develop local 5G base stations and terminals in Japan. (Laoyaoba, IT Media)

The French government has launched a procedure for assigning 5G frequency licenses after it approved specifications proposed by telecoms regulator Arcep as well as the financial conditions for the licenses. The government has confirmed it has fixed the price of a block of 50MHz of spectrum at EUR350M (USD386M), and the price of an additional block of 10MHz at EUR70M. (CN Beta, FR24 News, GTI)

Phone

Lenovo has set a new Weibo account for gaming phones under the Legion brand. This account will likely be used to share news and details regarding the upcoming Legion-branded gaming phone from Lenovo. (Liliputing, MySmartPrice, NDTV, Sina, Zing Gadget)

Smartphone majors realme, Samsung, vivo, and OPPO have reportedly decided to end all online-exclusivity pacts in India starting 2020, promising brick-and-mortar retailers that all their products will be sold online and offline simultaneously. (Laoyaoba, 91Mobiles)

According to Canalys, in 3Q19, Apple iPhone XR is the engine of sales for Apple with about 11M units. Apple iPhone 11 and iPhone 8 are also among the top 10 models in 3Q19. (Laoyaoba, En24, Xueqiu)

Wearables

According to Bernstein’s analyst Toni Sacconaghi, Apple AirPods sales could grow to USD15B in 2020, more than doubling the USD6B in revenue the product generated in 2019. Sacconaghi has also predicted that Apple could sell 85M AirPods in 2020. (Laoyaoba, Fool, 9to5Mac, Business Insider, CNBC)

Automotive

Mitsubishi Motors will stop the production of new diesel engines. It will however continue to upgrade its existing diesel engines for two main models, including the Outlander SUV through 2021. (CN Beta, Asia Nikkei, Yahoo)

Volkswagen has announced a bold aim of 1M electric cars produced by the end of 2023, which is 2 years earlier than the previous target of 2025. By 2025, it aims to have produced 1.5M electric cars. These electric vehicles will be led by the ID.3, a compact EV to be first released in Europe. (Engadget, Volkswagen, CN Beta)

Robotics

Volkswagen’s electric vehicle (EV) charging concept involves an adorable robot that seems to eliminate the issue of a car blocking the charging station in an underground car park if the owner takes long to return to it. Volkswagen Group Components’ mobile charging robot will take over the job of bringing the charger to the car autonomously. (Digital Trends, Input, Volkswagen, Financial Express, Auto Home)

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