4-17 #Unite: SMIC with its 14nm FinFET process manufacturing has reportedly obtained orders from HiSilicon; Qualcomm has announced a partnership with BOE Technology; etc.

Chipsets

Samsung Electronics and programmable chip maker Xilinx have teamed up to make chips that can serve as the key processing technology behind 5G wireless data commercial networks. The companies said Samsung will use Xilinx’s “Versal” computing chips, which will help with a technology called beamforming that lets 5G gear handle more wireless data than previous generations of networks. (VentureBeat, Xilinx, Reuters)

Samsung is reportedly working on at least two new Mongoose custom CPUs. One of which is Mongoose M6, which is believed to be used in 2021 flagship (i.e., Galaxy S21). There is also a mention of Mongoose M7 suggesting the original plan is for 2022 flagship to have a 7th-generation custom CPU. (GizChina, Android Authority, Sam Mobile)

A significant hurdle in the road towards practical quantum computers involves the difficulty of supercooling qubits within the systems. Typically, these qubits have to be cooled down to temperatures below 100mK (near absolute zero). Intel and QuTech has successfully demonstrated the control of ‘hot’ qubits. These hot qubits are more tolerant towards higher temperatures (above 1K) in comparison to traditional qubits, which require temperature levels tantalizingly close to absolute zero. (Neowin, Nature)

The coronavirus pandemic has had an adverse impact on the global IC market, particularly the smartphone segment, but sales of 5G smartphones will be key to the overall demand recovery in 2020, according to Digitimes. The market for 5G smartphones is expected to expand in 2020, with the availability of 5G-capable iPhone set to spur the market demand. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, press)

Infineon Technologies has disclosed it is gearing up support for the manufacturing of ventilator devices, with its power semiconductors controlling the motors of ventilators, including those manufactured by ResMed. Infineon CMO Helmut Gassel has revealed that they contribute to support overcoming this crisis with around 38M power semiconductors for producing medical ventilators. (Digitimes, press, China Times, LTN)

Infineon Technologies has announced the closing of the acquisition of Cypress Semiconductor, which it said will strengthen its focus on structural growth drivers and on a broader range of applications. Cypress adds a differentiated portfolio of microcontrollers, connectivity components, software ecosystems and high-performance memories. (Digitimes, press, 163, Sina)

Nvidia has announced that its USD6.9B acquisition of Mellanox has cleared the final hurdle from Chinese antitrust authorities, paving the way for the graphics card company to take control of the networking giant. Mellanox is known for its commanding presence in Ethernet and InfiniBand products for the data center. (Laoyaoba, Motley Fool, NASDAQ, Tom’s Hardware)

China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) with its 14nm FinFET process manufacturing has obtained orders from HiSilicon, according to Digitimes. HiSilicon plans to release a simplified version of Kirin 710, Kirin 710A, which is expected to use the 14nm FinFET process. (Digitimes, OfWeek, EE World, Digitimes, press)

Touch Display

PixelWorks’ fifth generation solution features such as “MotionEngine” technology with Dual MIPI processing, Always HDR Experience, also known as “HDR Boost”, and “Tone Adaptive Display”. The new OnePlus 8 Pro flagship smartphone incorporates the fifth generation Pixelworks visual processor. The recent launch of TCL’s 10 Pro, 10L and 10 5G are the first phones resulting from extended partnership of TCL and Pixelworks, utilizing a range of Pixelworks’ premium mobile display features. (Android Headlines, PixelWorks, Fudzilla)

Huawei has filed a new patent for extendable smartphone design with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). The new patented model has a pull-out display design. (GizChina, Gizmo China, LetsGoDigital, CN Beta)

E-paper solution providers E Ink Holdings (EIH) has disclosed that its in-house developed timing controller (TCON T1000) designed for e-paper applications has been adopted by China-based e-book reader maker iFlytek. The T1000 timing controller chips, which support MIPI DSI interface, are being used by iFlytek for production of its e-notebook products, delivering a latency of 30ms in writing performance. (Digitimes, press, TechNews)

Biometrics

Qualcomm has announced a partnership with BOE Technology. The tie-up will see the integration of displays featuring Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensors into mobile devices, XR (mixed reality) platforms, and IoT systems. The companies are now working on adding the 3D Sonic sensor to BOE’s flexible OLED displays. (Neowin, Qualcomm, CN Beta, BJ News)

360 Qihoo has announced entering the field of face recognition technology. The company is launching 5 face recognition hardware products, 5 sets of face recognition management software, and 5 smart solutions for smart city. (CN Beta, My Drivers, IT Home)

BioCatch, a developer of biometrics security technology, has raised USD145M in its latest round of funding. The company’s technology tracks user behavior on websites to determine if a customer is real or a fraudster. (TechCrunch, Silicon Angle, Biometric Update)

Connectivity

Samsung Electronics has announced it has achieved the industry’s fastest 5G speeds in a lab demonstration that combined 800MHz of mmWave spectrum with MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology, running on the world leading Samsung 5G mmWave Access Unit. Using two test mobile devices, the demonstration achieved approximately 4.3Gbps speeds on each, reaching an industry peak speed of 8.5Gbps across both devices. (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Samsung)

Truphone, a UK-based startup that provides voice and data services for phones, tablets and IoT hardware by way of eSIM software integrated directly into the devices, has raised another round of funding of GBP30M to continue expanding its business. This latest round of funding values the company at GBP410M. (TechCrunch, Light Reading, TechNode)

Phone

Samsung India has committed INR20 crore (USD26.4M) towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its commitment, Samsung will donate INR15 crore (USD19.7M) to the PM-CARES Fund and INR5 crore (USD658K) to relief funds of state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where it operates manufacturing units. The company has also updated Samsung Pay platform to allow seamless donations for the PM Cares Fund. (CN Beta, Samsung, India TV News, Financial Express)

According to Jiwei, the impact of COVID-19 on the global smartphone industry has far exceeded expectations, and the biggest crisis is yet to come. Domestic tier-1 vendors will also collectively cut orders in Jun 2020. It is originally expected that the market will pick up after the end of the domestic epidemic. Unexpectedly, the overseas epidemic has intensified, which has caused overseas to be very pessimistic, especially in the European and Indian markets. (Laoyaoba)

Honor President Zhao Ming has revealed the newly announced Play 4T and 4T Pro would be the last two 4G smartphones in 2020. He expects by end of 2020, 5G phones would have 60% market share, and 4G would have the remainder 40%. The 4G and 5G phones would co-exist for a while. (Laoyaoba, BJ News, ChinaZ, NBD, Teller Report)

Honor 30 series is announced in China: 30 – 6.53” 1080×2400 FHD+ OLED HiD, HiSilicon Kirin 985 5G, rear quad 40MP-8MP periscope telephoto 5x optical zoom OIS-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 32MP,  6+128 / 8+128 / 8+256GB, Android 10.0 (HMS), under display fingerprint, 4000mAh 40W, CNY2,999 (USD425) / CNY3,199 (USD450) / CNY3,499 (USD495). 30 Pro – 6.57” 1080×2340 FHD+ curved OLED 2xHiD, HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G, rear quad 40MP OIS-8MP periscope telephoto 5x optical zoom OIS-16MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front dual 32MP-8MP ultrawide, 8+128 / 8+256GB, Android 10.0 (HMS), under display fingerprint, 4000mAh 40W, CNY3,999 (USD565) / CNY4,399 (USD620). 30 Pro+ – 6.57” 1080×2340 FHD+ curved OLED 2xHiD, HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G, rear quad 50MP OIS-8MP periscope telephoto 5x optical zoom OIS-16MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front dual 32MP-8MP ultrawide, 8+256 / 12+256GB, Android 10.0 (HMS), under display fingerprint, 4000mAh 40W, 27W wireless charging, CNY4,999 (USD707) / CNY5,499 (USD778). (CN Beta, GSM Arena, GSM Arena, Gizmo China, Huawei Central)

OnePlus 8 series is announced globally, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865: 8 – 6.55” 1080×2400 FHD+ 90Hz Fluid AMOLED HiD, rear tri 48MP-16MP ultrawide-2MP macro + front 16MP, 8+128 / 12+256GB, Android 10.0, under display fingerprint, 4300mAh 30W, USD699 or GBP599 / USD799 or GBP699. 8 Pro – 6.78” 1440×3168 QHD+ 120Hz Fluid AMOLED HiD, rear quad 48MP-8MP telephoto OIS 3x optical zoom-48MP ultrawide-5MP depth + front 16MP, 8+128 / 12+256GB, Android 10.0, under display fingerprint, 4510mAh 30W, 30W wireless charging, USD899 or GBP799 / USD999 or GBP899. (GSM Arena, Android Headlines)

Apple iPhone SE (2020) is unveiled – 4.7” 1334×750 Retina HD display, Apple A13 Bionic, rear 12MP + front 7MP, iOS 13, front Touch ID, Dual SIM (nano+eSIM), 18W fast charging, Qi wireless charging, USD399 (64GB) / USD449 (128GB) / USD549 (256GB). (Apple Insider, GSM Arena, GizChina)

PC Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is unveiled – 10.4” 1200×2000 TFT LCD, Samsung Exynos 9611, rear 8MP + front 5MP, 4+64 / 4+128GB, Android 10.0, no fingerprint scanner, S-Pen stylus, 7040mAh 15W, about EUR380. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Samsung)

Wearables

The Fitbit app now has a dedicated COVID-19 tab with helpful information, resources, and tools for staying fit at home. User can now virtually consult a doctor from within the app. The virtual consultation is only available in the US for now and is supported by PlushCare, an online medical consultation service. (Android Authority, TechRadar)

GoPro has announced a strategic re-alignment to become a more efficient and profitable direct-to-consumer-centric business. Actions include a USD100M reduction to 2020 operating expenses including a workforce reduction of more than 20%, and plans to further reduce non-headcount related operating expenses to USD250M in 2021. (My Drivers, Engadget, GoPro)

Hangzhou based AI startup Rokid is in talks with several companies to sell its T1 glasses in America, according to Rokid’s U.S. Director Liang Guan. Rokid is among a wave of Chinese companies creating technology to address the coronavirus pandemic (TechCrunch, Tech Times, Phone Arena, CN Beta)

Automotive

Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) has proposed an AI technique to improve autonomous vehicles’ traffic movement predictions. It is directly applicable to the driverless technologies that Uber itself is developing, which must be able to detect, track, and anticipate surrounding cars’ trajectories in order to safely navigate public roads. (VentureBeat, ARXIV)

Didi Chuxing and AutoX are reportedly both about to launch their own autonomous ride-hailing pilot projects on the outskirts of Shanghai in late May 2020. (Gizmo China, TechNode, ET Today)

Driverless startup Pony.ai has announced that it is collaborating with Yamibuy, an e-commerce platform based in Los Angeles, to launch an autonomous delivery service for customers in Irvine, California. Pony.ai will use its autonomous fleet of retrofitted Toyota Priuses to deliver packages and groceries from Yamibuy to its customers’ doorsteps. (VentureBeat, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Reuters)

Robotics

Google Brain, Google X, and the University of California at Berkeley describe an extension to existing AI methods that enable an agent — for instance, a robot — to decide which action to take while performing a previous action. The idea is that modeling an agent’s behavior after that of a person or animal will lead to more robust, less failure-prone systems in the future. (VentureBeat, ARVIX)

Sony’s patent application indicates the company is working on a new robot technology that watches user’s gameplay and reacts to user’s emotions. According to the patent, data shows that when a player is being watched it boosts his/her motivation for playing the game. The patent describes the robot as a “joint viewing player”. (CN Beta, USPTO, Respawn First)

Healthcare

GE Healthcare is extending its longtime collaboration with Microsoft to launch a cloud-based COVID-19 patient monitoring software for health systems. (TechCrunch, Financial Post)

Fintech

Previse, a fintech focused on helping suppliers get faster payment, has announced that it has raised USD11M in new funding. Founded in 2016, Previse says it currently processes about 100,000 invoices a day, and its goal is to handle payments for 5M suppliers within the next 5 years. (TechCrunch, Deal Street Asia)

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