5-6 #RightPath: Intel is in advanced talks to acquire Israeli public transit app developer Moovit; Silver Lake will invest INR5,655.75 crore into Jio Platforms for 1.15% stake; etc.

Chipsets

Intel is in advanced talks to acquire Israeli public transit app developer Moovit for USD1B. Moovit’s free mobile navigation app provides transit information to more than 750M users in 100 countries. Moovit expects to surpass 1B users by 2021 and to expand significantly the number of cities that use Moovit’s data analytics to improve urban mobility. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Reuters, Globes)

China’s second-phase national IC industry investment fund (Big Fund) has committed CNY4.5B (USD637.16M) to UNISOC Communications to support the Tsinghua Unigroup’s chipmaking arm in its development of advanced chips solutions for 5G handset, IoT and IIoT applications. (Digitimes, press, East Money, UDN)

Taiwan-based 6” foundries including Mosel Vitelic and Episil Technologies have enjoyed growing demand for power devices such as MOSFET chips for use in notebooks and servers, and will see their fabs run at full utilization until the end of 2Q20. Mosel and Episil have both landed an influx of short lead-time orders for notebooks since the end of Mar 2020. (Digitimes, press)

SMIC has announced that it will apply for listing on the domestic science and technology board, issuing 1.686B shares, and raise about CNY23.4B funds, mainly used for 12” wafer fabs and advanced process research and development. SMIC is the largest and most advanced semiconductor wafer fab in China, and officially mass-produced the 14nm process at the end of 2019. (My Drivers, Sina, EEPW)

In 2019, Samsung and AMD announced a partnership on mobile GPU for Samsung’s future mobile processors. Now, a new report says the 5nm Exynos 1000 will feature the new GPU which is based on AMD’s technology. (My Drivers, Gizmo China, IT Home, Tom’s Hardware)

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased 2.7% sequentially in 1Q20, despite headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic, according to SEMI. Silicon wafer area shipments came to 2.92Bin2 in 1Q20, up from 2.844Bin2 in the prior quarter, but down 4.3% from the same period in 2019. (Digitimes, SEMI, Epoch Times, Sohu)

According to Digitimes, shipments of smartphone-use application processors (AP) in the China market are expected to experience a steep drop of 37.8% on year in 2Q20. Smartphone AP shipments came to 135M units in China in 1Q20, decreasing over 30% from a quarter earlier and 12.2% from a year earlier, as Chinese handset brands, particularly Huawei, were adjusting downward their shipments due to the outbreak and weak consumer demand for 5G models lacking killer applications. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

Global fab equipment spending for power and compound devices is expected to rebound in 2H20 to meet resurgent end-product demand and jump 59% to a segment record USD6.9B in 2021, according to SEMI. The 2020 rally will help blunt a drop in annual spending, now projected at 8%, as fabs ride the COVID-19 recovery wave. (Semiconductor Digest, Digitimes, press, Apple Daily)

Touch Display

Japan Display Inc (JDI) beat out rivals such as LG Display (LGD) to serve as the sole supplier of the initial batch of LCD panels for Apple’s latest version of its iPhone SE. In 2020, LGD is expected to account for up to 15% of the iPhone’s OLED panel supply, up from 10% in 2019. Based on Apple’s projections for shipping up to 90M OLED-fitted iPhones in 2H20, LGD would be supplying around 30M LCD and OLED panels to Apple. That would be around 30% smaller than the volume in 2019. (Laoyaoba, The Elec, Sohu)

Taiwan-based panel maker Innolux has teamed up with e-paper solution provider E Ink Holdings (EIH) to develop large-size colored e-paper display products for IoT and smart city applications. The 28” full color e-paper display devices will be mainly for in-vehicle advertisement and retail signage on public transport such as trains. (Digitimes, press, UDN, FPDisplay)

Camera

Xiaomi’s design patent details a phone with a flat screen and thin edges, as well as a under-screen camera placed on the top left or the middle. When the selfie snapper is in use, the screen area becomes transparent, showing the lens underneath.  (CN Beta, LetsGoDigital, Android Authority, Gizmo China)

Sensory

Sony has shown a prototype VR controller that would enable finger tracking. Sensors in the controller are able to tell when a user is gripping the device with all their fingers and when they lift individual fingers away. The movement is imitated in a virtual representation of the hand, allowing for deeper hand presence in VR. (CN Beta, ACM, Upload VR, Game Rant)

Sony’s patent “Integration of tracked facial features for VR users in virtual reality environments” describes the use of one or more cameras on the underside or nose gap of the headset to capture the user’s mouth and facial expression in real time. (CN Beta, Upload VR, TechGenYZ, USPTO)

Apple’s patent “Items with wire actuators” suggests the use of actuators within clothing to provide some level of haptic feedback to the user. Apple’s second patent “Wearable interactive user interface” centers around how to use gloves or similar elements to monitor inputs from a person’s hands.  (Apple Insider, USPTO, USPTO)

Battery

The NFC Forum, the global standards and advocacy association for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, has announced that its Board of Directors approved and adopted the Wireless Charging Specification (WLC) that makes it possible to wirelessly charge small, battery-powered consumer and IoT devices with a smartphone or other NFC charging device at a power transfer rate of up to one watt.  (My Drivers, Business Wire, CN Beta)

Connectivity

Reliance Industries has announced that American private equity firm Silver Lake will invest INR5,655.75 crore into Jio Platforms for 1.15% stake. This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of INR4.90 lakh crore and an enterprise value of INR5.15 lakh crore. (TechCrunch, Money Control, WSJ)

As of 1 Jan 2020, there are 21,571 5G standard patents declared worldwide, of which Huawei has 3,147 to rank first, according to a report by German patent data company IPlytics. That is followed by Samsung (2,795), ZTE (2,561), LG Electronics (2,300), Nokia (2149), and Ericsson (1,494). (CN Beta, Samsung, Tech Post)

The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) has announced that its Digital Key Release 2.0 specification is finalized and now available to CCC members. Digital Key is a standardized ecosystem that enables mobile devices to store, authenticate, and share Digital Keys for vehicles in a secure, privacy-preserving way that works everywhere. (Mac Rumors, Business Wire, White Paper, ePrice)

Ericsson has reportedly initiated a process to sell US call routing subsidiary Iconectiv for USD1.5B~2B, in what would be the latest move in the Swedish vendor’s ongoing revival strategy. In Jan 2012 Ericsson acquired OSS and BSS vendor Telcordia for USD1B. Iconectiv provides solutions for network and operations management, numbering, registry and fraud prevention. (Laoyaoba, Bloomberg, Telecoms, Mobile World Live)

Phone

Sales of smartphones in the China market slumped by 51.9% sequentially and 38.9% on year to their lowest quarterly levels of recent years in 1Q20 due to the impacts of coronavirus pandemic and seasonality, Digitimes Research has found. Digitimes Research expects demand for handsets in the China market to gradually recover beginning from 2Q20 as production resumption at related supply chains there continues with the epidemic under control. (Digitimes, Digitimes, press)

Samsung has invested a record KRW5.36T (roughly USD4.38B) in research and development (R&D) activities during 1Q20. This is an all-time quarterly high for the South Korean company, surpassing the previous R&D investment record of KRW5.32T set in 4Q18. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, YNA)

OPPO has filed a patent for a smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. the patent design suggests the keys to be rather capacitive than tactile. (CN Beta, Live Mint, Gizmo China, LetsGoDigital)

Huawei is relaunching yet another “New Edition” of its 2019 smartphone, namely P30 Pro NEW EDITION, which comes with Google Mobile Services (GMS). (Android Headlines, Huawei Central)

In 1Q20, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, smartphone production and market demand in the global market including Mainland China have been affected to varying degrees. Industry chain news have pointed out that OnePlus, which has been cooperating with OPPO in the production of mobile phones, has begun to cooperate with ODM to produce phones. Earlier reports have shown that Wingtech’s phone shipments in 2019 are approximately 115M units, and after obtaining orders from Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO, Wingtech is ranked first among ODMs. Huaqin predicts that 2H20 Huaqin’s 5G phone price for customers will be less than USD200, and by the mid-2021, the price of 5G mobile phones for customers will drop to USD150. (Digitimes, Laoyaoba)

Lu Weibing, Vice President of Xiaomi and President of Xiaomi China has has announced that the company’s Redmi Note 8 series smartphones have generated record-breaking sales, surpassing the 30M mark. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, Gizmo China)

Huawei has unveiled 2 entry-level phones in Romania: Y6p – 6.3” 720×1600 HD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P22 MT6762R, rear tri 13MP-5MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 8MP, 3+64GB, Android 10.0 (HMS), rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 10W, RON799 (EUR165). Y5p – 5.45” 720×1440 HD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P22 MT6762R, rear single 8MP + front 5MP, 2+32GB, Android 10.0 (HMS), no fingerprint scanner, 3020mAh 10W, RON599 (EUR125). (CN Beta, GSM Arena, EVO Mag, EVO Mag, CN Beta)

Huawei Y8s is announced in Jordan – 6.5” 2340×1080 FHD+ IPS notch, HiSilicon Kirin 710, rear dual 48MP-2MP depth + front dual 8MP-2MP depth, 4+64 / 4+128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh 10W, price is unknown yet. (GSM Arena, Huawei)

Transsion has unveiled 2 new Tecno phones in Ghana: Spark 5 – 6.6” 720×1600 HD+ IPS HiD, MediaTek Helio A22 MT6761, rear quad 13MP-2MP macro-2MP depth-QVGA + front 8MP, 2+32GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh, GHS720 (USD125). Spark 5 Air – 7” 720×1640 HD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio A22 MT6761, rear dual 13MP-QVGA + front 8MP, 2+32GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh, price unknown yet.  (Gadgets360, GSM Arena, GSM Arena, Gizmo China, Tecno, Tecno)

PC Tablet

Microsoft will invest USD1B in Poland as part of a plan that will involve opening a data center in the country to provide cloud services to businesses and government institutions. Microsoft has revealed it has signed an agreement with domestic cloud provider Chmura Krajowa (National Cloud) to provide cloud services in Poland, as the central European country seeks to position itself as a regional center for technology. (CN Beta, Microsoft, Reuters)

Automotive

Uber is requiring face masks or similar coverings for both drivers and passengers in countries like the US, and is developing technology to detect whether or not drivers are abiding by those rules. (Engadget, CNN)。

Artificial Intelligence

Facebook AI has built and open-sourced Blender, the largest-ever open-domain chatbot. Facebook claims that it outperforms others in terms of engagement and also feels more human, according to human evaluators. (CN Beta, Facebook)

Robotics

Xenes Disinfection Services, which is based in Texas (US), has recently announced the successful tests of the LightStrike robot against COVID-19. The robot is capable of destroying the Coronavirus in just under 2 minutes and might soon be adopted in public spheres as an effective method of removing the virus from populated regions. (Android Headlines, Asia Nikkei, Gizmo China, Xenex, Tantan News)

Payment

Tencent Holdings has bought a 5% stake in Afterpay, the Australian buy-now-pay-later firm. Buy-now-pay-later service providers have gained popularity, mainly with millennials, as they allow payment for goods through interest-free installments, helping customers sidestep stringent rules associated with getting a credit card or loan. (CN Beta, Financial Review, Reuters)

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