6-25 #DragonBoatFestival: Epistar and Lextar Electronics are to jointly establish a ‘holding company A’; CATL breaks ground on a new innovation laboratory, 21C Lab; China has launched the last of the satellites that comprise its Beidou Navigation Satellite System; etc.

Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia have announced a partnership aimed at eliminating the complexity while boosting the performance and automated driving capabilities of a new generation of vehicles. The upshot is a software-centric computing architecture based on Nvidia’s Drive AGX Orin computer system-on-a-chip. The underlying architecture will be standard in Mercedes’ next generation of vehicles, starting sometime toward the end of 2024. (TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Nvidia, CNBC)

Ampere Computing has announced plans to expand its Altra family of server processors with the Altra Max chip, which arriving by the end of 2020 with a 128 CPU cores. The Ampere Altra will offer parts from 32 cores up to 80 cores, up to 3.3GHz, with a variety of TDPs up to 250W. TSMC carves the Altra for Ampere with its 7nm FinFET manufacturing process. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, AnandTech)

Vertically-integrated LED maker Lextar Electronics has begun small-volume shipments for micro LED devices to help clients develop products including 10” automotive dashboard displays, VR/AR displays, smartwatches and aeronautic displays, according to company chairman and CEO David Su. (Digitimes)

Taiwan-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip manufacturer Epistar and vertically integrated LED firm Lextar Electronics (a subsidiary of AU Optronics) of Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan are to jointly establish a ‘holding company A’ via share conversion. Acting as III-V semiconductor investment platform, Company A is committed to flourishing existing businesses of Epistar and Lextar and exploring advanced technologies for applications including mini/micro-LED displays, intelligent sensing and III-V microelectronics fields. (UDN, Digitimes, TechNews, LEDInside, LEDInside, Semiconductor Today, Taipei Times)

Xiaomi’s patent describes a smartphone with a camera module that has a rotating design so when the front-facing camera is triggered, the module rotates and a sensor pops out. With the 360º rotation support, the camera can also slide out from the side of the phone. This design patent could be an alternative to the current pop-up camera mechanism as well as an alternative to the under-display camera technology.  (Phone Arena, CNIPA, Gizmo China, Android Headlines, Sina)

Olympus has announced that it has agreed to sell its loss-making camera business dating back 84 years to Japan Industrial Partners Inc. Olympus  would aim to sign a legally binding deal by 30 Sept 2020 and close the transaction by 31 Dec. Japan Industrial Partners is expected to streamline the imaging division, similar to what it did with VAIO. (Gizmo China, Reuters, CN Beta)

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Limited (CATL) breaks ground on a new innovation laboratory, 21C Lab, on 24 Jun 2020 in its headquarters in Ningde, east China’s Fujian Province. An investment of CNY3.3B will be put into the laboratory, which is expected to attract thousands of experts and talents within 5 years. (CN Beta, PR Newswire, The Driven)

China has launched the last of the satellites that comprise its Beidou Navigation Satellite System. Beidou is a rival to the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS), which is widely-used across the world.  (Engadget, CNBC, DW)

Nokia has announced that after a successful trial, its 5G AirScale Cloud RAN solution based on vRAN 2.0 will be “commercially available” in 2020 and with a wider release will take place in 2021. The company said that the new 5G vRAN function will be compatible with the O-RAN interface specification. This means that Nokia will become one of the first companies to launch the Open RAN 5G product line. (GizChina, IT Home, Nokia)

Samsung Electronics has demonstrated its new drone-based antenna configuration measurement solution for 4G and 5G networks. The demonstration involved the use of a smartphone with a remote control application that connected to a camera-equipped drone, which captured photos of the antennas installed on a building’s rooftop. According to Samsung, the drone solution will simplify cell site management, while also improving employee safety and optimizing network performance. (Gizmo China, Samsung, RCR Wireless, Sina)

Apple acquires Fleetsmith, a multi-device deployment and management firm. The latter company specializes in streamlined tools to simultaneously deploy and manage multiple Apple devices, including remote automated OS and app updating. (VentureBeat, FleetSmith)

OnePlus has officially announced that the company is launching a new line of smartphones, which will first go on sale in Europe and India, and then in the United States. They are being developed by a team of “young, creative, and enthusiastic OnePlus employees from around the world who have worked tirelessly over the past few months to bring this product line to life”.  (CN Beta, GizChina, OnePlus)

realme C3i is announced in Vietnam – 6.517” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch IPS LCD, MediaTek Helio G70, rear dual 12MP-2MP depth + front 5MP, 2+32GB, Android 10.0, no fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 10W, VND2.59M (USD111). (GSM Arena, realme)

BLU has launched G90 and G80 in the US: G90 – 6.517” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch IPS, MediaTek Helio A25, rear tri 16MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 13MP, 4+64GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh 10W, USD99 (via Amazon, original price USD150). G80 – – 6.517” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch IPS, MediaTek Helio P23, rear tri 13MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 13MP, 3+64GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh 10W, USD140. (GSM Arena, GizChina)

Mobvoi has officially launched TicWatch C2+ powered by WearOS – 1.3” 360×360 AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, 1GB RAM, 4GB ROM, sports tracking modes, onboard GPS, heart rate sensor, Google Pay via NFC, IP68 rated, 400mAh, USD210.  (GSM Arena, Android Headlines, Mobvoi, Gizmo China)

Gionee has launched 3 new smartwaches in India, namely Watch 4, Watch 5 and Senorita: Gionee Watch 4 – 1.2” 240×240 IPS LCD, Nordic nRF52840, features sensors for heart rate, geomagnetic and gravity, activity tracking and sport modes supports, IP68 water resistance, 350mAh, INR4,599 (USD60). Gionee Watch 5 – 1.3” 240×240 IPS LCD, Nordic nRF52832, supports Activity Tracking and Sport Mode together with Blood Pressure, Blood Oxygen Level Monitoring, 160mAh, INR2,499 (USD33). Gionee Senorita – 1.04” 240×198 IPS TFT, Nordic nRF52832, supports Activity Tracking and sports mode, Menstrual Cycle monitoring, 130mAh, INR3,499 (USD46).  (Gizmo China)

Facebook has announced that it is discontinuing the Oculus Go, the least powerful and least expensive virtual reality headset that the company sold. The company It will now focus on building “the next chapter of VR”. While existing Oculus Go owners can continue using the headset, it will no longer receive new features from here on. (Android Headlines, Oculus, TechCrunch)

Sonos is the latest company to announce layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It plans to eliminate 12% of its global headcount and close its New York retail store and 6 satellite offices. (CN Beta, Engadget, SEC)

Meng Xing, chief operating officer of Didi Chuxing’s autonomous driving subsidiary, said the company plans to operate more than 1M self-driving cars through its platform by 2030 as part of ongoing efforts to build a smart transport system. The “robotaxis” are expected to be deployed in places that lack ride-hailing drivers. (CN Beta, Reuters, CX Tech)

Ford has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, a goal that would bring the automaker in line with targets set by the landmark Paris climate agreement. The company says it will focus on 3 key sources that make up 95% of its carbon dioxide emissions. These are emissions from the vehicles it sells, emissions from its factories, and from its suppliers. The company has set a goal of completely powering all its manufacturing plants with locally-sourced renewable energy by 2035. (The Verge, Ford, report)

Qupital, a trade financing platform, has announced that it will partner with eBay as one of its officially recommended Hong Kong financing service providers. Qupital will provide offshore financing services, including working capital, to eBay sellers in China and Hong Kong through QiaoYiDai, its main product. (TechCrunch, PRNewswire, Zephyr Net)

Facebook’s WhatsApp has launched mobile payments in Brazil after a long testing period in India. However, the country’s Central Bark has ordered a suspension of mobile payments via WhatApp, including reaching out to Visa and MasterCard to request they stop processing payments for the service or face fines. (Android Central, Bloomberg)

Samsung has announced a new partnership between Samsung Pay, the digital banking platform Curve, one of Europe’s leading fintechs, and Mastercard to launch the Samsung Pay Card. The all-new digital payment solution will offer Samsung customers greater flexibility and control when managing their finances by offering a single view of spend, whilst also enabling a simple and secure way to pay. (Neowin, Samsung)

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