5-5 #Display : Xiaomi and Samsung have reportedly partnered up to produce a new custom silicon; TSMC allegedly plans to build up to 6 fabs in the state over the next 3 years; Ford and BMW are leading a USD130M funding round in a solid-state battery start-up, Solid Power; etc.

Xiaomi and Samsung have reportedly partnered up to produce a new custom silicon. The two firms have reportedly held 5 meetings so far regarding the development of a SoC based on ARM Cortex X2 cores. Xiaomi wishes to continue using ARM Mali GPUs over AMD and Samsung’s combined offerings too, apparently because of the limited units that Samsung would offer. (Notebook Check, Gizmo China, Clien.net)

According to IC Insights, fabless IC suppliers registered a strong 24% surge in sales in 2020 as compared to only an 8% increase by the IDMs (integrated device manufacturers). Typically, the sales growth rate registered by the fabless IC suppliers is better than that displayed by the IDMs.  In fact, the first year on record that IDM IC sales growth outpaced fabless IC company sales growth was 2010 when IDM IC sales grew 35% and fabless IC company sales grew 29%. (Laoyaoba, IC Insights)

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has indicated that the company will invest another USD600M in Israel to expand its research and development (R&D) and confirmed it was spending USD10B on a new chip plant. Intel is investing USD400M to turn its Mobileye unit headquartered in Jerusalem into an R&D campus for developing self-driving car technologies. Another USD200M will be invested in building an R&D centre, called IDC12, in the northern port city of Haifa next to its current development centre. (CN Beta, Times of Israel, Reuters)

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has indicated that the company will spend USD3.5B on an upgrade for its factory in New Mexico as part of a plan to expand the company’s domestic manufacturing investments. That spending, combined with USD20B to build 2 new facilities in Arizona, is part of a major effort by the chipmaker to rejuvenate its manufacturing. (VentureBeat, CBS News, CNET)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) allegedly plans to build up to 6 fabs in the state over the next 3 years. TSMC announced in May 2020 it would build a USD12B factory in Arizona. TSMC is setting up a 12” wafer fabrication plant in Phoenix, and the facility is expected to start volume production in 2024. (Phone Arena, Reuters, Tom’s Hardware, CN Beta)

Samsung Electronics is planning to start operation of its P3 semiconductor production line at its Pyeongtaek plant 3 months earlier than planned due to the global chip shortage, according the president of EcoPro HN, a supplier to Samsung. Samsung had requested that EcoPro HN supply its filter products by Dec 2020, instead of the previous deadline of early-2022. (Gizmo China, The Elec)

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple to launch a foldable iPhone with 8” 1800×3200 QHD+ flexible OLED display sometime in 2023. Apple is expected to manufacture 15M-20M foldable iPhone units in 2023. Samsung Display is anticipated to act as Apple’s exclusive display supplier, while Samsung Foundry will handle display driver ICs. Apple is predicted to use TPK’s silver nanowire touch solution. (Apple Insider, TF Securities, CN Beta)

Samsung Electro-Mechanics reportedly will be supplying its rigid flexible printed circuit boards (RFPCB) to Apple for the upcoming iPhone 13 for 120Hz OLED display. RFPCB is used to connect the OLED panel with the main board. South Korean PCB maker Youngpoong Electronics is also expected to supply RFPCB to Apple through Samsung Display. Youngpoong had supplied RFPCB to Apple through LG Display back in 2019. (Apple Insider, The Elec, CNYES, Digitimes, IT Home)

Apple has doubled the amount awarded to Pennsylvania-based optical technology firm II-VI from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, now paying a further USD410M to the optical technology firm that makes iPhone components. (Apple Insider, CN Beta, Apple)

Rockley Photonics is a UK-based company that designs sensors for monitoring a person’s blood using infrared light. The sensors are said to be capable of monitoring elements normally possible using medical or specialized equipment, including monitoring blood glucose and alcohol levels. Rockley is preparing to go public in New York, and has revealed details about its financial relationships. Apple is identified as one of its “few large customers”. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Telegraph)

Ford and BMW are leading a USD130M funding round in a solid-state battery start-up, Solid Power. The automakers hope to use the next-generation batteries in electric vehicles by the end of this decade. Solid-state batteries can be lighter, with greater energy density and provide more range at a lower cost than today’s EVs with lithium-ion batteries. (CN Beta, Reuters, CNBC)

China Unicom and Huawei have completed the first large-scale upgrade of the 5G commercial VoNR voice solution in Shenzhen. This is the first VoNR end-network compatibility and mobile performance based on the existing network environment of over 100 stations connected SA verification. (CN Beta, Huawei Update, Sohu)

The mainland China smartphone market has finally returned to the 1Q19 level, one year after the pandemic first hit. Smartphone shipments clocked up 92.4M units, increasing 27% over 1Q20, when the market shrunk nearly 20% as a result of the national lockdown and production halt. Huawei lost its crown to vivo, which recorded 79% YoY growth, shipping 21.6M units. (Laoyaoba, Canalys)

OPPO A54 5G and A74 5G are launched in Europe, featuring 6.5” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD IPS 90Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, side fingerprint: A54 5G – 4+64GB, Android 11.0, 5000mAh 10W, EUR269.A74 5G – 6+128GB, Android 11.0, 5000mAh 18W, EUR299. (Gizmo China, Yahoo)

realme C11 (2021) is launched in Philippines and Russia – 6.52” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch IPS, Unisoc SC9863A, rear dual 13MP-2MP depth + front 5MP, 2+32GB, Android 11.0 (Go), 5000mAh 10W, PHP4,990 (USD104) / RUB8,490 (USD112). (GSM Arena, Gizmo China)

Amazon Fire 7 / 8 / 10 Kids Pro for kids ages 6-12 are launched – 7” 1024×600 / 8” 1280×800 / 10.1” 1920×1200 display, quad-core processor, rear 2MP + rear 2MP (7” and 8”) / rear 5MP + front 2MP (10.1”),   1 / 3 / 4GB RAM + 16 / 32GB storage, 7 hours battery life (7”) / 12 hours battery life (8” and 10.1”), USD99 (7”) / USD139 (8”) / USD199 (10.1”).  (GSM Arena, CNN, Android Police, NDTV)

Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, and TPG Capital, the private equity platform of global alternative asset firm TPG, have entered into a definitive agreement with Dell Technologies to acquire Boomi, a leading provider of cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS). The cash transaction is valued at USD4B and is expected to close by the end of 2021. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, PR Newswire)

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously indicated that Apple’s new ‌iPad mini‌ would launch in 1H21. Possibly due to supply restraints, the new low-cost ‌iPad‌ now seems to have been delayed to the 2H21. The new ‌iPad mini‌ is expected to feature an 8.4” display with slimmer bezels and continue to feature a Touch ID Home Button and a Lightning port. (TF Securities, CN Beta, Mac Rumors)

The global TWS (True Wireless Stereo Headset) market is expected to grow 33% YoY in 2021, reaching 310M units, according to Counterpoint Research. In 2020, it grew 78% YoY despite the pandemic-triggered economic downturn. The market slightly exceeded the initial annual estimate for 2020 to reach 233M units, mainly driven by the strong performance of low- and mid-price segments. (CN Beta, Counterpoint Research)

Hunter Fan Company has announced new connected ceiling fans that work with Apple HomeKit. The new fans in Hunter’s lineup namely Aerodyne and Stylus, allow users to control the fan’s airflow through a connected device like an iPhone or iPad. In addition to using HomeKit for Siri control, the fans also support Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Hunter Fan)

Indonesian ride-hailing startup Gojek co-CEO Kevin Aluwi plans to make every car and motorcycle on its platform an electric vehicle (EV) by 2030 through partnerships with manufacturers and favourable leasing arrangements. Gojek has  announced the plan under a zero-emission pledge laid out in its first annual sustainability report. (CN Beta, Reuters, CNBC, Yahoo)

An appeals court in California has ruled that Amazon can be held liable for products sold through its marketplace by a third-party seller. Amazon collectively refers to these sellers as its “Amazon Marketplace” even though it is not a separate or distinct part of Amazon’s website. (Gizmo China, IT Home, The Verge, LA Times, Gizmodo)

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