6-26 #Running : Jio will launch the first 5G network in India; BOE has stated that the Gen-10.5 TFT-LCD production line in Wuhan is ramping up production; Baidu’s AI chip unit Kunlun has been spun off as a standalone company; etc.

Baidu’s AI chip unit Kunlun has been spun off as a standalone company led by the company’s chief chip architect Ouyang Jian as CEO. Kunlun raised fresh funds in a Mar 2021 financing round valuing the business at CNY13B (USD2B). Kunlun’s first chips were mass produced in early 2020, while its second-generation chip will be rolled out in 2H21, with more than 3 times the processing power of its predecessor. (My Drivers, Verdict, Global Times, KrAsia, 36Kr)

According to Strategy Analytics, the baseband market grew 27% YoY to USD7.4B in 1Q21. Qualcomm led the baseband market with a 53% revenue share in 1Q21, followed by MediaTek with 25% and Samsung LSI with 10%. Despite foundry capacity constraints, 5G basebands grew 3-fold and drove the baseband shipment and revenue growth in 1Q21. (Laoyaoba, Strategy Analytics)

Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc have all placed orders for their upcoming 5G mobile application processors with TSMC demanding the foundry’s 6nm process manufacturing, according to Digitimes. Qualcomm, MediaTek and Unisoc reportedly plan to launch new smartphone 5G APs during 2H21 to 1H22. TSMC has started mass production of N6 (ie 6nm process) in 2H20, and its logic density is 18% higher than that of N7. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes)

The penetration rate of AMOLED panels in the smartphone market is expected to reach 39.8% in 2021 and 45% in 2022, according to TrendForce. As AMOLED panels see increased adoption, the consumption of AMOLED DDI will undergo a corresponding increase as well. Given the lack of sufficient production capacity, the increase in AMOLED panel shipment may potentially be constrained in 2022. The vast majority of AMOLED DDI is currently manufactured with the 40nm and 28nm medium-voltage (8V) process technologies. In particular, as 40nm capacity across the foundry industry is in tighter supply compared to 28nm capacity, and TSMC, Samsung, UMC, and GlobalFoundries are the only foundries capable of mass producing AMOLED DDI, an increasing number of new wafer starts for AMOLED DDI are being migrated to the 28nm node instead. (GizChina, TrendForce, TrendForce)

BOE has stated that the Gen-10.5 TFT-LCD production line in Wuhan is ramping up production capacity according to the established plan, and the 2Q21 production volume has reached 120K/month design capacity; the Gen-6 flexible AMOLED production line in Chengdu and the Gen-6 flexible AMOLED production line in Mianyang are in volume. The Chongqing Gen-6 flexible AMOLED production line project is under construction as planned. For Mini LEDs, BOE took the lead in the industry to achieve formal mass production of glass-based active Mini LED products, and mass production and delivery of 75” COG Mini LED backlight products. (Laoyaoba, QQ, Sohu, Digitimes)

Corning has announced to implement a moderate increase to its display glass substrate prices in 3Q21. This is due to the increase in logistics, energy, raw materials and other operating costs caused by continuous glass shortages during this period, as well as the impact of inflationary pressure on the display industry. (Digitimes, Corning, Barron’s, Seeking Alpha)

Xiaomi is rumored to have 3 phones, including Xiaomi MIX 4 and MIX FOLD, which will be equipped with camera under display (CuD), which are expected to be released within 2021. The former adopts CSOT’s CuD solution. The third phone is to be released in 2022. In addition to Xiaomi, ZTE, vivo, and Samsung will also launch their own new phones with CuD in 2H21. (Sina, Sohu, IT Home)

On 20 Oct 2020,Sk Hynix announced that it has signed an acquisition agreement with Intel and will pay USD9B to take over Intel’s flash memory and storage business. SK Hynix will pay USD7B in the first phase to acquire NAND SSD business (including NAND SSD related intellectual property rights and employees) and Dalian factory from Intel. The second phase is expected to take place in Mar 2025. SK Hynix will pay the balance of USD2B to acquire other related assets from Intel, including IPs related to the production and design of NAND flash wafers, R&D personnel of Dalian factory. (My Drivers, YNA)

Cervoz has introduced a RO-MLC flash memory, which has advantages in reliability and cost. The RO-MLC (Reliability-Optimized MLC), which means reliability-optimized MLC flash memory, is essentially MLC flash memory, but they have developed a special firmware that allows it to operate in a way that simulates SLC flash memory, so the capacity will be reduced. Half, but improved reliability and durability. RO-MLC flash memory has a P/E life of up to 20,000 times. Although there is still a lot of distance from SLC’s 60,000 times, it is much better than MLC’s 3,000 times. (CN Beta, ZOL, Sina, QQ, Storage Newsletter)

Chinese battery manufacturer Envision AESC is said to be aiming for a battery factory at Renault’s Douai site in northern France that will offer an annual production capacity of 24GWh by 2027 and 43GWh by 2030 in several expansion stages. The investment volume is said to amount to around EUR2M. The Douai battery factory will complement Renault’s electric car hub known as “Renault ElectriCity” born from pooling three of its plants in northern France, Douai, Ruitz and Maubeuge. The hub aims to turn out 400,000 vehicles a year by 2025. (CN Beta, Reuters, Bloomberg, Electrive)

Panasonic has sold its entire stake in key battery customer Tesla, a holding worth around JPY400B (USD3.6B). With that money, the company funds new strategic investments, such as the USD7.1B purchase of U.S. software company Blue Yonder. Panasonic CEO Yuki Kusumi has also indicated that the company plans to make a “large investment” in production of Tesla’s new 4680 lithium-ion battery cells if a prototype production line works out.  (Engadget, Nikkei, Bloomberg)

Jio will launch the first 5G network in India. A test network was already demonstrated it can deliver data speeds of over 1Gbps after Jio received regulatory approval.  Jio has acquired spectrum in the 800MHz, 1,800MHz and 2,300MHz bands in 22 circles across India. The spectrum is licensed for 20 years at a cost of INR573B (USD7.7B) that will be paid out over the next 18 years. (GSM Arena, YouTube, India Today, Live Mint)

OLED touch sensor company Dongwoo Fine-Chem has revealed Antenna-on-Display (AoD) technology. As Antenna-on-Display is a transparent mmWave antenna that sits under the screen. The antenna also supports the n257, n258, and n260 mmWave bands. The company says the front of the phone was an ideal place to position a mmWave antenna because it had the “lowest possibility” of users covering it with their hands. (Android Authority, PR Newswire, Xueqiu)

Reliance announces JioPhone Next in India in partnership with Google. Google says it is designed to deliver “best-in-class” Android features at an affordable price. It will support Android updates and will have “feature drops”. Reliance has revealed the reason for this phone is that there are still 300M users that are using 2G and they need an “extremely affordable” solution to upgrade the connectivity standard. (GSM Arena, Android Authority, YouTube, Liliputing, Google, CN Beta)

Google is encouraging adoption with the global launch of the Play Media Experience Program to get more apps on Wear OS, Android / Google TV, Auto, and tablets / foldables. In exchange for building apps on all those Google platforms and integrating with specific features/APIs, these media companies see Google’s cut on user purchases drop from 30% to 15%. This is independent of the upcoming change where Google is reducing its commission to 15% on the first USD1M in revenue for all Android developers. (CN Beta, 9to5Google, Google)

LG’s plans to sell Apple iPhones at LG Best Shop locations in South Korea is facing opposition. Samsung claims such a move would violate an agreement signed by the 2 companies in 2018, which states that only LG-made phones can be sold at LG shops and similarly only Samsung phones can be sold at Samsung shops (this agreement is meant to protect small and mid-sized stores from both companies). However, LG is pointing to a clause in the agreement that says that it can be renegotiated in case of major change. (Herald Corp, GSM Arena)

Tecno Phantom X is launched in India – 6.7” 1080×2340 FHD+ 2xHiD Super AMOLED 90Hz, MediaTek Helio G95, rear tri 50MP-13MP telephoto 2x optical zoom-8MP ultrawide + front dual 48MP-8MP ultrawide, 8+256GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 4700mAh 33W, price is yet to be announced.  (GSM Arena, Tecno, Gizmo China)

vivo V21e 5G is announced in India – 6.44” 1080×2400 FHD+ u-notch AMOLED, MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G, rear dual 64MP-8MP ultrawide + front 32MP, 8+128GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 4000mAh 44W, INR24,990 (USD337). (GSM Arena, CN Beta, NDTV)

Alcatel 1 (2021) and 1L Pro are announced: 1 (2021) – 5.0” 480×960 TFT, MediaTek MT6739, rear 5MP + front 2MP, 1+16GB, Android 11.0 (Go), no fingerprint scanner, 2000mAh, EUR59 (USD70). 1L Pro – 6.1” 720×1560 HD+ u-notch IPS, MediaTek Helio G95, rear dual 13MP-2MP depth + front 5MP, 2+32GB, Android 11.0 (Go), rear fingerprint, battery unknown, MXN2,699 (USD133). (GSM Arena, Gizmo China, NDTV)

Microsoft formally announced Windows 11, the first major Windows upgrade since 2015. The big focus for Windows 11 is a simplification of the Windows user interface, a new Windows store, and improvements to performance and multitasking. Windows 11 will also include support for running Android apps. (Android Authority, Windows, Microsoft, The Verge)

TCL MOVETIME Family Watch 2 is launched for kids, of which main goal is to allow parents to always be in touch with kids. It features 1.54” display, supports nano-SIM that enables 4G connectivity. There is a one-touch SOS call button. It is priced at EUR150. (GSM Arena, Gizmo China)

TCL has announced availability for its NXTWEAR G Wearable Display Glasses, which combines dual Sony micro OLED screens with portability, plug-and-play functionality, and a stylish, comfortable design. TCL has also launched its new cross-device Multi-Screen Collaboration feature across select lines. (Digital Trends, CN Beta, The Verge, PR Newswire)

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