03-03 MWC2018: Some “left-outs” from MWC — Himax has unveiled a new Android smartphone prototype with its latest 3D sensing technology SLiM; etc.


The research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, imec, and Cadence Design Systems have announced that its extensive, long-standing collaboration has resulted in the industry’s first 3nm test chip tapeout. The tapeout project, geared toward advancing 3nm chip design, was completed using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and 193 immersion (193i) lithography-oriented design rules and the Cadence Innovus Implementation System and Genus Synthesis Solution. (Laoyaoba, Cadence, Electronics Weekly, Design-Reuse)

After a year of business stagnation, the British chip architecture company Imagination Technologies hopes to “re-enter” the Chinese market. James Liu, the GM of Imagination China, said the acquisition of Imagination by Canyon Bridge was completed in Nov 2017. For competition with ARM, Liu said ARM has yet to build a strong eco-system in the emerging field of IoT, which puts both companies at the same starting point. (Laoyaoba, Caixin, EE Focus)

Touch Display

According to IHS Markit, the flexible AMOLED panel market expanded by about 250% in 2017 to USD12B from USD3.5B in 2016, while rigid AMOLED panel shipment revenue contracted by 14% during the same period. Samsung Display started supplying its flexible AMOLED displays for Apple iPhone X in 3Q17, which greatly contributed to the overall shipment revenue increase. LG Display (LGD), BOE and Govisionox also started producing flexible AMOLED panels for smartphones and smartwatches in 2017, helping the market growth. (IHS Markit, press, Laoyaoba)


EMS provider Lite-On Technology has announced the sale of its CCM (compact camera module) business unit, including business operation, inventory, production equipment, over 5,000 employees mostly based in China, proprietary assets and clientele, to Hong Kong-based LuxVisions Innovation at USD360M plus a 10% stake in the latter. (TechNews, Asia Nikkei, Digitimes, press)


[MWC2018] Himax has unveiled a new Android smartphone prototype with its latest 3D sensing technology SLiM, which the company announced jointly with Qualcomm in Aug 2017. The company claims it is collaborating with a number of high-profile Android OEMs and is targeting for commercialization in 1H18. (Android Headlines, Digitimes, Benzinga, OfWeek)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded patent US20180063621 to Apple. The filing is for “earbuds configured with one or more biometric sensors. At least one of the biometric sensors is configured to be pressed up against a portion of the tragus for making biometric measurements”. (Ubergizmo, USPTO, Cult of Mac, Laoyaoba)


Having formed the Mobile Authentication Taskforce Sept 2017 to develop a next-generation identity verification system for mobile device users, top U.S. carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon announced that their multi-factor ID confirmation solution will be available to consumers by the end of 2018. (VentureBeat, AT&T, TMO News, Engadget, Tom.com, East Day)


Fudan University has developed a lithium battery that can be used in extremely cold temperatures of -70ºC and can be used in even the most extreme areas of the world or even in outer space. The scientists have used extremely low-temperature conductive ethyl acetate as the electrolyte and two organic compounds as the electrode i.e. PTPAn cathode and PNTCDA anode respectively. (GizChina, CNII, IT Home)

LG Chem has signed a 7-year long term deal with Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian car-making subsidiary of Mahindra Group, to develop and supply NCM, or nickel, cobalt and manganese anode-based lithium ion battery cells for EVs, or electric vehicles. (iTer News, Asia Nikkei, NDTV, Business Today, ITDCW)

Samsung SDI plans to start commercial production of 34Ah (ampere hour) plug-in hybrid vehicle or PHEV battery from Sept 2018 to supply them for BMW to power the German car maker’s PHEVs, or plugin hybrid EVs. Some of the EV batteries from Samsung SDI’s plant in Xian, China will be used for the BMW i3 in 2019. (iTer News, Korea Herald)


[MWC2018] Huawei has partnered with Paris-based wireless carriers Bouygues Telecom to bring experimental 5G to France as early as 2018. Bouygues Telecom is part of the first operators worldwide to experiment 5G 3GPP in field with Huawei. Bordeaux will be the first city for a 5G network trial, from single site to multi-site coverage. (Android Headlines, Network World, RCR Wireless, Huawei)

[MWC2018] Verizon and AT&T will market 5G-capable hotspots, called pucks, in 2018, to tide customers over until 5G-capable smartphones are available. Like a traditional hotspot, these 5G hotspots connect to the mobile network and then broadcast a signal for smartphone to connect to. (Android Authority, Engadget, Bloomberg, Sohu)

[MWC2018] Samsung Electronics’s network business president Kim Young-ky is confident that the tech company will be a main supplier of 5G equipment to local telecom companies amid surging Chinese competition. (Korea Times, Laoyaoba)


360 Mobiles and Smartisan are allegedly in talks of possible merging.  Zhou Hongyi, 360 chairman, and Luo Yonghao, Smartisan CEO have talked about this before the Spring Festival 2018. (CN Beta, GizChina)

[MWC2018] ZTE allegedly plans to ditch the Nubia UI in favor of stock Android for its global devices, citing users quest for faster and regular update for the decision. ZTE will only stick to the use of its custom UI on smartphones meant for China. (GizChina, GSM Arena)

JP Morgan has reduced its production estimates of the Apple iPhone X by 25% from 20M in 1Q18 to 15M. Analyst Narci Chang also lowered estimates by 44% from 18M units to 10M for 2Q18. When it comes to the sale of iPhones overall, 1Q18 forecast was reduced to 52M from 55M while 2Q18 was reduced to 42M from 45M.  (Phone Arena, Seeking Alpha, GSM Arena, iFeng, Sina)

[MWC2018] Oukitel U18 and U19 are showcased: U18 – 5.85” 1512×720 HD+, MediaTek MT6750T, rear dual 16MP-2MP + front 13MP, 4GB+64GB, 4000mAh, USD160. U19 – 5.85” 1512×720 HD+, MediaTek MT6739, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 5MP, 2GB+16GB, 3600mAh. (Gizmo China, Android Headlines, Business Insider, The Verge)

Internet of Things

MIT Center has surveyed more than 1,100 Uber and Lyft ride-hailing drivers. The researchers found that the profit from ride-hail driving to be “very low”. On an hourly basis, the median profit was USD3.37 per hour, with 74% of drivers earning less than the minimum wage in the state where they operate. (TechCrunch, MIT, 163)

Toyota is expanding its pursuit of self-driving cars by starting a new company called Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD). Toyota is starting the company in conjunction with automotive supplier Aisin Seiki and Denso, and together, they plan to invest USD2.8B into TRI-AD in the coming years. (TechCrunch, The Verge, Engadget, Toyota, Daily Economic, iFeng)


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