02-15: TSMC will soon kick off commercial production for Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor; vivo is allegedly testing 44W fast charging technology; etc.


Robust demand for more content for mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), automotive and industrial applications will drive production of 700,000 200mm wafers from 2019 to 2022, a 14% increase, according to SEMI. The increase brings total 200mm wafer fab capacity to 6.5M wafers per month as many devices have found their sweet spot with 200mm wafer fabrication. A total of 16 new facilities or lines, 14 of them volume fabs, are expected to begin operation between 2019 and 2022. (EE News, Digitimes, press, SEMI)

Pure-play foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will soon kick off commercial production for Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor designed for high-end smartphones, according to Digitimes. TSMC expects 2019 to be “a slow year” for the foundry segment and also the overall semiconductor market. (Digitimes, press)

Touch Display

According to UBI Research, the OLED market is expected to reach USD32.2B in 2019 and 13.8% market growth. AMOLED revenue in 4Q18 was USD7.9B, down 3.7% from USD8.2B in 3Q18 and down 10.4% from USD8.8B in 4Q17. The quarterly OLED market was highly volatile due to sales fluctuations at Samsung Display. Revenue in 2018 was USD28.3B, up 7.1% from USD26.4B in 2017.  (Android Authority, Display Daily, UBI Research)

Sakai SIO International Guangzhou, an affiliate of the Foxconn Group, is scheduled to have its 10.5G LCD plant kick off volume production in Oct 2019. The company said that after becoming operational, its 10.5G LCD plant will become the world’s most advanced 8K LCD panel line, offering the best cutting efficiency for 65” and 75” TV panels. (Digitimes, press, Southcn, Takungpao, OfWeek)

Falling LCD panel prices and shipment volumes may cause AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux to suffer significant operating losses in 1Q19, traditionally a low season with fewer work days, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press)


China will generate more data than the United States by 2025 as it pushes into new technologies such as the Internet of Things, according to a study from IDC and data storage firm Seagate. In 2018, China generated about 7.6ZB (zettabytes) of data and that number will grow to 48.6ZB in 2025. Meanwhile, the U.S. generated about 6.9ZB of data in 2018. That number is predicted to be about 30.6ZB in 2025. (CN Beta, CNBC, WTOP, Seagate, report, report)

Unit prices for 1TB SSDs for gaming devices have fallen more than 50% since 2018, which is expected to help upgrade the mainstream storage specs of gaming SSDs to the range of 512GB-1TB, according to Digitimes. Despite growing adoption of NAND flash chips in SSDs, the prices will see a sequential drop of over 15% in 1Q19 thanks to weakening total bit demand for PC-use SSDs and SSD price falls. Minimum prices for mainstream 8GB and 4GB memory modules have fallen under the level of USD60 and USD30, respectively, and may decline further by the end of 1Q19. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, press)


vivo is allegedly testing 44W fast charging technology, dubbed FlashCharge. In 2018, OPPO launched 50W super flash charging, Huawei has 40W, OnePlus has 30W, and vivo’s dual engine flash charging is only 22.5W. (CN Beta, Huanqiu)


The C-Band Alliance — a collective made up of 4 satellite companies — is trying to sell some of its wireless spectrum, which could be used for 5G connections. However, the C-Band Alliance is looking to make the sale private, something other organizations, including Google, do not want to happen. (Android Authority, The Information, Fierce Wireless)

Telia Norway has opened its first 5G test network in Norway, marking the beginning of next generation’s mobile networks in the country. First up to try it out is the Odeon movie theatre in Oslo, which is now the world’s first 5G cinema. (VentureBeat, Telia Company, IT Home, Sina, Sohu)

Flexium Interconnect is gearing up for the commercialization of 5G with related products and technologies, such as antenna module solutions. Antenna modules and other solutions for 5G applications will remain the focus of Flexium’s investment in the future. (Digitimes, press, UDN, China Times)


Apple has acquired startup DataTiger in a move that could boost the company’s digital marketing and make it more relevant to customers. The U.K.-based startup says its technology can “optimize the marketing journeys” of customers by using data to more accurately send materials to consumers as well as push notifications. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, IT Home, CN Beta)

In 2018 U.S. Top 10 Most Intimate Brands, we saw the growing dominance of media & entertainment, and that trend continues in 2019. After 3 years of leading our study, Apple has been dethroned by Disney, and the top 10 has become increasingly saturated with media & entertainment brands (4 out of 10, up from 3 last year). Automotive has also increased its presence at the top of the rankings. Although it has slid from its #2 spot in 2018, Amazon maintains a strong position in the rankings. (Apple Insider, Brand Intimacy 2019, report)

Google has stated that due to more strenuous human review processes as well as autonomous ones, the company rejected 55% more Android app submissions in 2018 than in 2017. Furthermore, app suspensions also grew by more than 66%. It also discussed how its Play Protect service scrutinizes 50B apps every day to ensure that they are not doing anything malicious. (Neowin, Google, Sina)

Goldman Sachs estimates Google paid Apple nearly USD9.5B in traffic acquisition costs (TAC) during calendar year 2018. The fees will continue to make up a large portion of Apple’s services revenue into 2019, the firm said, but will grow at slower rates. Apple could need to make up the difference with a ‘Prime’ bundle. (Apple Insider, CNBC, TechWeb)

The European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission reached a political deal on the first-ever rules aimed at creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for businesses and traders when using online platforms. The new Regulation will create a more predictable and transparent trading environment online, and will offer new possibilities for resolving disputes and complaints. (My Drivers, Sina, Caijing, TechCrunch, Europa, Press Release)

PCs / Tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is announced – 10.5” 2560×1600 Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 4+64GB / 6+128GB, Android 9.0, 4 speakers, sound by AKG, 7040mAh, USD399 / USD479. (Engadget, Android Central, Samsung)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Walmart’s virtual-commerce startup Spatial& has collaborated with DreamWorks Animation to create a virtual reality (VR) experience tied to the upcoming animated film “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”. And it will include merchandise based on the movie available to buy.  (VentureBeat, Market Watch, Walmart, VR Tuoluo)


Didi Chuxing will lay off 15% of its staff or about 2,000 people in 2019. Didi CEO Cheng Wei said at a meeting with management that the firm would focus on core mobility services and cut business units considered not critical to its main ride-hailing business in 2019. (CN Beta, Reuters, CNBC, Money Control)


JP Morgan Chase has created the “JPM Coin”, a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. JP Morgan Chase imagines cryptocurrency transactions could replace wire transfers that generally take several days to complete. It sees a future where giant companies like Facebook could move money around quickly for employee payroll just by shifting around JPM Coin.  (CN Beta, The Verge, CNBC)

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