08-22: Apple is reportedly “aggressively testing” screens made by BOE Technology; Nokia 5G phone in 2020 would cost roughly half of what exists; etc.


Unsatisfactory yield rates at Samsung’s 7nm EUV process may affect production for the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 7250 mobile SoC, but MediaTek’s development of 5G chips, with support from TSMC, is on schedule with volume production to kick off in 1Q20. (Digitimes, press, Yahoo)

UNISOC, in cooperation with Rohde & Schwarz completed the over-the-air (OTA) testing for millimeter-wave 5G chipset, with a testing result as expected. The testing includes broadband EIRP, beamforming, 5GNR EVM and other factors. (Laoyaoba, CWW, Sina, Twitter)

IC Insights has released the top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1H19.  It includes six suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, and two each in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. Intel replaced Samsung as the number one quarterly semiconductor supplier in 4Q18 after losing the lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17.  While Samsung held the full-year number one ranking in 2017 and 2018, Intel is forecast to easily recapture the number one ranking for the full year of 2019. (IC Insights, press, Laoyaoba)

Xilinx has announced the Virtex UltraScale+ VU19P. This 16nm device with 35B transistors, consisting of 4 chips on an interposer, is the world’s largest field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and contains 9M logic cells. It also features 1.5Tb/s of DDR4 memory bandwidth, up to 4.5Tb/s of transceiver bandwidth and over 2,000 user I/Os. (CN Beta, Xilinx, Tom’s Hardware)

Intel has revealed fine-grained details about its Spring Crest Deep Learning Accelerators. The Nervana Neural Network Processor for Training (NNP-T) comes with 24 processing cores and a new take on data movement that is powered by 32GB of HBM2 memory. The spacious 27B transistors are spread across a 688mm2 die. (VentureBeat, Tom’s Hardware, Intel, Mash Digi, InfoQ)

A Californian-based start-up Cerebras Systems has unveiled what it says is the world’s largest computer chip, Wafer Scale Engine (WSE). It has 1.2T transistors, the basic on-off electronic switches that are the building blocks of silicon chips. WSE has 400,000 cores on 42,225mm2, all linked to each other by high-bandwidth connections. (Laoyaoba, BBC, Extreme Tech, VentureBeat)

Touch Display

AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux have begun shipping 8K TV panels to Sony and Sharp, respectively, albeit in small volumes due to low yield rates at the moment, according to Digitimes. IHS Markit has recently revised downward its forecast of global shipments of 8K TVs to 140K units for 2019 and 630K units for 2020 as 8K TV prices are unlikely to come down quickly due to low production yield rates at panel makers. (Digitimes, press, Yahoo, UDN, Digitimes)

China-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Sanan Optoelectronics is constructing a mini/micro LED R&D base in central China with investment of CNY12B (USD1.7B), according to Digitimes. Sanan plans to set up annual production capacities of 1.61M GaN mini/micro LED chips, 750K GaAs mini/micro LED chips and 84K 4K displays at the base. (Digitimes, press, China Times, Laoyaoba)

Samsung’s new patent “foldable phone with sliding mechanism” with main innovation over other clamshell designs, which is the super-wide hinge, meaning the device can fold at multiple fold locations around the middle of the device, and also inwards and outwards. The patent also mentions that Samsung’s foldable device could come with a slide-motion detection system to adjust the interface based on how the phone is folded. (CN Beta, LetsGoDigital, 91Mobiles, Techeblog, MS Poweruser)

Apple is reportedly “aggressively testing” screens made by BOE Technology, as it considers taking on BOE as an OLED supplier to cut costs and reduce its reliance on Samsung, which is believed to be Apple’s primary supplier of OLED displays. BOE is likely to supply the new iPhones in 2020 if it wins certification. But it might first be asked to offer displays for repair purposes, as well as panels for older models of iPhones. (GizChina, Asia Nikkei, Phone Arena, CN Beta)

Innolux has begun shipping active matrix (AM) mini LED-backlit PID (public information display) products and is also teaming up with brand vendors such as Sharp to promote 8K displays for the ongoing establishment of 8K+5G ecosystems, according to company executive vice president Ding Chin-lung. (Digitimes, press, Sohu, UDN)

TPK Holding has started equipment move-in at its new production line for silver nanowire-based touch solutions that will kick off volume production in 4Q19 before beginning to ramp up output in the first quarter of 2020, according to company CSO Freddie Liu. (Digitimes, press)


LG Innotek has started the production of camera modules that will go into Apple’s new iPhone. LG Innotek also has to compete with other foreign camera module manufacturers. O-film has reportedly become the latest supplier of rear-camera module for Apple. As a result, LG Innotek has to compete with Sharp and O-film. (ET News, Apple Insider, CN Beta)


Himax Technologies has announced that the company is teaming up with GTS to allow its structural light 3D sensing solution to be adopted for factory automation. Jordan Wu, president and CEO of the fabless chipmaker, said the partnership with a leading shoe maker allows his company to extend the structural light 3D sensing solution from facial recognition to factory automation, opening up new growth opportunities for Industry 4.0. (Digitimes, press, LTN, China Times)

Porsche has acquired a minority stake in the Israeli startup TriEye. Porsche detailed the company’s impressive development on a a sensor technology for short-wave infrared (SWIR). The technology allows driver-assistance and self-driving systems to “see” more clearly in poor weather conditions. (CN Beta, Porsche, CNET)


Ting, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the United States, has conducted a survey of over 3,600 U.S.-based smartphone buyers. Only 1% of respondents said that the headphone jack is a top-3 feature to them when picking a new phone. Respondents reckon price, screen, camera, battery, storage space, specs (RAM, processor speed), operating system, headphone jack, as their first, second and third most important factors. (Ting, Android Authority, My Drivers)

According to Zhang Daijun, president of Samsung Electronics China Research Institute, between 5G NSA and SA, Samsung currently still focuses on NSA, and he also indicates that NSA network maturity is higher than SA. Currently globally 45 of commercial 5G networks are based on NSA structure, and there is still no SA network. (My Drivers, Laoyaoba, Huanqiu, CN Beta, JQK News)


Sales of smartphone in the China market increased 22.4% sequentially to 93.4M units in 2Q19 as local brands were keen to roll out new models after inventories in the channels had been partly cleared out in the previous quarter, according to Digitimes Research. On a yearly basis, 2Q19 shipments were still down 1.6% from a year earlier. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

According to SVP and head of mobile business marketing at Samsung India, Ranjivjit Singh, in 2018 Samsung accounted for 52% of the high-end market. This rose to 63% in 1H29, and high-end sales are positive. It is growing at a rate of 9%~10%. They are growing at a strong double-digit rate and expect to grow by more than 20%. The ultimate plan is to use the high-end market to take over the Indian market. (GizChina, My Drivers)

Huawei has no plans to launch a Harmony OS-powered smartphone. The company SVP Vincent Yang has revealed that the company wants to maintain one standard and one ecosystem. He has also added that Harmony would serve as an option B for the company, in case it cannot use Android. (Gizmo China, CNET, Laoyaoba)

Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer for HMD Global, the company is making a “value” flagship 5G smartphone with a launch date set for 2020. It will cost roughly half of what exists, which implies that Nokia’s upcoming 5G phone in the USD500~650 price range. (Gizmo China, Digital Trends, Sina)

LG’s mid-range phones K40S / K50S are announced, powered by MediaTek Helio P22 MT6762: K40S – 6.1” 720×1520 HD+ IPS, rear dual 13MP-5MP ultrawide + front 5MP, 2+32 / 3+32GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3500mAh. K50S – 6.5” 720×1520 HD+ IPS, rear tri 13MP-5MP ultrawide-2MP + front 13MP, 3+32GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh. (CN Beta, LG, GSM Arena)


Pete Lau, the CEO of OnePlus, has revealed that OnePlus is launching its first TV the OnePlus TV in Sept 2019. The primary focus will be on image quality the company will use a QLED screen panel with 4K resolution as well as sound quality. OnePlus is also looking to better integrate smartphones to its TV, with an ongoing rollout of features over time. It will run on Google’s Android TV platform. (Gizmo China, Business Insider, CN Beta)

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