2-15: Xiaomi is already building the next generation of completely unmanned automated factories; Panasonic has announced Miraie, an IoT and AI connected living solution in India; etc.

Chipsets

TF Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo has pointed out that the amount of 5G power amplifier (PA) used by each Apple 5G iPhone has been significantly reduced to 1 or 2 units (vs. 6 previously estimated), which should be each of n77 and n79 , or n77 and n79 are integrated into one. The supply chain indicates that Apple’s adjustment of 5G PA is due to the excessive demand for the iPhone 12 to reduce the pressure on component supply, and the other is to control the cost of components. (CN Beta, TF Securities)

Apple 5nm A14 Bionic chip orders are reportedly to be anywhere between 50%-60% higher than its 7nm A13 Bionic order in 2019. This highlights the company’s determination to strengthen is market share in the 5G segment. The next iPad Pro and 5G-enabled iPhone 12 models are widely expected to run Apple’s next-generation A14 Bionic silicon fabbed on TSMC’s 5nm process technology. (Digitimes, Mac Rumors, Phone Arena)

Taiwan-based United Microelectronics (UMC) through subsidiary HeJian Technology (Suzhou) will invest a total of CNY3.5B (USD501.2M) in United Semiconductor’s (Xiamen) 12” fab expansion. United Semi is set to kick off its second stage of capacity expansion, with plans to boost its 12” fab capacity to 250,000 wafers monthly by the middle of 2021 from the current 185,000 units, according to UMC. (Digitimes, press, Caixin)

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has had a negative impact on the world’s economy and supply chain, but a rebound should take place in 2H20 thanks to a general recovery in demand and emerging applications enabled by 5G, according to SEMI. Worldwide semiconductor equipment sales are forecast to grow 5% in 2020 following a decline in 2019, SEMI indicated. The global semiconductor market is expected to generate 7-8% growth in 2020. (Digitimes, press)

Touch Display

Samsung and LG are both working on “Cloud Tops” that are thin and light portable displays designed for smartphones. Samsung’s model is expected to be called a Samsung Dexbook featuring 14.1” display and 10,000mAh battery. LG is reportedly working on 14.1” Web Top with 5000mAh battery. (Liliputing, ET News, Gizmo China)

Taiwan-based hinge makers are resuming production in China after extended Lunar New Year holidays in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak but some clients prefer to have their products made in Taiwan, according to Digitimes. Shin Zu Shing (SZS) and Jarllytec have both reportedly obtained orders transferred from China to their Taiwan plants. (Digitimes, press)

Xiaomi’s new design patent indicates the company may be working on a smartphone with 2 displays. The device includes a regular earpiece, and does not have a selfie camera. (Android Headlines, Tiger Mobiles)

Camera

Apple iPhone SE2 is expected to continue adopting structured-light 3D sensors with VCSEL components contract-fabricated by Win Semi, and the required DOE (diffractive optical element) components will again be processed by TSMC’s affiliated backend firm Xintec. Win Semi reportedly will be the sole fabricator of VCSEL components for ToF (time of flight) AR and depth-of-field (DoF) photography applications. (Digitimes, press, iMore)

Battery

Samsung has announced two new fast-charging power banks—25W Battery Pack and 25W Wireless Battery pack—with USB-C ports and support 25W Super Fast Charging. The latter has support for wireless charging. Both models have a 10,000mAh capacity. (Gizmo China, Android Police, Sam Mobile)

Connectivity

The coronavirus is spreading through global technology supply chains, impacting diverse and interconnected sectors of the electronics industry. With the epidemic arriving at dawn of 5G’s mainstream deployment phase, the coronavirus has the potential to disrupt the progress of the next-generation wireless standard, as the crisis slows or threatens to slow the production of key smartphone components, including displays and semiconductors, according to Omdia. (Digitimes, press, IHS Markit, press)

Apple allegedly balks at the Qualcomm’s QTM 525 millimeter-wave antenna module offered to it because it does not fit into the sleek industrial design Apple wants for the new phone. Apple typically designs on several tracks, and it is concurrently working on another design that uses both the Qualcomm modem and antenna. (Apple Insider, Fast Company, Mac Rumors, CN Beta)

Phone

Apple is likely stick to its plans to unveil its next generation iPhone devices on a product event in Sept 2020 as it did in past years although production of new iPhones in 2020 could be delayed until after Jun 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Digitimes. (9to5Mac, Digitimes, press)

Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun, has revealed that the first phase of Xiaomi’s mobile phone experimental factory in Yizhuang is complete, and “the degree of automation is very high”. He has also stated that Xiaomi is already building the next generation of completely unmanned automated factories. (GizChina, IT Home)

Huawei nova 7i is launched in Malaysia – 6.4” 1080×2310 FHD+ IPS HiD, HiSilicon Kirin 810, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 8+128GB, Android 10.0, side fingerprint scanner, 4200mAh 40W, MYR1,099 (USD265). (GSM Arena, Huawei)

OPPO A31 is launched in Indonesia – 6.5” 720×1600 HD+ IPS , MediaTek Helio P35, rear tri 12MP-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 8MP, 4+128GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4230mAh, IDR2,599,000 (USD190). (GSM Arena, OPPO)

Home

According to Strategy Analytics, the global smart speaker market reached a new high in 2019 with sales of 146.9M units, an increase of 70% on 2018. Amazon remains the leading brand with a share of 26.2%, down from 33.7% 2018. Google retains second place with a 20.3% share, also down from 25.9% the previous year. Chinese vendors Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi all increased their shares, while Apple remained in sixth place with 4.7%. (Strategy Analytics, press, VentureBeat)

In collaboration with Wanglong Intelligent, Huawei Cloud IoT has designed a contactless intelligent elevator solution that restricts contact between people and keys of an elevator. (Gizmo China, Toutiao)

Panasonic has announced Miraie, an IoT and AI connected living solution in India. The firm has also unveiled Miraie-compatible air conditioners, a smart doorbell, plugs and switches. The range of devices will, in future, include a refrigerator, washing machine, television, fans, geysers and more. (Neowin, Panasonic)

Roku has revealed that its retail sales up 33% in 4Q19 and total streaming hours up 60% compared to the same period in 2018. The total number of active Roku accounts reached 36.9M. (Engadget, Roku, Reuters)

Automotive

Yandex claims that its autonomous cars have driven 2M miles to date, double the figure it reported in Oct 2019 and 4 times the number announced in Aug 2019. (VentureBeat, Yandex)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released the first list of Top Safety Picks (Top Safety Picks) and Top Safety Picks Plus + (Best Safety +) Awards in 2020, a total of 64 models, and Top 23 Safety Picks Plus + award-winning models. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Auto Home, IIHS)

Robotics

Israeli robotics startup Intuition Robotics has raised USD36M in a series B round of funding. Founded in 2015, Intuition Robotics is creating what it calls “social companion” robots and related technologies, with an initial focus on reducing loneliness and isolation in elderly people. The company’s first product was a USD1,500 robot called ElliQ. (VentureBeat, TechCrunch, Globes)

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