11-4 #Read: LG may launch a smart phone with a rolling screen concept; Xiaomi could launch a phone with 200W+ charging in 2021; SoftBank and KDDI are planning on investing a total of USD38B for 5G networking in Japan; etc.

GlobalWafers will sustain full capacity utilization for its 12” and 8” wafer production lines at least throughout the end of 2020, with its 6” wafer capacity over 70% utilized, according to the silicon wafer supplier. (Digitimes, press, CNYES)

Intel has acquired Cnvrg.io, an Israeli company that has built and operates a platform for data scientists to build and run machine learning models, which can be used to train and track multiple models and run comparisons on them, build recommendations and more. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, CN Beta)

Qualcomm and MediaTek both are ramping up their orders at wafer foundry houses and IC backend service suppliers as they plan to roll out their respective next-generation 5G chips before year-end 2020, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press)

According to Strategy Analytics, China’s recent announcement of Phase II of its National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund will lead to near self-sufficient production of integrated circuits at the all-important 28nm feature size, probably within 2 years. Stephen Entwistle, VP of Strategic Technologies has indicated that China was expected to have been the largest buyer of semiconductor production equipment in 2020 up until the imposition of semiconductor equipment restrictions by the U.S.  (CN Beta, Strategy Analytics)

According to SEMI, 300mm fab investments in 2020 will grow by 13% year-over-year (YoY) to eclipse the previous record high set in 2018 and log another banner year for the semiconductor industry in 2023. Growth in semiconductor fab investments will continue in 2021 but at a slower rate of 4%, SEMI indicated. Mirroring previous industry cycles, SEMI expects a mild slowdown in 2022 and another slight downturn in 2024 following a USD70B record high in 2023. (SEMI, Digitimes, press)

Zhejiang-based Crysta-Optech has indicated that the company has always been optimistic about the market prospects of the new display industry. It has a comprehensive plan in augmented reality (AR) display solutions, including non-optical waveguide technology and optical waveguide technology, including reflective optical waveguide and diffractive optical waveguide technology. Products are shipped in small batches already. (Laoyaoba)

LG may launch a smart phone with a rolling screen concept. LG has recently registered the new trademark “LG Rollable” with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The registered category of the trademark is Category 9 (covering electronic products such as smartphones). (CN Beta, Android Authority, LetsGoDigital)

OPPO has filed a patent with CNIPA that shows a smartphone featuring a front camera hidden directly behind the display. The device does not have a visible selfie camera, although the screen has fairly wide bezels at the top and bottom. The fingerprint scanner is also not visible – it can be integrated directly into the display area. (Laoyaoba, Aroged, LetsGoDigital, Sina)

As the current mainstream solution for PC DRAM and server DRAM, both of which share the same roots in IC design, DDR4 reached a penetration rate of more than 90% in each of the above two categories in 3Q20, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. As well, JEDEC finalized the definition of next-generation DDR5 memory in September 2019. Significant increases in the penetration rate of DDR5 PC DRAM is not expected to take place until 2022 at the earliest. (TrendForce, TrendForce, CN Beta)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a method that could allow user to open a smartphone app and simply cough to discover right there and then if the user has COVID-19. The researchers have trained the model on samples of coughs, as well as spoken words. When they fed the model new cough recordings, it accurately identified 98.5% of coughs from people who were confirmed to have COVID-19, including 100% of coughs from asymptomatics — who reported they did not have symptoms but had tested positive for the virus. (Digital Trends, MIT)

Apple’s patent titled “shortwave infrared optical imaging through an electronic device display” suggests ways to perform fingerprint recognition using light, while working around display elements. Apple’s optical imaging system is located under the main display stack, which typically consists of an outer protective layer, a touch-sensitive layer, and the display layer itself. (Apple Insider, USPTO, CN Beta)

CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) is studying a new method to harvest energy from human movements. The researchers are studying a swinging metal pole that is designed to mimic the movements of the human arms. The device that is built to harvest energy from this movement utilizes a highly compact generator, which contains under 10 components. This includes a motion capture unit and a power generation unit. The primary aim of this study is to harvest energy created by human motion to power smartwatches and wristbands. (Gizmo China, SCMP, CUHK, Caixin)

Estonian energy storage technology maker Skeleton Technologies has raised EUR41.3M (USD48M). In Sept 2020, Skeleton announced a cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to work on the development of a graphene battery with a charging time of only 15s. The ‘SuperBattery’ is intended primarily as a supplement, not in place of the lithium-ion batteries in electric cars. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Skeleton Tech, Reuters)

Xiaomi could launch a phone with 200W+ charging in 2021. The Mi 10 Ultra’s 120W fast charging solution enables the 4,500mAh battery to be fully charged in just 23 minutes, the upcoming 200W charging solution should be able to cut the charging time even further to less than 15 minutes. (Phone Arena, Weibo, Android Central, Sina)

Apple’s patent titled “Electronic devices having phased antenna arrays for performing proximity detection operations” suggests it may be possible to create a range-finding system specifically using mmWave antennas. Taking advantage of the fact there is multiple antennas strewn across the device in the first place, the system would use a phased antenna array with both horizontally-polarized and vertically-polarized antenna feeds. (Apple Insider, USPTO, Sina)

Xiaomi has entered into a mutually beneficial contract with China’s Tell Labs that will help bolster its Internet of Things (IoT). Fan Dian, general manager of Xiaomi IoT Platform Department and Wei Ran, director of China Institute of Information and Communications Technology’s Tell Terminal Laboratory, respectively signed the cooperation agreement on the joint AIoT laboratory on behalf of the two parties. (Gizmo China, Sina, IT Home)

Japanese network operators, SoftBank and KDDI are planning on investing a total of USD38B for 5G networking in the country over the course of the next 10 years. SoftBank has recently planned on investing JPY2T (roughly USD19B) to build 5G networking in the region. This would have the company build over 350,000 base stations within the next 10 years.  (IT Home, Gizmo China, Nikkei Asia)

Nokia licensee HMD Global planning to resurrect 2 classics. Two announced 4G phones, the Nokia 6300 and Nokia 8000, have been spotted on the website of the Scandinavian telecom company Telia. They are rumored to run KaiOS or Series 30+.  (Phone Arena, Winfuture, GSM Arena)

OnePlus has launched its largest Experience store globally in Hyderabad, India in a first of its kind community-led launch. The 16,000-square-foot store is located at Himayat Nagar and is called OnePlus Nizam Palace. (Android Central, OnePlus, GizChina)

OPPO K7x 5G is announced in China – 6.5” 1080×2400 FHD+ 90Hz IPS LCD HiD, MediaTek Dimensity 720, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 6+128GB, Android 10.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 30W, CNY1,499 (USD225). (GSM Arena, OPPO)

ZTE Blade 20 5G is announced in China – 6.517” 720×1600 HD+ IPS LCD v-notch, MediaTek Dimensity 720, rear tri 16MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 8MP, 6+128GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 4000mAh, CNY1,499 (USD223). (Gizmo China, CN Beta, GSM Arena)

realme Watch S is announced in Pakistan, priced at PKR14,999 (USD95). It features a 1.3” circular touchscreen of 360×360 with photosensitive sensor. It also features a PPG heart rate sensor as well as an SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen level monitoring. Other features include Sleep Monitoring, Call Rejection, Smart Notifications, and Music and Camera Control. (GSM Arena, realme, GizChina)

Special effects artists and technicians are reportedly leaving Hollywood and the whole film industry in order to join technology firms like Apple and Google to work on augmented or virtual reality (AR / VR). While AR, VR or mixed reality (MR) are really waiting on devices like “Apple Glass” before they can become mainstream, they are already proving to be compelling career moves. (Apple Insider, WSJ)

Nokia is launching a series of affordable Android TV sets through its brand licensee Streamview, most of which offer 4K and HDR. The core of the line ranges from the 43” 4300A through to the 75” 7500A. It is also introducing an Android TV set-top box, namely Streaming Box 8000. It is an Android 10 media hub with 4K playback and a Google Assistant-ready remote with shortcuts for common services like Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Netflix, and YouTube. (Android Authority, Nokiamob, Nokia Poweruser)

Toyota has announced that its hydrogen fuel-cell stunner Mirai to arrive in 2021. The new Mirai boasts a larger hydrogen fuel cell, so drivers can expect a longer estimated driving range compared to the current car. Toyota thinks it’ll add 30% more range, so we could be looking at 400 miles to a tank of hydrogen. (CN Beta, CNET)

The Shanghai stock exchange announced postponing Ant Group’s initial public offering (IPO),  after Chinese regulators weighed a slew of new fintech rules and summoned Jack Ma and other top executives to a closed-door meeting. The rare talk between China’s top financial regulators and Ant, which revealed “major changes in the fintech regulatory environment,” may disqualify the firm from listing on 5 Nov 2020. (TechCrunch, Ant Group, My Drivers, CN Beta, BBC, DW)

ZenGo, a mobile app to manage cryptocurrencies, is about to launch a Visa debit card in the U.S. ZenGo is a non-custodial wallet, which means that users are in control of their crypto assets. ZenGo is joining Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program with the intention to release its payment card in early 2021. (TechCrunch, Coindesk, Sina)

Microsoft has agreed to join a USD100M investment in Indonesian online marketplace PT Bukalapak.com. Bukalapak will adopt Microsoft’s Azure as its preferred cloud platform to support its more than 12M merchants and 100M customers. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, Microsoft)

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