2-28 #Staring : Wingtech has disclosed that its Nexperia 12” wafer fab in Lingang, Shanghai has broken ground in Jan 2021; Google is reportedly planning a foldable Pixel phone; Solas OLED has announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung; etc.

The semiconductor industry is notoriously slow when it comes to reacting to sudden increases in demand. Some analysts believe that demand for chips now exceeds supply by about 30%, and it will take 3-4 quarters for the supply to catch up with the demand. Essentially, this means that chip shortages will persist well into 2022. (CN Beta, Tom’s Hardware, Market Watch)

Hyundai Motor has reportedly so far avoided a chip shortage that has plagued global automakers, largely maintaining its stockpile of chips last year and even accelerating purchases towards the end. The shortage has forced production cuts worldwide, including at Volkswagen and General Motors, prompting Germany and the United States to ramp up efforts to resolve the shortage. (Laoyaoba, Reuters, The Guardian)

According to IC Insights, as of Dec 2020, only TSMC—the world’s largest foundry—was listed among the wafer capacity leaders in each of the 3 wafer size categories.  It had the most 200mm wafer capacity last year and ranked second, trailing only Samsung, in 300mm wafer capacity. (Laoyaoba, IC Insights)

Wingtech has disclosed that its Nexperia 12” wafer fab in Lingang, Shanghai has broken ground in Jan 2021 and will be put into production in Jul 2022, with a production capacity of 400,000 wafers per year. On 19 Aug 2020, China’s first 12” automotive-grade power semiconductor automated wafer manufacturing center project is officially signed and settled in Shanghai Lingang. The project is invested and constructed by Wingtech and is its first step for its semiconductor business to achieve its strategic goal of USD10B. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, IC Smart)

Google is reportedly planning a foldable Pixel phone, codenamed “passport”. It would arrive late 2021 or early 2022. (Gizmo China, Mashable, TechRadar)

LG Display (LGD) has patented a smart TV with an unusual design: it is a device with a retractable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. The idea is to use a stand base that will hide a flat OLED screen inside. In this case, the base itself will receive a wide cutout, allowing see part of the display in a retracted state. (CN Beta, Aroged)

Honor is allegedly planning to release new mid-range and entry-level smartphones very soon, launching in May / Jun 2021. The Honor Magic foldable phone with high refresh rate will launch soon. Honor has lifted the chip limit and has obtained supply of a series of new platforms including MediaTek Dimensity 1100, Dimensity 1200 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platforms. (GizChina, Sina)

Solas OLED, an Irish company that specializes in patented OLED technologies that it licenses to consumer electronics manufacturers, has announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics with the Düsseldorf District Court in Germany. The Solas patent portfolio covers all critical areas of OLED structures, display design and architecture, and driver circuitry. (Laoyaoba, DisplayDaily)

Since 3Q20, memory suppliers’ production capacities allocated to server DRAM have dropped to about 30% of the total DRAM production capacity, according to TrendForce. TrendForce is therefore revising up the QoQ increase in server DRAM contract prices for 2Q21 from the original forecast of 8-13% to the adjusted forecast of 10-15%, with certain transactions potentially involving as much as a 20% price hike. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, TrendForce)

Facebook’s chief of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth has revealed that the company is currently evaluating if a legal framework exists that would allow it to integrate facial recognition tech into the devices. He has underlined the fact that Facebook had been “open” about its efforts to develop AR glasses, which he has said are “still in the early stages”. (MacRumors, BuzzFeed News)

UBS’ base case suggests biometric payment cards total addressable market value of (1) >USD5B incremental revenues for banks globally per annual by 2026 “only” 15% biometric penetration in 2026. This excludes any savings from frauds; (2) USD2.3B market for card manufacturers; (3) >USD500M for fingerprint sensors. (UBS report)

In the past UBS estimated it to be USD10-15, which was too high for mass volumes (vs premium card around USD2-4 and standard less than USD2). In 2020, the architecture of the card changed with a simplification leading to a total cost below USD6 in their estimates (vs premium today USD2-4). (UBS report)

Apple’s patent titled “Method and Device for Tailoring a Synthesized Reality Experience to a Physical Setting” lays out a method that could obtain local environment data, including the spatial information of a “volumetric region around a user. It would then create a mesh map of that data, likely through LiDAR technology. From there, Apple’s system could use the mesh map to composite or tailor a synthesized reality experience. The patent also includes uses tailored for AR or MR experiences. (Apple Insider, USPTO, 163)

Apple’s patent titled “Finger-Mounted Device With Sensors and Haptics” explains how a finger-mounted device can be used to wirelessly control computers and “head-mounted display systems” that are used for “virtual reality content and / or augmented reality content”. (MacRumors, Patently Apple, Sina)

JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee has revised his 2021 Apple iPhone shipment estimate to 230M units, down from around 236M units. Despite that, he notes that the number still represents a 13% shipment volume increase from 2020. He says that lackluster demand for the iPhone 12 mini and a major cut to iPhone 12 Pro shipments both make the bank “take note of a weaker demand environment”. He also expects Apple to discontinue iPhone 12 mini production in 2Q21. (GizChina, MacRumors, Apple Insider, Sohu, IT Home)

India has announced sweeping rules to regulate social media firms, streaming services and digital news outlets, posing new challenges for giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Netflix. Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s IT, Law and Justice minister has indicated that social media companies will be required to acknowledge takedown requests of unlawful, misinformation and violent content within 24 hours and deliver a complete redressal within 15 days. (TechCrunch, Live Mint, India Times, Sina)

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei has revealed that Huawei has a wide range of devices, and the number of active smartphones has already exceeded 1B units. He has also said that in the next phase (2-3 years), they plan to create the safest and most reliable cloud ecosystem for end devices. (GizChina, IT Home)

Lu Weibing, VP of Xiaomi Group and president of Xiaomi China, GM of Redmi brand has revealed that the sales of the Redmi K30 series have surpassed 11M units in the international market. In 2020 Redmi has launched K30 Pro series, 10X series, K30 Ultra series, K30S Ultra series, Note 9 series. (GizChina, Sohu, IT Home)

Honor CEO Zhao Ming has revealed that at present they are selling more than 10 models of 5G smartphones, and all phones are in short supply. In 1Q21, even to 2Q21, it is a process of desperately pulling up procurement, pulling up the supply chain, and increasing delivery and production capacity. (Laoyaoba, My Drivers, Sohu)

Redmi AirDots 3 true wireless stereo (TWS) headset is announced, priced at CNY199. It  is driven by a Qualcomm QCC3040 chipset and the Bluetooth version is upgraded to Bluetooth 5.2 from Bluetooth 5.0 used on the AirDots 2.  (CN Beta, Mi.com, Gizmo China)

According to IDC, India tablet market recorded 14.7% YoY growth with shipments totaling 2.8M units in 2020. It was a year of growth after declining for 4 consecutive years, mainly aided by the increased utility of tablets to support e-learning demand. Consumer shipments reported an exceptional 59.8% growth over 2019. However, commercial shipments declined by 14.3% YoY as few government projects were postponed to 2021. (GSM Arena, IDC)

Lenovo Xiaoxin Pad Pro is announced in China – 11.5” 2560×1600 2K OLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, rear dual 13MP-5MP depth + front dual 8MP-8MP, 6+128GB, Android 10.0, 8600mAh 20W, 6W JBL quad-speaker with support for Dolby Atmos, CNY2,499 (USD387). (Gizmo China, Sina, 163)

Scope AR CEO Scott Montgomerie has indicated that the company has been selling the vision of using 3D models to help the manufacturing industry scale training and collaboration since they launched back in 2010. Now, the startup is looking to build a more scalable future for themselves as they revamp their central product WorkLink for the web. (TechCrunch, PR Newswire)

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