4-17 #Gardening : US has recently proposed a policy to ban exports to China of semiconductor manufacturing equipment including DUV equipment; TSMC has recently increased its quotations for 8” and 12” wafers with 28nm and above processes by more than 10% in early 1Q21; etc.

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence of the United States has recently proposed a policy to ban exports to China of semiconductor manufacturing equipment including DUV equipment for immersion ArF lithography. Under the circumstances, South Korean semiconductor manufacturers in China, including Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, are expressing concerns because their memory chip plants in China may be affected once the restrictions are actually implemented. (My Drivers, Business Korea, LTN, Pulse News)

Chinese chip maker Loongson used to make processors based on MIPS architecture, but MIPS is not what it used to be and the company that developed the technology has even pivoted to making chips using the RISC-V instruction set. Now Loongson is trying something new: rather than adopt RISC-V, ARM, or x86 architecture, the company has developed its own ISA (instruction set architecture) called LoongArch. (Liliputing, Xinhuanet, NBD, Tom’s Hardware)

According to IC Insights, U.S. companies held 55% of the total worldwide IC market in 2020 followed by the South Korean companies with a 21% share.  Taiwanese companies, on the strength of their fabless company IC sales, held 7% of total IC sales, one point greater than the European and Japanese companies. As shown, Chinese companies held only 5% of the global IC market in 2020. (Laoyaoba, IC Insights, IC Insights report)

Guoxin Micron has revealed that the company’s security chip related to the Internet of Vehicles application has begun to enter the trial stage, and the vehicle control chip is currently in the development process. Its products cover automotive chipsets, financial chipsets, SIM cards, etc., and have a wide range of applications in automotive, finance, communications, Internet of Things and other fields. The global chip shipments exceed 10B units. (Sina, Laoyaoba, Jiemian)

The conundrum of global chip crunch is the latest sign of how the global semiconductor supply crunch is now spreading so far that it is rebounding onto the chipmaking industry itself. Delivery times for some critical tools have grown to 12 months or more. At least 4 types of vital production equipment are in short supply—wire bonding, wafer dicing, chip testing, and laser drilling. (Laoyaoba, Nikkei, UDN, UDN)

TSMC has recently increased its quotations for 8” and 12” wafers with 28nm and above processes by more than 10% in early 1Q21. LCD driver IC suppliers that use TSMC’s mature node technology (such as 55nm / 80nm) to manufacture TDDI chips have notified their downstream customers that the price of their chips has increased by as much as 20%-30%. TSMC has stated that the overall semiconductor demand is still strong, and the capacity shortage will reach 2022; among them, the mature process will not be released until 2023 because of the new capacity, and the shortage period will continue until 2023. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes)

The ongoing shortage of automotive chips will be greatly reduced starting 2Q21, according to pure-play foundry TSMC.The company CEO CC Wei has indicated that it takes at least 6 months from chip fabrication to car production. TSMC along with other foundries have experienced tight capacity that will persist throughout 2021, said Wei, adding that the tight capacity should be able to ease in 2023 when new fabs and production lines come online. (Digitimes, press, CNYes, CNA)

TSMC is expected to substantially scale up its 5nm chip output in 2H21 in order to boost 5nm chip sales as a proportion of its total wafer revenue to 20% by the end of 2021. TSMC saw sales generated from 5nm process technology account for 14% of its total wafer revenue in 2Q21. TSMC’s N5 is already in the second year of volume production, said company CEO CC Wei. The foundry will also roll out N4 (namely 4nm process technology), an extension of its 5nm process family, in 2H21 with volume production set to kick off in 2022. (Digitimes, press, PC Home)

Samsung will reportedly unveil a triple-folding tablet during 1Q22. The new tablet will carry the Galaxy Z Tab moniker and we assume it will have a display larger than the Galaxy Z Fold2 7.6” panel. (Android Central, GizChinaGSM Arena, CN Beta)

Apple’s two higher-end “iPhone 13 Pro” models that are coming in 2021 are reportedly to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates. Samsung Display will supply most of the LTPO OLED displays to Apple, with Apple also potentially sourcing displays from BOE and LG Display. (MacRumors, My Drivers)

Samsung has reportedly decided to slow down with the megapixel race after launching smartphones with 64MP and 108MP main camera. Samsung now intends to return to rationality and stop blindly chasing big numbers. The priorities will be a balance between the size and resolution of each pixel. (GizChina, Twitter)

A Chinese memory firm Netac Technology is reportedly planning to build DDR5 DRAM modules capable of running at over 10,000MHz. Netac’s new memory can do more than 10,000MT/s per second. The company is allegedly using Micron’s IFA45 Z9ZSB memory chips starting with 16GB (2Gx8) modules for now. The chips are built on Micron’s 1z nm DRAM process node and running 40-40-40 sub-timings.  (Neowin, IT Home)

OPPO A35 is launched in China – 6.52” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch IPS LCD, MediaTek Helio P35, rear tri 13MP-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 8MP, 4+128GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 4230mAh 10W, CNY1,199 (USD184). (GSM Arena, OPPO, 163, ZOL)

OPPO A94 5G is announced in Europe – 6.43” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD Super AMOLED, MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 8+128GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 4310mAh 30W, EUR359. (GSM Arena, IT Home, Sohu)

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 69.9M units in 1Q21, an increase of 32% from 1Q20, according to Gartner. The market rebounded from a weak 1Q20 to record the fastest YoY growth since Gartner began tracking the PC market in 2000. While Gartner does not include Chromebooks in its traditional PC market results, Chromebook shipments grew by triple digits in 1Q21, compared to a year ago, with growth primarily driven by investment among educational institutions in North America. Including Chromebooks, the total worldwide PC market grew 47% YoY. (VentureBeat, Gartner)

Amazon has launched the second generation version of its Echo Buds., which are in-ear truly wireless earbuds with active noise cancelation. The new Echo Buds feature 20% smaller design compared to the previous generation model. The Echo Buds claim to have 5-hours of battery life with active noise cancelation, with the case offering two additional full charges for a total of 15-hours. It is priced at USD120. (GSM Arena, Amazon)

OPPO has announced HeyTap Health app for Apple iOS platform for OPPO Watch and Band Style. The application can be paired with both the devices and used to adjust the settings as well as synchronize the data and view them. They can also synchronize the information with Apple’s own Health after authorization. (Gizmo China, 163)

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