5-6 #Angel : IBM claims it has taken a major step forward in chip technology by making the first 2nm chip; SpaceX has launched 60 more of its Starlink internet broadband satellites; China is erecting factories for electric cars almost as fast as the rest of the world combined;

PsiQuantum and Globalfoundries have teamed up to manufacture the chips that will become part of the Q1 quantum computer. Palo Alto, California-based PsiQuantum has plans to create a million-qubit quantum computer. The companies have installed proprietary production and manufacturing equipment in two of Globalfoundries’ 300mm factories to produce thousands of Q1 silicon photonic chips at its facility in upstate New York and state-of-the-art electronic control chips at its Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany. (VentureBeat, GlobalFoundries, Yahoo, Sina)

According to IC Insights, Intel was locked in as the world’s top semiconductor manufacturer from 1993 through 2016. However, after nearly a quarter of a century, the semiconductor industry saw a new #1 supplier beginning in 2017 when the memory market surged and Samsung displaced Intel. Samsung held the leading semiconductor supplier spot for 6 quarters before the memory market collapsed in late 2018 and Intel once again became the leading IC supplier in 4Q18. (IC Insights, Gizmo China)

IBM claims it has taken a major step forward in chip technology by making the first 2nm chip. The company says it has squeezed 50B transistors onto a chip the size of one’s fingernail. The architecture can help processor makers deliver a 45% performance boost with the same amount of power as current 7nm-based chips, or the same level of performance using 75% less energy. (Engadget, Anandtech, CN Beta)

More Chinese mid-range and flagship smartphones will reportedly receive OLED displays in 2021. The shortage of high-quality LCD has provoked the speedy transfer of smartphones to adopt OLEDs. In 2H21 a lot of smartphones with OLED display would be launched in the market, while LCD display will become distinctive features of only entry-level models with a price tag of up to USD155. (GizChina, My Drivers)

Nichia, with investment of JPY60B (USD549M), is setting up dedicated production capacity for miniLED chips for backlighting applications in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan, with completion scheduled for July 2021 and production to kick off at the end of Sept 2021, according to Dai Tsuan-jia, general manager for Nichia Taiwan. Monthly production capacity will be about 50K miniLED chips initially and expanded to 200K chips at the end of 2021. The monthly capacity is aimed to be gradually expanded to 2M miniLED chips in 2-3 years. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, Yahoo, CTEE)

Argo AI claims its long-range lidar sensor has the ability to see 400m away with high-resolution photorealistic quality and the ability to detect dark and distant objects with low reflectivity. Argo’s test vehicles Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans and Ford Escape Hybrid SUVs are now equipped these lidar sensors. By the end of 2021, Argo’s test fleet will transition to about 150 Ford Escape Hybrid vehicles. Ford plans to deploy autonomous vehicles for ride-hailing and delivery in 2022. Volkswagen will launch commercial operations in 2025. (TechCrunch, Engadget)

SpaceX has launched 60 more of its Starlink internet broadband satellites. The service is available to beta customers in 6 countries thus far, including Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, but the goal is to continue to expand coverage to achieve near-global reach by the end of 2021 in terms of service availability, with a number of additional launches planned throughout the rest of 2021. (TechCrunch, Space.com, Space News)

YouTube is vigorously pushing Shorts with the TikTok short-form video competitor within the main platform now available and rolling out to all US-based creators. Shorts simply adds another subsection of mainly portrait short-form videos within the main YouTube mobile app. (CN Beta, Tube Filter, 9to5Google)

Digitimes Research has found that smartphone shipments totaled 94.6M units in the China market in 1Q21, up 9% sequentially and 99.6% on year. Smartphone shipments in 1Q21 by Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo were their highest records for the same quarter, thanks to their stockpiles of handset chips and other components in advance. OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Apple were the top 5 brands in China’s handset market in 1Q21, accounting for a total of 91.8% share.(Digitimes, press, Gizmo China)

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G (SD865 version) is launched in Malaysia – 6.5” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD Super AMOLED 120Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (without X55 modem), rear tri 12MP-12MP ultrawide-8MP telephoto 3x optical zoom + front 32MP, 8+128GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 4500mAh 15W, MYR2,299 (USD558).  (Android Headlines, Sam Mobile, Gizmo China, 91Mobiles)

OPPO K9 5G is launched in China – 6.43” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD AMOLED 90Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G, rear tri 64MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro + front 32MP, 8+128 / 8+256GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 4300mAh 65W, CNY1,999 (USD309) / CNY2,199 (USD339).  (Gizmo China, NDTV)

Google has announced the launch of a new entertainment hub for Android tablets called Entertainment Space, modeled on its Kids Space app suite. The hub will include apps for video streaming, games and books. Entertainment Space apps will be divided by tabbed sections — labeled Watch, Games and Read — and include YouTube, Google TV, Twitch, Hulu, Google Play Books, Google Play Games and others.  (GSM Arena, Google, CN Beta, CNET)

The latest data from Canalys shows that the total worldwide PC market (including tablets) grew strongly for a fourth successive quarter, with shipments up 53.1% YoY at 122.1M units. Chromebooks and tablets continued to excel as we entered 2021, posting 274.6% and 51.8% growth and achieving remarkable 1Q21 shipment volumes of 12.0M and 39.7M units, respectively. (GSM Arena, Canalys)

With chip and component suppliers prioritizing their shipments supporting high-end products, such as the iMac, Apple is likely to overtake Hewlett-Packard (HP) as the top all-in-one (AIO) PC brand vendor, according to Digitimes. Several ODMs have allegedly halted their production for many AIO PCs because of component shortage, but ‌iMac‌ production remains unaffected. (Digitimes, Gizmo China, Gizmo China)

China is erecting factories for electric cars almost as fast as the rest of the world combined. Chinese manufacturers are using the billions they have raised from international investors and sympathetic local leaders to beat established carmakers to the market. China will be making over 8M electric cars a year by 2028, estimates LMC Automotive, a global data firm, compared with 1M in 2020. Europe is on track to make 5.7M fully electric cars by then. North American automakers are on track to build only 1.4M electric cars a year by 2028, according to LMC, compared with 410K in 2020. (GizChina, NY Times, article)

Einride, the Swedish startup known for its unusual-looking electric and autonomous pods that are designed to carry freight, has raised USD110M to help fund its expansion in Europe and into the United States. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Einride)

According to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 93% of consumers are considering emerging payments such as biometrics, digital currencies, and QR code, in addition to contactless. Nearly 90% of in-person transactions globally take place at a contactless-enabled merchant. Millennials are especially engaged in cryptocurrencies, with 67% agreeing they are more open to using cryptocurrency than they were a year ago. Additionally, 77% of millennials are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency, while 75% agree they would use digital assets if they understood them better. Millennials are classified by the U.S. Census Bureau as people born in 1982-2000. (CN Beta, Mastercard, Coin Telegraph)

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