6-4 #Weekend? : Samsung is likely to join the competition of acquiring ARM; Samsung Display is likely to build its first Gen 8.5 OLED line; India’s 5G network is expected to be rolled out fully towards the end of 2022; etc.

ARM-related M&A issues have been ongoing for years. Nvidia announced in Sept 2020 that it would acquire the U.K.-based company, but the attempted failed after antitrust reviews in multiple countries. Then, SK Hynix, Intel and Qualcomm made the same announcements. Samsung Electronics is likely to join the competition, too. ARM’s technology is incorporated in Samsung Electronics’ Exynos processor. Samsung Electronics is aiming to rise to the top of the global non-memory chip market by 2030 and ARM acquisition can be an effective tool. Samsung Electronics will reportedly have to compete with SK Hynix, Intel and Qualcomm and yet the possibility is also open that two or more of them will form a consortium not to be blocked by antitrust regulations. (CN Beta, GizChina, Business Korea)

Nvidia has debuted new silicon platforms for high-performance computing and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads. Nvidia said the new Nvidia Grace CPU Superchip is based on its first-ever Arm-based central processing unit, also called “Grace”. It is powered by two Arm-based CPUs linked via a high-bandwidth, low-latency Nvidia NVLink-C2C interconnect. The company claims it’s a “breakthrough design” that contains up to 144 Arm Neoverse cores with scalable vector extensions and a one terabyte-per-second memory system. The Nvidia Grace CPU Superchip interfaces with the PCIe Gen5 protocol, meaning it can easily be linked to Nvidia’s latest graphics processing units for AI and machine learning workloads.  (Laoyaoba, Sohu, HPC Wire, Silicon Angle, Inside HPC, EET Asia)

The US International Trade Commission will investigate Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)’s claims that TCL Industries and Realtek Semiconductor infringe patents related to graphics systems. AMD and its ATI Technologies ULC unit filed a complaint in May 2022 with the ITC seeking an import ban on certain graphics systems and digital televisions. The complaints alleged that Realtek and TCL violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 for the sale of certain graphics systems, components, and digital televisions containing the same parts that infringe patents asserted by the complainants, the USITC said. (CN Beta, 163, Focus Taiwan, Bloomberg Law)

Since 2022, under the influence of repeated global pandemics, international turmoil, macroeconomic tightening, and weakened consumer willingness, the global mobile phone market has shrunk significantly, and the domestic mobile phone market will inevitably be affected and continue to slump, superimposed on Apr 2022. The impact of the epidemic on the domestic terminal consumer market continued to deepen. According to data from CINNO Research, smartphone shipments in the domestic smartphone SoC market in Apr 2022 dropped to approximately 17.6M units, a YoY decrease of approximately 21.6% and a month-on-month decrease of approximately 12.1%. At present, the overall innovation of smart phones has not improved significantly, and it is accompanied by changes in consumer preferences, enhanced savings motives, or continuous changes in terminal consumption trends. (CINNO Research, Laoyaoba)

Nomura has indicated that there is a significant impact on technology demand, and it can be seen that some major technology companies have stopped recruiting employees. It is difficult to judge whether the semiconductor will have a hard landing or a soft landing, but it is sure that semiconductor stocks will face orders and profit adjustments. Currently the progress of long-term contracts and foundry expansion is lagging behind, which will delay the time to cut orders. Semiconductor stocks are still supported by profits in Apr / May 2022. In addition, the general economic market conditions such as the 10-year U.S. bond yield rate seem to have peaked. The unblocking of the mainland China in Jun 2022 has led to a recent rebound in semiconductor stocks. Nomura continues to view semiconductors conservatively and believes that the upward cycle of the semiconductor industry will end in 1H22, and there will be no peak season effect in 2H22. The profit performance and stock price trend of semiconductor stocks in 2022 will be the same as in 2008, 2011 and 2015. (CN Beta, UDN)

Samsung Display is likely to build its first Gen 8.5 OLED line with a capacity of 15,000 substrates per month. Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) substrates are larger than the Gen 6 (1500x1850mm) used widely for smartphones. Samsung Display will decide on its final spending plan within 2022 and likely start ordering production equipment for the Gen 8.5 line in 2023. The line is aimed at Apple, which is planning to adopt OLED panels more for its tablets and PC lineups. If Apple decides to more widely adopt them going forward, Samsung Display will likely invest to add another 15,000 substrates per month in capacity. The new Gen 8.5 line will likely start production in 2024. Apple’s first OLED tablets, which will come in 11” and 12.9” sizes, will utilize Samsung Display and LG Display’s existing Gen 6 lines. Meanwhile, Samsung Display is planning to convert L8-2-2, which is also defunct, to a quantum dot (QD)-OLED line, which will likely be called Q2. It could however build a quantum dot nanorod LED (QNED) line for Q2 instead if demand is there from Samsung Electronics.(Apple Insider, MacRumors, The Elec)

According to TrendForce’s latest LED report, as a slowing pandemic drove the recovery of various global economic activities, global LED market value beat market expectations in 2021, reaching USD17.65B, or 15.4% YoY. From the revenue ranking of LED manufacturers, most constituents benefited from the rebound in market demand and showed significant revenue growth with the top three manufacturers accounting for 29.5% of the market. Nichia’s backlight LED business revenue declined due to increasing OLED penetration. However, driven by the rapid growth of revenue in the flash LED, automotive LED, and general lighting markets, overall revenue continued to grow steadily, ranking Nichia first in the world. Exemplified by stable product quality, excellent light efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, ams OSRAM is regarded as a first choice supplier for high-end automobiles and new energy vehicles (NEV) worldwide. In addition, benefiting from orders for horticultural lighting and infrared sensing, its revenue ranks second in the world. (TrendForce, TrendForce)

According to monthly data from CINNO Research, in Apr 2022, the total number of cameras installed in the domestic smartphone market will be reduced to 65M, a YoY decrease of about 27% and a MoM decrease of about 14.5%. In terms of the proportion of smartphone camera brands, in Apr 2022, the cameras of the top 5 smartphone brands accounted for 15-19%. Among them, OPPO accounted for about 19%, ranking first; vivo accounts for about 18%, ranking second; Honor accounts for about 17%, ranking third, and the distribution of camera brands is balanced. In terms of the average number of smartphone cameras installed, there is a structural differentiation between models in different price segments in China. Among them: In April 2022, each mobile phone in the domestic low-end smartphone terminal shipment market was equipped with an average of about 3.36 cameras, a decrease of about 0.31 cameras compared with Apr 2021. The number of cameras is not the primary factor for product competition. In the domestic high-end smartphone terminal shipment market, each mobile phone is equipped with an average of about 3.45 cameras, a decrease of about 0.59 cameras from Apr 2021. (CINNO Research, Laoyaoba)

Prices are dropping for DDR5 memory, especially since the beginning of 2022 which bodes well for next-gen Intel Raptor Lake & AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU platforms. Currently, the 16GB dual-channel DDR5 memory kits sell for around USD120-130, significantly lower than the USD500 to upwards of USD1,000 pricing from several months ago. Companies like Kingston, Crucial, and Patriot offer DDR5 kits that are 16GB, offering baseline levels of 4800 Mbps for nearly USD110-120. With these prices being so affordable for everyone, and memory kits plateauing in the 5200-5600MHz ranges, sales will assuredly increase in the DIY marketplace. Currently, DDR5-5200 and slightly higher are nearing USD250 for consumers. At the same time, 16GB DDR4-3200 memory kits (CL16) can be purchased for less than half the price at around USD50-60. (ComputerBase, WCCFTech, Tom’s Hardware, CN Beta)

Jio-bp has partnered with MG Motor India and Castrol India to increase EV adoption and mobility in India by establishing four-wheeler EV charging infrastructure and expanding Castrol’s existing auto service network to serve EV customers. Under this collaboration, Jio-bp will contribute to the improvement of charging infrastructure by developing an ecosystem that will benefit all stakeholders in the EV value chain, as well as the Jio-bp pulse mobile app, which will allow customers to find charging stations nearby and seamlessly charge their EVs, while MG Motor aims to create EV-friendly roads for inter-city and intra-city travel by establishing a robust EV charging and service infrastructure in the country. Furthermore, Castrol intends to begin serving four-wheeler electric vehicles through its existing multi-brand Auto Service network and Express Oil Change locations, which will be available in India at Jio-bp mobility stations and select Castrol Auto Service workshops and will cover both electric and non-electric four-wheelers.(Gizmo China, Fonearena, The Hindu, Business Standard, The Print)

According to Digitimes, Taiwan’s cooling component suppliers foresee excellent prospects for their wares for 2H22 with the arrival of next-gen GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD. The newer graphics cards will boost the market for high-performing cooler systems. Premium parts with the same materials and meticulous engineering deliver more significant margins, which is a feeding ground for suppliers. Auras Technology and Sun Max, two cooling system design companies, have discussed the two new graphics card series from both NVIDIA and AMD and how their cooler design expertise among many others, will be more required in the coming years. Auras Technology manufacturers vapor chambers for premium graphics cards. The company’s graphics card cooling solutions for PCs on their website display standard heatsinks adorned with heat pipes connected to the fins on the radiator, which happen to be quite large. Sun Max has devoted USD2M in 2021 to research and development for fan technologies. Along with the money spent, the company has also filed several patents. The company is optimistic about the future, as they create custom solutions for computers and automobiles, servers, smart fans, and network devices. (Digitimes, WCCFTech, CN Beta, Tom’s Hardware)

EU countries and EU lawmakers are set to agree on a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones on 7 Jun 2022 when they meet to discuss a proposal that has been fiercely criticized by Apple. The proposal for a single mobile charging port was first broached by the European Commission more than a decade ago after iPhone and Android users complained about having to use different chargers for their phones. EU lawmakers also want to include wireless charging systems to be harmonized by 2025 while EU countries and the Commission wants a longer lead-in period for technical reasons. (Phone Arena, Reuters, Business Times)

T-Mobile has announced and launched the capability to make and receive phone calls over 5G. Voice over 5G (VoNR or Voice Over New Radio) is now live in limited T-Mobile service areas of Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah with plans to expand to more areas throughout the US in 2022. Customers with a Samsung Galaxy S21 on T-Mobile can already take advantage of VoNR. The S22 series will be supported through a future update.  (GSM Arena, T-Mobile)

Telecoms company British Telecom (BT) and Ericsson have struck a multi-million pound partnership to offer private 5G networks to businesses across Britain, enabling them to deploy Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies quickly and securely. Private 5G networks mirror public 5G, but wireless connectivity is limited to a group of devices in a dedicated space, such as a factory, a port or a campus, where 5G’s security and ultra-low latency can be fully utilised in additional services.(Laoyaoba, Reuters, SPG Global, Euro News)

India is preparing for the rolling out of 5G networking, the government is laying the groundwork for spectrum auctions for the latest and fastest bandwidth, which is expected to be rolled out fully towards the end of 2022. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has confirmed that commercial 5G services in India will be launched by 2023, with all major telecom operators already performing trials in multiple metropolitan cities across India. In addition to this, the 5G networking is expected to add nearly USD450B to the Indian economy along with applications assisting in accelerating development and job creation. As per the Union Minister, the 5G rollout will start in Aug / Sept 2022, telecom operators usually need a timeframe of 6 months from the spectrum auction to roll out their complete services, so this would provide them enough time to prepare for a commercial 5G launch. (Gizmo China, TechnoSports, India Today)

According to TrendForce, the multiplicative effect of the traditional off-season further weakened smartphone production performance in 1Q22 with global output only reaching 310M units, a 12.8% decline QoQ. Compared with the same period last year, the strategic planning adopted by smartphone brands in response to Huawei’s market share collapse is quite different, with annual decline in production as high as 10.1%. Looking to 2Q22, in the face of rising inflation intensified by the Russian-Ukrainian war and the direct impact of China’s lockdowns, the momentum of consumption continue to weaken. According to TrendForce’s current observations, global smart phone production volume in 2Q22 is forecast at approximately 309M units, which is roughly on par with 1Q22 but the lingering possibility of a subsequent downgrade this quarter cannot be ruled out. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, TrendForce)

Samsung Electronics has announced its integrated global customer service system as part of its ongoing commitment to developing sustainable practices. The system aims to transition from the paper documentation previously provided to customers regarding their product repair, such as service records and receipts, to electronic documentation sent via message or email. To facilitate the worldwide change towards paperless documentation, Samsung has upgraded its global service system, the Global Service Partner Network (GSPN), which will allow for electronic documentation to be sent to customers about each aspect of service they receive through an interface supported by various digital communications services around the globe.  (Neowin, Samsung, CN Beta)

IDC indicates that the top feature phone vendor for 1Q22 is Itel Mobile. The feature phone market grossed more than USD1B during the period. There was however a dip in the number of units sold which stood at 58.9M. The decline from 1Q21 was 28.5% but feature phones chalked up 16% of the total mobile phone sales in 1Q22. While Nokia 105 was the most sought feature phone in 1Q22, Itel’s top position was driven by strong demand for its products. (Gizmo China, Twitter)

Research firm Nomura has lowered its forecast for global smartphone shipments, predicting a 7.6% drop in global smartphone shipments in 2022; in terms of PCs, the production capacity of server parts shortages may be released due to weak demand. In addition, in terms of semiconductors, Nomura believes that the 3-month rolling average of North American manufacturers’ semiconductor production equipment (SPE) bills is still below Nov 2021 levels, indicating that logistics and supply constraints have limited front-end equipment shipments and revenue . From 2H22, semiconductor demand may experience cyclical weakness, which may hinder the growth of equipment at the end of 2022. (Laoyaoba, LTN, UDN)

Worldwide wearable band shipments fell 4% to 41.7M units in 1Q22, according to Canalys. At the same time, the shift from bands to watches continues. Wristwatches, consisting of basic watches and smartwatches, accounted for 76.6% of all wearable band shipments in the quarter, growth of 15% to 32.0M units. Basic bands suffered a 37% decline, a sixth consecutive fall since 4Q20. Basic band shipments dipped below 10 million for the first time after peaking at 27.9M in 4Q19. The increase in watch shipments helped offset the basic band drop but still resulted in a decline in the overall wearable band market. (Canalys, CN Beta)

Veronica Rogers, SVP, Head of Global Sales and Business Operations at Sony Interactive Entertainment, has revealed that the PlayStation 5 how now met the 20M sales milestone. According to Rogers, the company is working to sort out the issues in order to produce more consoles.(VentureBeat, GamesIndustry.biz)

The electric vehicle market has been rising globally and while many auto manufacturers are focusing on EV cars, some Asian markets, like India, are more focused on the two-wheelers or e-scooters. According to VAHAN data from India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 8 companies that represent 95%of the market, have registered 32,680 electric scooters for the month of May 2022. The numbers represent a decline of 24% MoM as in the month of Apr 2022, the companies have registered 43,098 e-scooters. The major causes for the drop are believed to be concerns about the safety of such vehicles as there have been reports about electric scooters catching fire. Other reasons include chip shortages and supply difficulties, as well as low demand seasonality. Ather, one of the early entrants in this sector, witnessed a 26% increase in EV registrations in May. Rushlane claims that the company sold 3,787 units in May 2022, 8 units more were sold compared to Apr 2022. (Gizmo China, Business Standard, Rush Lane)

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