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Global NAND Flash Revenue for 1Q21 Rises by 5.1% QoQ Thanks to Better-Than-Expected Demand for Notebooks and Smartphones, Says TrendForce

Total NAND Flash revenue for 1Q21 increased by 5.1% QoQ to US$14.82 billion, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In particular, bit shipments rose by 11% QoQ, while the overall ASP dropped by 5% QoQ; hence, bit shipment growth offset the decline in the overall ASP. Although NAND Flash demand from notebook computer and smartphone manufacturers remained high, clients from the data center segment exhibited relatively weak demand, since this segment had yet to leave the state of NAND Flash oversupply. Contract prices for this quarter therefore still mostly showed a considerable QoQ drop. On the other hand, OEMs/ODMs of end products began to increase procurement of NAND Flash products from the second half of January onward because they noticed that the shortage of NAND Flash controller ICs was affecting the production of medium- and low-density storage products. Besides avoiding a possible supply crunch in the future, OEMs/ODMs were placing additional orders because they were preparing for a push to expand market share. On account of these developments, the overall NAND Flash demand surpassed expectations in 1Q21.

Growth in Total Smartphone Production for 2021 Drops to 8.5% YoY Due to India's Second Wave of Coronavirus, Says TrendForce

TrendForce's investigations find that India has become the second largest market for smartphones since 2019. However, the recent worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has severely impaired India's domestic economy and subsequently dampened various smartphone brands' production volume and sales (sell-in) performances there. TrendForce is therefore revising the forecasted YoY growth in global smartphone production for 2021 from 9.4% down to 8.5%, with a yearly production volume of 1.36 billion units and potential for further decreases going forward.

TrendForce further indicates that the top five smartphone brands (Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo) have either set up assembly plants in India or sought assistance from EMS providers with operations in the country. Hence, the share of made-in-India smartphones has been on the rise over the years, even though the majority of the domestically manufactured devices are still for meeting the demand of the home market. Judging from the current state of Indian smartphone manufacturing, TrendForce expects the second wave to reduce the country's smartphone production volume for 2Q21 and 3Q21 by a total of 12 million units, in turn resulting in a 7.5% YoY decrease in smartphone production in India for the whole year.

LG to Close Mobile Phone Business Worldwide

LG Electronics Inc. (LG) announced that it is closing its mobile business unit. The decision was approved by its board of directors earlier today. LG's strategic decision to exit the incredibly competitive mobile phone sector will enable the company to focus resources in growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services.

Current LG phone inventory will continue to be available for sale. LG will provide service support and software updates for customers of existing mobile products for a period of time which will vary by region. LG will work collaboratively with suppliers and business partners throughout the closure of the mobile phone business. Details related to employment will be determined at the local level.

Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Declined 5% in Fourth Quarter of 2020

Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020.

"The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020," said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. "Even as consumers remained cautious in their spending and held off on some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features encouraged some end users to purchase new smartphones or upgrade their current smartphones in the quarter."

Qualcomm Announces Boosted Snapdragon 870 5G Mobile Platform

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. unveiled the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G Mobile Platform, a follow-on to the flagship Snapdragon 865 Plus, which features an enhanced Qualcomm Kryo 585 CPU prime core clock speed of up to 3.2 GHz. The new Snapdragon 870 is designed to deliver increased performance across the board for geared-up gameplay with insanely fast Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming experiences, truly global 5G sub-6 GHz and mmWave, and ultra-intuitive AI.

"Building upon the success of Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, the new Snapdragon 870 was designed to address OEM and mobile industry requirements," said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon 870 will power a selection of flagship devices from key customers including Motorola, iQOO, OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi."

MediaTek Introduces Helio G35 & G25 Gaming Series Chipsets

MediaTek, the world's 4th largest global fabless semiconductor company, today launched its newest chips in the smartphone gaming-focused G series - the MediaTek Helio G25 and G35. The latest chips feature MediaTek HyperEngine game technology for faster, smoother performance, enhanced power efficiency, and brilliant graphics.

The new chipsets always keep you connected and deliver the lowest latency gaming experience. They also offer enhanced imaging features, making these G-series chipsets a perfect fit for photography enthusiasts and gamers alike.

AMD "Ryzen C7" Smartphone SoC Specifications Listed

Last year Samsung and AMD announced their collaboration which promises to deliver smartphone chips with AMD RDNA 2 graphics at its heart. This collaboration is set to deliver first products sometime at the beginning of 2021 when Samsung will likely utilize new SoCs in their smartphones. In previous leaks, we have found that the GPU inside this processor is reportedly beating the competition form Qualcomm, where the AMD GPU was compared to Adreno 650. However, today we have obtained more information about the new SoC which is reportedly called "Ryzen C7" smartphone SoC. A new submission to a mobile phone leaks website called Slash Leaks has revealed a lot of new details to us.

The SoC looks like a beast. Manufactured on TSMC 5 nm process, it features two Gaugin Pro cores based on recently announced Arm Cortex-X1, two Gaugin cores based on Arm Cortex-A78, and four cores based on Arm Cortex-A55. This configuration represents a standard big.LITTLE CPU typical for smartphones. Two of the Cortex-X1 cores run at 3 GHz, two of Cortex-A78 run at 2.6 GHz, while four little cores are clocked at 2 GHz frequency. The GPU inside this piece of silicon is what is amazing. It features four cores of custom RDNA 2 based designs that are clocked at 700 MHz. These are reported to beat the Adreno 650 by 45% in performance measurements.

MediaTek Unveils 5G-Integrated Dimensity 1000+ Chip

MediaTek today announced enhancements to its Dimensity 5G chipset family with the Dimensity 1000+, an enhanced 5G-integrated chip with a number of leading technologies and upgrades for gaming, video and power-efficiency.

Dimensity 1000+ is based on the flagship performance of the Dimensity 1000 series and delivers a high-end, premium user experience. With years of accumulated experience in integrated chip technologies, MediaTek has made breakthroughs and innovations in all aspects and has become a pioneer in the 5G era.
MediaTek Dimensity 1000 SoC

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Book Flex and Ion with Smartphone Wireless Charging Capability

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion ultraportable notebooks with a unique mobility enhancement - the ability to recharge your smartphone that has Qi-compatible wireless charging capability. The Galaxy Book Flex implements an "Ice Lake" Core i7-1065G7 processor with 8 GB LPDDR4 memory, a 13.3-inch Full HD QLED display, a 512 GB NVMe SSD, and a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The Galaxy Book Ion, on the other hand, features a slightly thicker form-factor, with a "Comet Lake" Core i7-10510U processor at the helm, 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch QLED Full HD display options, 8 GB of conventional DDR4 memory, and Thunderbolt 3. The wireless charging surface is part of the track pad, so you can either use the notebook or recharge your smartphone or smart watch. Don't have time for both, or your smartphone lacks wireless charging? Get a small 15 cm USB cable from Amazon Basics for like $4.

Micron's Low-Power DDR5 DRAM Boosts Performance and Consumer Experience of Motorola's New Flagship Edge+ Smartphone

Micron Technology, Inc., together with Motorola, today announced integration of Micron's low-power DDR5 (LPDDR5) DRAM into Motorola's new motorola edge+ smartphone, bringing the full potential of the 5G experience to consumers. Micron and Motorola worked in close collaboration to enable the edge+ to reach 5G network speeds that require maximum processing power coupled with high bandwidth memory and storage.

With 12 gigabytes (GB) of industry-leading Micron LPDDR5 DRAM memory, motorola edge+ delivers a smooth, lag-free consumer experience. The new phone takes advantage of the faster data speeds and lower latency of 5G to increase the performance of cloud-based applications such as gaming and streaming entertainment.
Motorola Edge+

Google to Design its Own SoCs for Pixel Smartphones and Chromebooks

Google is planning to take the Apple route in designing its own SoCs for its hardware. The company kicked off "Project Whitechapel," an initiative with technical assistance from Samsung (and possibly silicon-fabrication), to design Arm-based SoCs with specialized hardware to power Google's machine-learning tech. The first such chip will be 8-core Arm SoCs powering next-generation Pixel premium smartphones, but in the future, Google could use Arm-based SoCs to power Chromebooks.

Google has, in the past, collaborated with Intel and Qualcomm to put specialized hardware on smartphone SoCs, although the resulting chips would still be supplied by the two. "Project Whitechapel" would see Google play a dominant role in the SoC's design, with Samsung only providing technical inputs. It wouldn't be far-fetched to predict Google using lightweight variants of the SoC on its own IoT hardware, such as Chromecast and Home smart-speakers.

Samsung Begins Mass-production of 512GB eUFS 3.1 Storage for Flagship Smartphones

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 512-gigabyte (GB) eUFS (embedded Universal Flash Storage) 3.1 for use in flagship smartphones. Delivering three times the write speed of the previous 512 GB eUFS 3.0 mobile memory, Samsung's new eUFS 3.1 breaks the 1 GB/s performance threshold in smartphone storage.

"With our introduction of the fastest mobile storage, smartphone users will no longer have to worry about the bottleneck they face with conventional storage cards," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "The new eUFS 3.1 reflects our continuing commitment to supporting the rapidly increasing demands from global smartphone makers this year."
Samsung eUFS 3.1 512GB

Micron Ships World's First LPDDR5 DRAM for High-Performance Smartphones

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced it has shipped the world's first low-power DDR5 DRAM in mass production to be used in the soon-to-be-released Xiaomi Mi 10 smartphone. As Xiaomi's memory technology partner, Micron provides LPDDR5 DRAM with superior power efficiency and faster data access speeds to meet growing consumer demand for artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G functionality in smartphones.

"Micron's leadership in delivering the industry's first low-power DDR5 DRAM for use in a smartphone will accelerate enablement of 5G and AI applications," said Dr. Raj Talluri, senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Business Unit at Micron. "Our customers and partners require next-generation memory solutions, based on the latest process technology, that drive unmatched power and performance to support 5G and AI systems. Micron's LPDDR5 DRAM addresses those requirements with a 50% increase in data access speeds and more than 20% power efficiency compared to previous generations."

"We value Micron's long-standing leadership and innovation in memory," said Chang Cheng, vice president at Xiaomi Group. "Micron's LPDDR5 DRAM market-leading features ensure our Xiaomi Mi 10 smartphone will remain power-efficient while still offering incredible performance and greater stability. We believe LPDDR5 will be the standard configuration for all flagship devices in 2020."

Intel Completes Sale of Smartphone Modem Business to Apple

Intel Corporation today announced it has completed the sale of the majority of its smartphone modem business to Apple. This transaction, valued at $1 billion, was announced on July 25, 2019. As previously disclosed, this transaction enables Intel to focus on developing technology for 5G networks while retaining the option to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet of things devices and autonomous vehicles.

Samsung Launches Industry's First 1TB Embedded Universal Flash Storage

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first one-terabyte (TB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) 2.1, for use in next-generation mobile applications. Just four years after introducing the first UFS solution, the 128-gigabyte (GB) eUFS, Samsung has passed the much-anticipated terabyte threshold in smartphone storage. Smartphone enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy storage capacity comparable to a premium notebook PC, without having to pair their phones with additional memory cards.

"The 1 TB eUFS is expected to play a critical role in bringing a more notebook-like user experience to the next generation of mobile devices," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "What's more, Samsung is committed to assuring the most reliable supply chain and adequate production quantities to support the timely launches of upcoming flagship smartphones in accelerating growth of the global mobile market."

TSMC's 7nm Production Likely to Be Underutilized in 2019 as Smartphone Chip Demand Weakens

DigiTimes, citing a Chinese-language Commercial Times report, cites TSMC's 7 nm foundry capacity as likely being underutilized in 2019. After TSMC announced it expected cutting-edge 7 nm designs to correspond to around 20% of the company's revenues in 2019, the company will likely have to review those projections, as lower demand from smartphone chip manufacturers will likely leave TSMC with less actual output than that which it can churn out.

Due to a cutback in orders placed by Apple, HiSilicon and Qualcomm, concerns regarding TSMC's ability to be the sole 7 nm chip fabrication tech for the industry can likely be laid to rest. That the smartphone market is reaching saturation is a well-known quantity - it's becoming harder and harder to cram new technologies that justify the yearly smartphone upgrade that most companies vie for - and one of the reasons for the launch of various brand-specific smartphone subscription services. The difference isn't scandalous - TSMC will still be making use of 80-90% of its total 7nm process capacity during the first half of 2019, the report quoted industry sources as saying.

Memory, not smartphones, is what is really working at Samsung

Smartphones or TVs may be Samsung's most popular products, but they are certainly not the most profitable for the company. The South Korea electronics giant has announced its estimates for the third quarter of the year, and that data points to the company achieving the highest operating profit in its entire history. Samsung is set to reach 17.5 trillion won ($15.8 billion), up 20% from the same period last year. Not only that: revenues will also reach a record 65 trillion won ($57.3 billion), almost 5% more than last year.

The surprise of these results lies precisely in the products that have been the main protagonists of these revenues and profits. It wasn't smartphones, and in fact in the second quarter those lost more market share than any other manufacturer with a Galaxy S9 and a Galaxy S9+ whose sales haven't been as good as expected. TVs weren't that succesful either.

Razer Phone Unveiled, First Smartphone with 120 Hz Display

Razer today unveiled the Razer Phone, an Android smartphone with groundbreaking audiovisual technologies and processing muscle that takes personal entertainment to the next level. The first device from Razer's mobile division, the Razer Phone comes with a phenomenal display, cinematic audio and enough power to last a user all day, all in the palm of his or her hand.

The Razer Phone is equipped with the world's first 120 Hz UltraMotion display that delivers the fastest refresh rates and smoothest graphics among today's smartphones. UltraMotion's adaptive refresh technology synchronizes the GPU and display to remove image tearing or lag while driving efficient power usage. The 5.72-inch display - a Quad HD IGZO LCD - delivers vibrant and sharp images with a wide color gamut.

TrendForce Reports Global DRAM Revenue Jumped 18.2% Sequentially in Q4 2016

Peak season demand and surging prices for DRAM products across different applications resulted in an 18.2% sequential growth in the global DRAM revenue for the final quarter of 2016, reports DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

Smartphone shipments peaked in the fourth quarter on account of the traditional busy season. Chinese smartphone brands continued to post strong sales while Apple benefitted from the release of iPhone 7. "Rising demand for mobile DRAM kept squeezing the industry's production capacity for PC DRAM," said Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange. "Contract prices of PC DRAM modules increased by more than 30% sequentially on average in the fourth quarter due to insufficient market supply. Server DRAM lagged behind PC and mobile DRAM in terms of price hike during the same period, but it is expected to catch up in the first quarter of this year."

Samsung Begins Mass Producing Fastest Embedded NAND Storage for Smartphones/Tablets

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has now begun volume production of an ultra-fast embedded memory for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices in 16-, 32- and 64-gigabyte (GB) densities.

The new Samsung eMMC (embedded multimedia card) Pro Class 1500 delivers the industry's fastest speeds for an embedded memory device, reading data sequentially at up to 140 megabytes per second (MB/s) and writing it at up to 50 MB/s. For random reading and writing, it can process up to 3500/1500 IOPS (inputs and outputs per second), four times the speed of previous eMMC solutions.

Intel, Industry Shaping Future of Computing Experiences on Intel Architecture

Intel Corporation Senior Vice President Tom Kilroy officially introduced the next wave of Ultrabook systems during a keynote address at Computex Taipei 2012. Making a bold statement around the importance of touch technology, Kilroy also announced that Intel has signed agreements with several leading touch panel manufacturers to ensure adequate capacity to meet the expected demand for touch-enabled Ultrabook experiences over the next several years.

He also highlighted the company's efforts to deliver user-centric experiences across a range of mobile devices from the Ultrabook to smartphones and tablets, pointing to momentum across all three.

Nearly 1 Billion Smart Connected Devices Shipped in 2011, According to IDC

The universe of smart connected devices, including PCs, media tablets, and smartphones, saw shipments of more than 916 million units and revenues surpassing $489 billion dollars in 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). These numbers reflect the combined total from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Mobile Phone Tracker, and Media Tablet Tracker.

"Whether it's consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust 'app' ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school's computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual's life," said Bob O'Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays at IDC.

A First for PC Gaming: Command Using a Smartphone with ROCCAT Power-Grid

German gaming peripherals manufacturer, ROCCAT Studios, has introduced a groundbreaking technology called the ROCCAT Power-Grid that - for the first time in the history of PC gaming - lets players control their games and computer with their smartphone. And, in what is surely music to the ears of many players, the Power-Grid is completely free to get started.

Gaming evolved

"Some gaming companies claim PC gaming is sick and needs help," says René Korte, ROCCAT Founder and CEO. "We at ROCCAT have never thought that. We know PC gaming is alive and well. It just needs to keep evolving. Power-Grid represents that natural evolution. Why? Because it makes possible the dream of millions of gamers: to stay fully absorbed in the game no matter what happens in the real world. It works with every PC, makes expensive touch-display gaming devices obsolete, and is completely free to get started. Is PC gaming sick? Hardly. Is it dead? Of course not. It's evolving and getting a hell of a lot better."

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