Weekly news roundup: Xiaomi 14 Ultra ushers in the era of satellite-enabled smartphones

Jerry Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


These are the most-read DIGITIMES Asia stories in the week of March 4 – March 8

Satellite wars: Xiaomi challenges Apple and Huawei with 14 Ultra

In the wake of Apple and Huawei's trailblazing efforts, Xiaomi's latest offering, the 14 Ultra, is making waves yet again, heralding a new era in mobile communication. The industry is witnessing a seismic shift with satellite connectivity now firmly established as more than just a fad. Equipped with a proprietary signal enhancement chip, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra boasts seamless integration with China's geosynchronous orbit satellite, "Tiantong," facilitating two-way satellite communication encompassing voice calls, text messaging, and location tracking.

India and the Netherlands join hands on semiconductor opportunities

According to a report co-developed by India and the Netherlands, the two countries will join hands in the semiconductor sector. According to the Economic Times, CXO Today, and Manufacturing Today, the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) and the Netherlands Innovation Network under the Embassy of the Netherlands in India unveiled a report, "Indi-Dutch Semiconductor Opportunities."

Exclusive: Chinese ex-Google employee stole company's AI secrets while moonlighting at Ant Group affiliate

Former Googler Linwei Ding is accused of stealing AI secrets from the US tech giant while secretly working for an Ant Group affiliate just months before Ant announced its own AI division. Ding, a former Google engineer and a Chinese national, was charged by the US Department of Justice on March 6. The DoJ accused him of exfiltrating hundreds of Google's classified AI files while secretly working at two Chinese companies including Ant Group-invested Beijing Rongshu Lianzhi Technology Company.

DDR5 adoption to accelerate in 2H24 thanks to GenAI

Penetration of DDR5 in the memory market is poised to accelerate and reach double digits in the second half of 2024, thanks to demand from Generative AI (GenAI), according to market sources. Demand for GenAI applications has injected momentum into the recovery of the memory market, sending makers to increase DDR5 production, the sources said, adding that DDR5 is expected to reach a supply-demand balance starting from the second quarter of 2024.

Chinese foundry to set up production line for HBM memory

Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing (XMC) reportedly has sent out an invitation to bid for a high-bandwidth memory (HBM) project. This suggests that the Chinese memory sector, led by Yangtze Memory Technology (YMTC), is placing HBM at the forefront of its future development strategies, according to industry sources in China. HBM is poised to be a key area of competition among memory makers. Only SK Hynix, Samsung Electronics, and Micron Technology are capable of volume HBM production.

Apple rethinks microLED approach: Osram cooperation dropped, new suppliers sought

Apple's foray into Micro LED applications has been closely watched. However, a recent announcement from AMS Osram has sent shockwaves through the industry. AMS Osram revealed the unexpected cancellation of a crucial microLED production project by a major customer. Although the customer was not identified, industry insiders speculate it to be Apple, particularly given the project's focus on microLEDs for potential adoption in Apple Watches. Industry observers pointed out that Apple remains committed to microLED technology.

Taiwan exports to China see record drop in 2023

Taiwan's exports to China (including Hong Kong) decreased by 18.1% in 2023 compared with 2022, the largest decline in history, according to Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council. China's economy is slowing and many industry supply chains are "de-risking" at the request of their customers, reducing their reliance on Chinese manufacturing. Supply chains are now moving to ASEAN countries, India, and Mexico. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has invested in the US, Japan, and Germany.