Weekly news roundup: Apple sparks speculation of partnership with EV startup

Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


These are the most-read DIGITIMES Asia stories in the week of May 6 – May 10.

Speculation arises about Apple exploring collaboration with EV startup

Apple may not have completely abandoned its car ambition. Speculation has surfaced among supply chains that the tech giant is mulling over a partnership with an EV startup and Rivian is a very likely candidate. The form of such a collaboration remains unclear. Rivian, while still under financial pressure, has partnered with Amazon and seen good order visibility for the second half of 2024.

China-based semiconductor equipment suppliers continue to see explosive growth

Most Chinese semiconductor equipment makers experienced double-digit growth in sales and profits in the past year as the country fostered its semiconductor supply chain. Naura Technology reported a 50% increase in sales and 65% growth in profits in 2023. Zhejiang Jingsheng Mechanical and Electrical's sales surged by nearly 70% and profits rose by almost 60%. Moreover, AMEC saw strong growth in both sales and profits, hitting double-digit figures last year.

Speculation arises about Huawei developing Kirin PC chips

Huawei has denied online rumors that it plans to launch products equipped with the Kirin X series (tentative name) PC platform sometime in 2024. Supply chain sources revealed that Huawei will release a new PC product, the Qingyun W515x, in May 2024. The PC will launch with an 8-core 12-thread Kirin 9000C processor and support LPDDR5, Wi-Fi 6, and Huawei universal flash storage (UFS) hard drives and solid-state drives (SSD).

Huawei's supercharging alliance to push for international standard

Huawei has installed 20,000 charging piles across China since launching the fully liquid-cooled SuperCharge charging pile in 2023. The company aims to install 100,000 charging piles in China this year. It recently formed a "supercharging alliance" with prominent EV makers such as BYD, Great Wall Motors, and GAC. Charging pile makers said the alliance can potentially reshape the entire market.

TSMC may soon see 3nm capacity supply fall short of demand

Industry sources said TSMC has seen utilization rates for its 3nm family climb to more than 95%. As demand for its N3E process from Apple and other customers grows robustly, TSMC's capacity supply at the 3nm node will likely fall short soon. Sources said Apple's latest M4 chip, which powers its newly launched new-generation iPad Pro, is made using TSMC's N3E process.

Apple said to have signed pact with Samsung Display for foldable devices

Speculation arose among the supply chain that Apple had struck an agreement with South Korean panel supplier Samsung Display (SDC) for foldable devices in April. The US company will likely introduce two foldable devices in 2026. Sources said Apple's foldable panel orders for SDC reportedly will amount to about 34 million units in 2026, 65 million units in 2027, and 100 million units in 2027.

Taiwan fab toolmakers eyeing orders from Malaysia

As SEMICON Southeast Asia is on track to open in Kuala Lumpur on May 28, Taiwanese semiconductor equipment suppliers said that Malaysia has become one of the major beneficiaries of heightening geopolitical risks. Semiconductor firms are diversifying production bases. In Malaysia, semiconductor clusters are taking shape in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, with the packaging and testing sector seeing the fastest growth.