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Shortage of microchips is shortcutting mobile phone manufacturing – Global Times

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The Kunpeng 920 chip, among other server chips, showcased at Huawei Beijing research center. Photo:CGTN

The Kunpeng 920 chip, among other server chips, showcased at Huawei Beijing research center. Photo:CGTN

A global microchip shortage is plaguing the entire cell phone manufacturing, as well as hitting personal computer making and car production.

The shortage is spurred by COVID-19-induced supply crunch, the fallout from US’ trade war and a fierce arms race, according to mobile phone manufacturers and experts,  and the chip shortfall is likely to last for months.

A growing chorus of mobile phone vendors warned in recent weeks they cannot access enough chips to make their products.

“The chips and other components from Qualcomm are out of stock, including power supply and RF devices,” a person with Chinese smartphone maker Realme said on Monday.

“There’s a shortage of microchips this year. It’s not just shortfall but severe shortage,” Lu Weibing, vice president of Xiaomi group said on his Weibo account on Feb 24.

Jiang Xiaofeng, sales director of Umidigi, a Chinese mobile phone company, told Global Times on Monday that the whole industry is facing challenges including increasing prices of raw materials and even running out of stock. 

“Due to the influence of COVID-19, the cost of mobile phone manufacturing industry is rising rapidly.” said Jiang. 

Jiang noted that the price of semiconductor chips keeps rising, which affect their manufacturing directly, and the production cost may not go down in a short time.

Key industrial players like Qualcomm, have noted the shortage. “The shortage in the semiconductor industry is across the board,” said incoming Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon in January, CNBC reported.

The delivery time of the whole series of materials for Qualcomm has been extended to more than 30 weeks, and the delivery time of CSR Bluetooth audio chips to 33 weeks, Yicai reported, citing person in the mobile industrial chain.

Some chip makers which cannot resume normal production because of the US sanction measures, such as SMIC, also exacerbated the market shortage, Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Monday.

As a result major smartphone makers have begun hoarding components which helped accelerate the market shortage, Xiang added.

Umidigi, for example, had prepared a batch of smart phone chips in advance, according to Jiang. “We usually pre-stock materials for our manufacturing capacity in advance of three to six months based on our plans,” said Jiang.

He said the current chips for the company can meet the requirement of daily manufacturing capacity and company’s stocked chips can be used until the end of the second quarter of 2021.

Other mobile phone manufacturers including Huawei, Oppo, vivo are also reported to increase stocking components.

Experts predicted that chips are likely to remain in short supply over the coming months as demand remains higher than ever.

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, global chip sales would grow 8.4 percent in 2021 from 2020′s total of $433 billion, up from 5.1 percent year-on-year.

Xiang estimates there will be a short-term price hike up due to the uneven supply and demand, but the shortage would be eased by the second half of the year. “As far as I know chip manufacturers are increasing their production capacity and China’s accelerated speed in the construction of chip foundries is also expected to ease the shortage,” he said.

Xiao Yaqing, Minister of the Ministry of industry and information technology, told a briefing on Monday that China will provide necessary support at the national level to build a market-oriented semiconductor industry.

“We will increase tax cuts for IC enterprises and further enhance the basic foundation of the industry including raw materials, technology and equipment,” Xiao said.

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Nikkei: Google Tensor is a 5nm chip and Samsung is handling production – 9to5Google

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With the hype surrounding the Pixel 6 series now at an all-time high, we’re learning more by the hour. The latest such snippet is that the Google Tensor chipset to be used within the upcoming duo will reportedly be made using a 5nm process, with Samsung handling the production.

Naturally, the news that Samsung is handling production should come as no surprise whatsoever, given that Google has reportedly co-developed the firm’s first dedicated smartphone chip with the Korean tech giant.

However, sources close to Nikkei Asia suggests that the Google Tensor chipset will be built using a 5nm fabrication process, which is the same as the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile chipset and Samsung’s own Exynos 1080/2100 chips.

Google did not disclose who will manufacture the Tensor chip for Pixel, but sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia that Samsung handle production using its advanced 5-nanometer process technology.

It’s worth noting that Samsung declined to comment on Nikkei’s report, with Google providing no information on who would handle the chipset – previously known as “Whitechapel” – production. Of course, there are very few companies with the track record and capability to fulfill large chipset orders for smartphone production. The Korean tech giant is one of the few capable of doing so.

If the Tensor chip is indeed based upon the 5nm fabrication process, it could provide notable efficiency gains over the 7nm process used within the Pixel 5’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC. Google said that the Tensor chip has been four years in the making and has been designed “specifically for Pixels,” which indicates that we’ll likely only see it in Made by Google hardware.

More on Google Pixel 6:


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Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 4 Classic prices confirmed in a new leak – SamMobile

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Samsung will unveil a bunch of new devices next week during its Galaxy Unpacked August 2021 event. The company’s first Wear OS 3 smartwatches will be a part of the event as well. Their design and complete specs sheet have been leaked already, and now their pricing has been revealed as well.

Galaxy Watch 4 price could start at €279

Leakster Even Blass (@evleaks) has published a few images of the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, and they reveal the European prices of the wearables. The Galaxy Watch 4’s 40mm variant could carry a price tag of €279, while its 44mm variant could cost €309. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which has a rotating bezel and a bigger screen, could be priced at €379 for the 42mm variant and €409 for the 46mm variant.

Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 4 specs

Both smartwatches sport circular Super AMOLED displays with Corning’s Gorilla Glass DX/DX+ protection. They feature an IP68 rating as well as an MIL-STD-810G-compliant design for dust, water, and shock resistance. Both smartwatches run One UI Watch 3.5 software on top of Wear OS 3. They also feature an accelerometer, barometric altimeter, ECG, GPS, gyro, heart rate monitor, sleep monitoring, SpO2 sensor, stress monitoring, and even body fat composition measurement.

The Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will come equipped with the 5nm Exynos W920 dual-core processor, 1.5GB RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. They also feature dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC. The smartwatches have a loudspeaker and microphone for taking calls and other tasks. The Galaxy Watch 4 is expected to feature a 247mAh battery, while the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic could have a 361mAh battery.

Both smartwatches feature Qi wireless charging, Samsung Health, SmartThings, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

  • Model: SM-R880
  • Dimensions: Watch: x x mm
  • Display: 1.2 inch / 30.2 mm Circular Super AMOLED
  • CPU:
  • Camera:

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Samsung Galaxy Book Go is now available in Canada – MobileSyrup

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Samsung’s latest laptop offering, the Galaxy Book Go, which the tech giant is positioning as an ultra-compact and portable device, is now available in Canada.

You can purchase the Samsung Galaxy Book Go at Samsung Experience Store, Best Buy Canada locations and online at Samsung.com/ca for $419.99.

The laptop is powered by the new Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor along with a Qualcomm Adreno graphics card and 4 GB LPDDR4x Memory.

It features a 14-inch anti-glare full HD display and will be available in the Mystic Silver colour variant and 64GB storage specification. The laptop also has a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

The compact laptop runs on Windows 10 Home and boasts two 1.5 W stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos audio, an internal digital mic and a 720p HD camera.

Further, the laptop has two USB Type-C ports, one USB 2.0 port, one headphone-out/mic-in combo port, along with a chiclet keyboard (Island-type keyboard).

The Samsung Galaxy Book Go has a 42.3 Wh (Watt Hours) battery that allows it to run up to 18 hours on a single charge.

While the Samsung Galaxy Book Go’s listing on Samsung’s website doesn’t let me purchase it at the time of writing this (2:30 pm ET), according to the company’s news release, the laptop will be available to purchase today, August 3rd, at Samsung Experience Stores, Best Buy Canada locations and online at Samsung.com/ca for $419.99.

Image credit: Samsung

Source: Samsung

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