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  1. (Reuters) - Apple Inc held talks with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and MediaTek Inc along with existing vendor Intel Corp to supply 5G modem chips for 2019 iPhones, according to an Apple executive’s testimony at a trial between Qualcomm Inc and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Friday. Between 2011 and 2016, Apple relied on San Diego-based Qualcomm as the sole supplier of such chips, which help iPhones connect to wireless networks. Starting in 2016, Apple split the business between Intel and Qualcomm, but in 2018, Apple moved solely to Intel for its newest phones. But Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins testified on Friday that Apple has also considered MediaTek and Samsung, one of its largest rivals in the smart phone market, to supply the chips for the next generation of wireless networks known as 5G. Those networks are expected to start rolling out this year and provide faster data speeds than current 4G networks. The FTC is suing Qualcomm alleging the chip supplier engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices to preserve a dominant position in the premium modem chip market. On the stand at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Blevins testified that Apple has long sought multiple suppliers for modem chips but signed an agreement with Qualcomm to exclusively supply the chips because the chip supplier offered deep rebates on patent license costs in exchange for exclusivity. In 2013, Apple broke off work with Intel to start supplying modems for the iPad Mini 2 because Apple would lose its rebates by using Intel’s chips, rendering Intel’s products “economically unattractive” overall. Later that year after cost negotiations with Qualcomm did not go as Apple hoped, Apple kicked off “Project Antique” to secure a second modem supplier, Blevins testified. By 2016 and 2017, Apple introduced Intel’s modems in some of its iPhones but also still used Qualcomm chips. But Apple’s lawsuit against Qualcomm filed in early 2017 caused their business relationship to change “in a very profound and negative manner,” leading to using only Intel’s modems for the phones released last year. “The entire concept of Project Antique was to find a second supplier. No offense to (Intel) but we don’t want to be single supplier with them. We wanted both Qualcomm and (Intel) in the mix,” Blevins said. Blevins also testified Apple considered making Intel the sole supplier of modems for the Apple Watch, which added 4G connectivity in 2017 using Qualcomm chips. Blevins said that talking with Samsung, whose Galaxy and Note devices compete against the iPhone, is “not an ideal environment” for Apple, but that Samsung is currently the largest component supplier to Apple. Blevins did not say whether Apple had reached a decision on a 5G modem supplier or whether it would release a 5G iPhone in 2019. Citing sources, Bloomberg previously reported that Apple would not release such a phone until 2020. Source
  2. Qualcomm to remain alone in the Windows 10 on ARM project Microsoft announced in late 2016 that the full Windows 10 would be able to run on ARM chips thanks to a new emulation system, explaining that Qualcomm would be one of the companies involved in the project, with its chipsets specifically developed to take advantage of this idea. But as far as MediaTek is concerned, this is just a risky project that the company doesn’t want to invest in for the time being, especially because Windows on ARM is already a failed experiment since 2012. MediaTek is currently one of the biggest ARM chip manufacturers, so when asked whether they plan to put ARM-based chips into Windows 10 PCs, the answer was a big no. “We've been down this path before, and we'll see,” Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of sales at MediaTek, was quoted as saying. On the other hand, MediaTek will continue building ARM chips for Chromebooks and other devices, but as far as Windows is concerned, the company will stay away from this platform. The firm says that putting ARM in a Windows 10 PC is just like using an Intel chip in a smartphone, describing it as a limited opportunity that is not worth investing in at the moment. The Windows RT flop MediaTek pointed to Windows RT as the failed experiment showing that Windows 10 on ARM is a risky project, though Microsoft is doing things differently right now. Windows RT was launched in 2012 on the Surface RT as a tablet-oriented operating system that could only run apps from the Windows Store, with no support for Win32 software. With Windows 10 on ARM, however, Microsoft is introducing a new emulation system that does support Win32 programs, thus removing this limitation and fixing the biggest annoyance that eventually killed off Windows RT. Qualcomm would thus remain the only big company building ARM chips for Windows 10, and the firm’s Snapdragon 835 is already prepared to take advantage of this emulation. The first PCs running on Snapdragon 835 should see daylight later this year, as Qualcomm and Microsoft are working as we speak to get this project ready for the public launch. Source
  3. MediaTek has officially announced the MT6795 chipset. The latest addition is a 64-bit True Octa-core 4G LTE enabled chip and comes with the ability to support 2K display. The MT6795 is clocked at 2.2GHz and features the company’s CorePilot technology, which provides multi-processor performance and thermal control. The new chip sports a dual-channel LPDDR3 running at 933MHz for top-end memory bandwidth in a smartphone. MediaTek’s newest offering support 120Hz displays and has the capability to create and playback 480 frames per second 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion videos. Here’s a list of key features of the MT6795:64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE SoC with clock speed up to 2.2GHzMediaTek CorePilot unlocks the full power of all eight coresDual-channel LPDDR3 memory clocked at 933MHz2K on device display (2560x1600)120Hz mobile display with ClearMotion™ and Response Time Enhancement Technology480fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion video recording and playbackIntegrated, low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9, as well as for graphics-intensive games and appsSupport for Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150Mbps/50Mbps), as well as modems for 2G/3G networksSupport for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/Bluetooth®/FM/GPS/Glonass/Beidou/ANT+Multi-mode wireless charging supported by MediaTek’s companion multi-mode wireless power receiver IC According to MediaTek, the first set of MT6795 powered smartphone will be commercially available by the end of 2014. Source
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