As the leading independent distributor of electronic components, Smith tracks open-market activity and conditions as an early indicator of trends and supply chain disruptions. Industry news provides important and time-sensitive information when strategically procuring components, planning for NPIs, or making any critical decisions in the supply chain.
We’ve curated a selection of this week’s industry articles that we feel can help customers gain relevant, useful knowledge and prepare for any supply chain requirements.
Samsung Plans $116 Billion Splurge on Chips to Take On Intel
Samsung is ramping up its role in the semiconductor space. The company, which currently dominates the memory chip market, announced plans this week to invest $116 billion in its logic chip business over the next decade. This is an aggressive move that highlights Samsung’s aims to surpass Intel and Qualcomm, its closest rivals for the leading global position. This news comes after Samsung suffered a setback in its mobile phone business. The planned April 26 launch of the highly touted Galaxy Fold has been indefinitely postponed following problems with early test versions of the device. Read More.
OLED panels with in-display sensors gaining dominance in handset market
OLED panels with in-display sensors are gaining dominance in the smartphone market. This growth is driven by the reduction in sensor prices and the price gap between OLED and LTPS LCD panels. Many vendors, such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo, have started using fingerprint-sensing technology, not just in their premium smartphones, but in mid-range models, too. During Q1 2019, smartphone shipments in China reached approximately 98 million units, and it is forecasted that the number of shipments in Q2 will rise to over 100 million units. Samsung Display is currently the largest supplier of rigid OLED panels. Read More. 
NAND flash price falls to slow
NAND flash chipmakers have seen increased inventory levels since the second half of 2018, mainly due to a slowdown in demand for data center applications. As a result, NAND pricing continued its fall throughout Q1 2019. However, price drops are expected to ease during Q2 and will likely remain stagnant through the remainder of the year as end-market demand is expected to rise in Q3. Read More. 
Microsoft is building two huge data centers in Arizona
Microsoft announced that it is investing in two new Arizona data centers, increasing its West Coast data center presence to five.
“As part of our plans to support the growing demand for cloud and Internet services in Arizona and across the Western United States, Microsoft recently purchased land at two locations in Goodyear, Arizona [sic] where we intend to develop world-class data center facilities,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email. Public documents have previously called the project a “five-building technology center,” leaving the door open to additional data centers in the future. Goodyear, AZ is already home to planned facilities from Vantage, Compass, and Stream Data Centers. Read More.
Microsoft says its datacenters will use 60% renewable energy by 2020
In other news, Microsoft – carbon neutral since 2012 – has set a lofty goal of cutting operational carbon emissions significantly in the coming years. The company says that its data centers will use 60% renewable energy by 2020. Read More.
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