Lawrence Livermore EUV 230At least a dozen 5G phones will be announced in the next two weeks for MWC Barcelona. Some of them may start shipping as soon as April, earlier than expected. That's not guaranteed. The primary chips should be available but the front end of the phones - RF or Radio Frequency - also has been struggling.

End of March, Taiwan Semi promises volume production of 7 nm chips produced using an Extreme Ultraviolet system (EUV.) TSMC is taking delivery on 18 of the US$100 million-plus machines this year. Some will be tested on 5nm, with production expected in 2020.  Samsung and TSMC have begun construction on 3 nm facilities that will cost US$20 billion. 

EUV should deliver chips that are perhaps 10% more efficient. Even a small improvement is desperately needed.  Huawei HiSilicon is set to be one of the primary customers, although Apple's A13 chip will have priority. 

If the designs are working as well as hoped, both HiSilicon and Qualcomm should have good quantities of 5G chips by the summer, slightly ahead of schedule. 

The most advanced chipmaking process - 7 nm at Taiwan Semi without EUV - is barely able to deliver 5G chips today. There have been fewer than a dozen public sighting of 5G phones. none of which have tested at even half of the expected gigabit. 

For EUV information, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_ultraviolet_lithography is well done.

 

dave ask

Newsfeed

CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon.

Bharti in India has lost 45M customers who did not want to pay the minimum US#2/month. It's shutting down 3G to free some spectrum for 4G. It is cutting capex, dangerous when the 12 gigabytes/month of use continues to rise.

Huawei in 6 days sold 300,000 5G Mate 20s. Delivery begins on 8/16. 

China has over 50,000 upgraded base stations and may have more than 200,000 by yearend 2019. The growth is astonishing and about to accelerate. China will have more 5G than North America and Europe combined for several years.

5G phone prices are down to $580 in China from Oppo. Headed under $300 in 2020 and driving demand.

No one believed me when I wrote in May, 90% of Huawei U.S. purchases can be rapidly replaced and that Huawei would survive and thrive. Financial results are in, with 23% growth and increased phone sales. It is spending $17B on research in 2019, up > 10%. 

5G phones spotted from Sharp and Sony

NTT DOCOMO will begin "pre-commercial service Sept 20 with over 100 live bases. Officially, the commercial start is 2020.

 More newsfeed

----------

Welcome  1,800,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first four months. The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 3X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80+% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.