Electronics-related research and innovation continues despite the Covid-19 crisis. For instance, MIT engineers have developed a new type of brain chip, or "brain-on-a-chip," which could soon deliver supercomputer-type capabilities to small devices. In other news, industry analysts expect the optical transceiver market to double by 2025. Let’s take a look at some interesting news items from the past few days.

MIT Engineers Design a Brain Chip

Smart chips are getting smarter, which is good news for engineers and product designers. Last week, MIT announced a new brain chip (“brain-on-a-chip”), comprising tens of thousands of memory transistors (i.e., mresistors). Product designers and engineers could soon incorporate such technology in devices that "only today's supercomputers can handle," MIT reportsElectronics News Byte: Brain chip and more  

Qualcomm Leads Q1 IC Design Revenue

According to a TrendForce report, Qualcomm was the top IC design company in Q1 2020. The company posted $4.1 billion in revenue, which was an 10.2% YoY increase. Broadcom is in second place with $4 billion. NVIDIA, MediaTek, AMD, and Xilinx follow.

Optical Transceiver Market to Double

Yole Développement reports the optical transceiver market is poised to double over the next five years. Investment in datacenters and 5G networks should push the market to $17.7 billion by 2025. The market driver is "the high optical module cost erosion coupled with high volume adoption of high data rates modules by big cloud service operators and national telecom operators," the firm states. 

Smartphone Revenues Down in Western Europe

According to a Strategy Analytics report, Q1 2020 smartphone demand was down 10% in Western Europe due to the Covid-19 crisis. The breakdown of revenue: Apple (49%), Samsung (32%), Huawei (7%), and others like Xiaomi and OnePlus (12%).

NXP to Adopt TSMC's 5-nm Process for Auto Platform

NXP Semiconductors announced it will collaborate with TSMC "to create a System-on-Chip (SoC) platform in 5nm to deliver the next generation of automotive processors." The companies intend to have samples ready for delivery in 2021. 

New Product News

Microchip announces Adaptec SmartRAID 3100E RAID adapters, which are designed to deliver reliable hardware RAID protection for customer data in cost-sensitive end apps. Free registration is open for the STEM Education Summit 2020 (June 27 and 28), where STEM educators will share their insights on technology and more. Espressif’s recently launched its ESP Apple HomeKit Application Development Kit, which enables designers to prototype non-commercial smart home applications.   

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