3-18:Samsung half this year DRAM, NAND investment; Kyocera invest to increase capacity of FCCSP IC substrate production; Intel “zero-profit” to get Apple iPhone modem business; etc.

Samsung to reduce investment to half on DRAM and NAND; Kyocera to invest in expanding IC substrate production; Intel “zero-profit” to get Apple iPhone modem business from Qualcomm; After merging with Avago, Broadcomm reportedly to exit Wi-Fi chipset market; Goodix to official launch  “Live Finger Detection”; China Mobile and China Unicom 2015 profit declined; WeChat handles more than CNY3600 billion transaction this year; etc.

Chipsets

Imagination Technologies will lay off 350 workers (20% of worldwide workforce). A recent slump in growth in Apple iPhone sales has hurt the firm. (Phone Arena, Reuters, CN Beta, Ars Technica, iFeng)
Kyocera will spend about JPY15 billion yen (USD132 million) to double production capacity for flip-chip chip scale package — or FCCSP — substrates. Kyocera will set up a new chip substrate plant in Kyoto Prefecture, with plans to start operation by summer 2017. (TechNews, Reuters, Nikkei)
Broadcom reportedly is looking to phase out its Wi-Fi chip business in a move to streamline its workforce and product offerings following its acquisition by Avago. (Digitimes, Digitimes)
Citigroup chip analyst, Christopher Danely says, Intel taking some of Qualcomm’s business of selling baseband modems to Apple for the iPhone with “zero profit” or “empty calories”. (Barron’s, TechNews)

Display

LG debuts digital signage displays based on revolutionary OLED technology. The paper-thin, dual-sided displays with perfect blacks and incredible color will be available in curved and flat configurations. (Yahoo, OLED-Info, Novus Light, Leiphone)

lg-dual-view-tv

Memory

RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani expects Samsung to cut its spending in DRAM chips by 51% this year from the USD2.1 billion that it spent in 2015. In the past 2 years, Samsung has added chips with new 20nm level DRAM technology and converted between 60-70% of its DRAM capacity to 20nm. During the same time, DRAM prices fell more than 50% due to weak PC demand. (TechNews, Korea Times, Business Korea)
RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Darvanani said that when the substantial 3D NAND capacity build is finished, Samsung will reduce its spending on NAND chips to USD2.8 billion from USD6.1 billion, YoY.  He believes that Samsung had a capacity of 90,000 to 100,000 3D NAND chips in the Xi’an plant by the end of 2015, with approximately 30,000 capacity at 48 layers and 60 to 70,000 at 32 layers. (TechNews, Korea Times, Business Korea)

Sensors

Mobile phone-based microscopy can be used to diagnose skin cancer accurately in settings where a traditional microscope is not available, according to UTHealth. A smartphone microscope can be made with a 3 mm ball lens, which costs about USD14. (CN Beta, DNA India, First Spot)

uthealth-skin-cancer

Biometrics

Goodix debuts “Live Finger Detection” solution, which can detect the user’s pulse to enhance security and reject counterfeit or cloned fingerprints. It seamlessly integrates a capacitive fingerprint sensor and an optical heart rate sensor into one silicon sensor design, which authenticates users with fingerprint as well as finger skin color and heart rate signals. (CN Beta, Goodix, Yahoo, YeSky, Business Wire)

goodix-live-finger-detection

Connectivity

Both China operators, China Mobile and China Unicom have released its 2015 financial report, with net profit declining. (China.com, Digitimes, Digitimes)

chinamobile-unicom-2015-financial

The average connection speed in India is 2.5Mbps, according to Akamai Technologies. Among the companies proposing piecemeal solutions are Google, Microsoft, and Huawei Technologies. (CN Beta, Yahoo)
AT&T is pulling out all the stops in Louisville, Ky., in an attempt to stop Alphabet’s Google from gaining access to its utility poles to speed up the rollout of Google Fiber. (CN Beta, Fierce Telecom, Motley Fool)

Smartphones

Monthly active users for Tencent WeChat (known as Weixin in Chinese) reached 697 million at the end of 2015. In 2016, it is believed that WeChat Pay will handle at least CNY3600 billion (or USD556 billion) transaction. This is more than double of Alipay of last year, which was USD28.2 billion. (CN Beta, CWW, Reuters, Solo News, TechCrunch, Tencent, NDTV)
Handset ODM FIH Mobile, a member of the Foxconn, has reported 2015 revenues of USD7.451 billion, up 9.09% on year, as net profits surged 35.06% to USD229 million. (Digitimes, 4-Traders, OfWeek, Sina)
OPPO R9 / R9 Plus are announced: R9 – 5.5” FHD AMOLED display, MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755 processor, 13MP + 16MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, LTE, dual-SIM, 2850mAh battery. R9 Plus – 6” FHD AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, 16MP + 16MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, LTE, dual-SIM, 4120mAh battery. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, OPPO)

oppo-r9-r9-plus

Wearables

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 110 million by the end of 2016 with 38.2% growth over the previous year, according to IDC, and the number will reach 237.1 million in 2020. Apple Watch is expected to capture more than 49% of the market share by 2016. (Phone Arena, IDC, press, Tencent, Apple Insider)

idc-2020-wearable-forecast

Intel has no plans to build a virtual reality (VR) headset but instead is focusing on helping its partners in the field to eventually push PC sales. (CN Beta, Tencent, Value Walk, USA Today)
Alibaba has formally entered virtual reality market after it announced its own VR research lab, dubbed GnomeMagic Lab, which will work with its shopping businesses with a view to integrating VR into the shopping experience while exploring other applications. (CN Beta, iFeng, Sina, Value Walk, TechCrunch)

alibaba-buy+

Michael Kors launches his first Android Wear smartwatch line, Michael Kors Access, priced from USD395. It will have exclusive Michael Kors watch faces, interchangeable leather and silicone wristbands, and “glamorous versions for women and sporty versions for men”. (GSM Arena, The Verge, iMobile)

michael-kors-smartwatch

Internet of Things

Midea confirmed it is buying Toshiba white goods business. The sale will be worth more than USD1 billion. (CN Beta, 4-Traders, China Daily, iFeng)
Google’s parent company, Alphabet has decided to put its robotics division, Boston Dynamics, up for sale. (Android Authority, Bloomberg, Engadget, Tencent)
NEC Australia, a leading technology services company, has become the newest strategic partner to Microsoft’s Azure IoT program. (CN Beta, ARN Net, Computer World, IT Wire)
Sidewalk Labs, Google’s urban planning subsidiary, is teaming up with the Department of Transportation to develop a data analytics platform that could change the way city transit works. (CN Beta, Yahoo, Forbes, CNET)

sidewalk-labs

wezzoo’s Oombrella is a smart umbrella, with a capsule embedded in the handle that contains a series of sensors to collect information on humidity, temperature, pressure, and light. It sends a notification to a free smartphone app (iOS or Android) via Bluetooth. (CN Beta, Gizmag, Oombrella)

wezzoo-oombrella

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