11-10: Samsung and LG reportedly plan to launch foldable smartphones in 2017; JDI has revealed Full Active panel technology roadmap including flexible in 2019; etc.

Chipset

According to SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG), total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,730M-sq.inches during 3Q16, a 0.9% increase from the 2,706M-sq.inches shipped during 2Q16. New quarterly total area shipments are 5.4% higher than 3Q15 shipments and are at their highest recorded quarterly level. (SEMI, press, SEMI[cn], Digitimes)

semi-silicon-area-shipment-trends

Shanghai Huali Microelectronics Co. (HLMC) has started construction of its CNY38.7B 12” wafer plant featuring 28nm-to-14nm technology, located in Kangqiao of Pudong, Shanghai. It will start production in 2018 with a capacity of 10K units per month. By 2022, it will ramp up to full capacity of about 40K units monthly. (TechNews, HLMC, ECNS)

hlmc-12inch-fab-construction

Intel is working on a new technology that would speed up communications between silicon chips. The technology embeds tiny lasers and fiber optic connections into a chip to transmit data directly to another chip. Christopher Rolland of Susquehanna Financial claims this technology is a “potential game changer” for Intel and the industry. (CN Beta, Barron’s, blog, Fortune)

intel-silicon-photonics-between-cpu-and-fpga

Touch Panel

Hyundai Securities analyst Kim Don-won believes that Samsung and LG plan to launch foldable smartphones in 2017. He claims that year 2017 will be the first year of foldable smartphones for the mass market. Following the launches by the Korean firms, other global rivals such as Apple and Google are also likely to unveil their own versions in 2018. (CN Beta, Softpedia, The Investor)
Samsung’s portfolio of folding phone designs is already plenty thick, and a new one, put out in May 2016 and recently approved by the US Patent Office, points to a feature-rich design centered around a mutli-part hinge resembling a nautilus shell. (Android Headlines, Patently Mobile, Sohu, IT Home, Android Authority, TechNews)

samsung-new-flexible-display-patent

Samsung has reportedly made the decision to also mount a larger screen on Galaxy S8 to make it more appealing to Note series fans. Samsung is rumored to launch 2 Galaxy S8 versions with different screens: 5.7” and 6.2”, respectively. (Android Headlines, Fox News, Softpedia, The Investor, My Drivers, SZ News, 163)

samsung-galaxy-s8-2-screensizes

TFT-LCD panel maker Innolux has disclosed it shipped 9.71M large-size panels and 18.65M small- to medium-size units in Oct. 2016, declining 6.3% and 1.5% respectively on month. (Digitimes, press)

digitimes-innolux-oct-2016

Japan Display Inc. (JDI) has revealed Full Active panel technology roadmap, claiming that in 2017 it will achieve four-sided bezel-less technology, in 2018 slim and low-power, and 2019 flexible. (TechNews, Android Authority, Sohu, FPDisplay)

jdi-flexible-full-active

E Ink Holdings, the leading innovator of electronic ink technology today announced E Ink has agreed to enter a long-term strategic alliance with Japan Display Inc. (JDI) for electronic paper (ePaper) business. (Business Wire, Yahoo, JDI, China Times, TTV)

Camera

Cmosis who currently supplies Leica just announced their 48MP Full Frame and 4k Global Shutter sensor. The CMV50000 is a medium format 48MP sensor with 7920×6002 4.6µm sized pixels using the patented 8-transistor pixel architecture to offer low noise and excellent electronic shutter efficiency. (CN Beta, Mirrorless Rumors, DP Review, Cmosis)

cmv50k-diagram-48mp

Sensory

Fujitsu announced the development of an AI model that can generate highly reliable recognition of handwritten character strings. The AI model represents the world’s highest degree of accuracy in recognizing handwritten Chinese character strings. (Fujitsu, Fujitsu, Phys, Far East Gizmos)

fujitsu-ai-chinese-characters

Biometrics

Samsung System LSI has reportedly been developing fingerprint recognition sensor chips since end of 2015. It will commercialize these chips in 2017. Its short-term goal is to supply them low and medium-priced phones and long-term goal is to supply them for premium phones such as Galaxy S and Note series. It will develop its own chip while source the necessary algorithm from Precise Biometrics Sweden and for modules it will lean on existing relationships in the CMOS image sensor industry. (CN Beta, Sam Mobile, ET News, IHS Markit, press)

ihs-2015-fingerprint-sensor-market-share ihs-2015-fingerprint-sensor-ranking

Smartphones

The latest smartphone OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows a solid 5.2 percentage point US market share increase for iOS during 3Q16 to 34.2%. Both iOS and Android made gains across most of the EU5 countries. However, Android posted a 3.3 percentage point decline in the US from 66.7% to 63.4%, while iOS share fell in Germany from 17.5% to 15% and in Urban China from 18.7% to 14.2%. (Kantar Worldpanel, press, press, CN Beta)

kantar-3q16-smartphone-os

Apple is seeking financial handouts from the Indian government before setting up a manufacturing unit in the country. Since Apple currently operates just one factory of its own, located in Ireland, Indian manufacturing would presumably be handled by Foxconn. (CN Beta, Economic Times, Apple Insider, Asia Nikkei)
US non-financial companies rated by Moody’s will increase their cash holdings to USD1.77T by the end of 2016, from USD1.68T at the end of 2015, Moody’s Investors Services says. Most of the cash that companies have is generated and being held overseas. Moody’s estimates that the amount of overseas cash will reach about USD1.3T, or 74% of total cash, in 2016. That is up from an estimated USD1.2T, or 72% of total cash in 2015. (Yahoo, Investor Business Daily, Business Insider, Moody’s)

moodys-us-corps-overseas-cash

ASUS Zenfone 3 Max is launched in India with 2 variants with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE (VoLTE), dual-SIM, 4100mAh battery: ZC553KL – 5.5” FHD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 16MP PDAF + 8MP cameras, INR17,999. ZC520TL – 5.2” HD 2.5D curved display, MediaTek MT6737 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, INR12,999. (Android Authority, Live Mint, India.com, PC Mag)

asus-zenfone-3-max

Wearables

HTC has revealed the official launch of the Android-based Viveport M VR app platform. However, HTC is only offering this app store in China, at least for now. (VRSource, UploadVR, HTC, TechWeb, HiAPK, gFan)

htc-viveport

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