12-8: Qualcomm next generation ARM-based chips would be able to run legacy Win10; Orders for entry-level 4G phones and 3G devices is slowing down rapidly; etc.

Chipset

MediaTek reported Nov. 2016 revenue reached NTD23.516B (USD741M), 1.2% declined on month, and 12% increased on year. Up to Nov. 2016, MediaTek revenue has reached NTD254.158B (USD8B), a 30% increased on year. As Oct. and Nov. revenue combined has reached NTD47.321B, so to reach the estimated target, Dec. revenue should be around NTD19.28~25.58B. (China Times, TechNews, Yahoo, UDN)

Qualcomm announced that through a collaboration with Microsoft, its next generation ARM-based chips would be able to run legacy Win32 programs (including Windows 10). (GSM Arena, Windows Central, MS Poweruser, Tom’s Hardware, Anzhuo, 163)

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Qualcomm, through subsidiary Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies, has announced commercial sampling of 10nm server processors. The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 series has up to 48-cores, and is built on 10nm FinFET process technology. (Digitimes, Fudzilla, PR Newswire, TechNews)

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Not including foundries, IC Insights forecasts top 5 semiconductor suppliers—Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and SK Hynix— will account for 41% market share in 2016. Furthermore, the top 10 semiconductor suppliers are forecast to account for 56% market share in 2016. (Digitimes, press, IC Insights, press)

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Stanford has created prototype chip just 3 atoms thick, and demonstrated how it might be possible to mass-produce such atomically thin materials and electronics. Such thin materials would be transparent and flexible as well, in ways that would enable electronic devices that wouldn’t be possible to make with silicon. (CN Beta, Live Science, Stanford)

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According to Digitimes. Despite continued growth in chip orders for mid-range and high-end smartphones, orders for entry-level 4G phones and 3G devices is slowing down rapidly. Inventories of related chips have increased to an excessive level already. The slowdown in chip orders for entry-level devices is being caused by a strengthening US dollar and falling demand in emerging markets. (Digitimes, press, Phone Arena)

Touch / Display

JP Morgan’s Narci Chang believes Apple MacBook Pro’s OLED touch bar adopts an out-cell touch panel structure, with an ITO-glass-based out-cell touch sensor laminated on top of the OLED display that is supplied by Samsung together with the cover glass. They note TPK is the exclusive supplier for this multi-touch touch panel of special shape at present, and expects this touch bar would contribute less than 5% to TPK’s 2017 revenue. (Barron’s, blog, China Times, EE Focus, 51Touch)

chinatimes-tpk-revenues

Morgan Stanley’s Shawn Kim indicates that supply continues to tighten for large size >40” TV panels, driven by LCD capacity closure (Samsung L7-1 fab) and Chinese 8G fabs’ reduced unit output from LCD panel upsizing. According to LGD management, this reduced unit output will result in just 1% supply growth vs. demand outpacing at 4% growth in 2017. According to Morgan Stanley’s analyst Katy Huberty, OLED phones will be just about 1/3 of line-ups, thus they are not worried about LGD losing its Apple business. (Barron’s, blog, TechNews)

morganstanley-iphone-oled-2017 ihs-bloomberg-lgd

Harman, recently acquired by Samsung, has made a strategic investment in Navdy, and will also co-brand a new “Navdy with Harman” aftermarket HUD device that will be sold both directly to OEM automotive companies, as well as to consumers in North America starting in Jan. 2017. (TechCrunch, Harman, Bloomberg, Business Wire, China FPD, Glass)

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Samsung will reportedly create an all-screen front for the Galaxy S8 smartphones coming out in 2017 and scrap the physical home button. (Ubergizmo, Bloomberg, CN Beta, Android Authority)

Battery

Samsung SDI and Lucid Motors announced a strategic partnership for battery cell supply. Samsung SDI will be a major supplier of lithium-ion cells for Lucid’s first vehicle, an executive sedan scheduled to begin production in late 2018. Samsung SDI and Lucid have collaborated to develop next-generation cylindrical cells. (Auto Evolution, Auto News, Lucid Motors, Clean Technica, Auto Tech, 12365auto)

lucid-samsung-sdi-next-gen-battery

SunPower Corp. would cut 2,500 employees, representing about 25% of its workforce, and shutter a 700MW factory in the Phillippines. The plans include a massive reduction of more than 50% of its capital spending for 2017. Restructuring charges through 2017 will cost between USD225~275M, including USD75~125M in 2017. (TechNews, Bloomberg, Reuters, USA Today, Fortune)

Augmented Optics and the University of Surrey, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, have developed new, crosslinked gel-matrix polymer electrolytes exhibiting measured capacitance values more than 100 times those of conventional electrolytes. The new gel electrolytes are compatible with all normal production electrodes. (CN Beta, Surrey, Green Car Congress)

augmented-battery

Connectivity

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) officially adopted Bluetooth 5 as the latest version of the Bluetooth core specification. Key updates to Bluetooth 5 include longer range, faster speed, and larger broadcast message capacity, as well as improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies. (Liliputing, Bluetooth, Android Authority, Business Wire)

bluetooth-5

In 2Q16, Nielsen Billing Snapshots showed that 6.6% of mobile Android consumers were faced with overage charges. So in an effort to curb those extra charges, many are turning to Wi-Fi. In fact, they use more than 3 times as much Wi-Fi data as cellular. According to Nielsen Mobile Insights, 3Q16, 10% of those who exceeded their monthly data limit consider switching to another provider in order to get a better deal on data. Millennials drive much of this heavy data usage. (Nielsen, press, 199IT)

nielsen-cellular-network-usage-by-age nielsen-city-level-data

Ericsson announced its plan to cut 3,000 staff from its Swedish operation is ahead of schedule, but revealed its restructuring costs for this year have come in higher than first anticipated. Ericsson confirmed the estimated cost of restructuring had risen to between SEK5.5B~6.5B (USD6.6M~717M) from an initial estimate of SEK4B~5B. (CN Beta, Reuters, India Times, NASDAQ, Mobile World Live)

ericsson-sales-plunge

Smartphones

Apple Pay’s head Jennifer Bailey revealed that two years after its launch, 35% of merchants in the US now accept the mobile payments solution. This is up from 4% back when it first started. This also translates to roughly 4M locations. (Ubergizmo, The Verge, Hexun, iFeng, Apple Insider)

apple-pay-jennifer-bailey

According to Apple’s Taiwanese supply chain, Apple is expected to stick with the usual “s cycle” upgrade path for 2017 “iPhone 7s” and “iPhone 7s Plus”, with only internal changes, including the addition of a faster A11 chip and an all-new red colour version. (Apple Insider, Mac Rumors, Mac Otakara, CS, Tencent)

apple-iphone-7s-rumor

Sales of Xiaomi’s smartphones in Russia are reportedly gaining momentum. Xiaomi’s smartphones are currently the 6th most popular mobile device used on Russia’s subway Wi-Fi networks compared to the 24th position a year earlier. By 2Q18, Xiaomi plans to establish a total of 20 retail shops in Russia. Xiaomi currently accounts for less than 1% of the smartphone market in Russia, according to Mobile Research Group. (CN Beta, Digitimes, press)

digitimes-xiaomi-russia

Wearables

Pebble has confirmed that Fibit has agreed to acquire key Pebble assets (i.e., software assets) with reportedly less than USD40M. (Android Central, Bloomberg, Apple Insider, CN Beta, Forbes, Reuters, CNN, Kickstarter)

ReSound announced the U.S. launch of ReSound Up Smart, the only pediatric Smart Hearing aid with Made for iPhone capabilities, providing new ways to support speech and language development, educational skills, and social interaction. (CN Beta, Business Wire, TMCNet)

reround-smart

AR company Everysight has announced Raptor AR smartglasses. Using Everysight’s patented BEAM technology the Raptor provides a transparent see-through display that overlays sharp, high-resolution information into the user’s line of sight. The on-lens projection displays real-time information while keeping a rider’s vision clear. (Digital Trends, VR Focus, HiAPK, Upload VR)

eversight-raptor-ar-smartglasses

Facebook’s Oculus, Google, HTC, Sony, Samsung and Acer have joined together to form a VR-industry consortium called the Global Virtual Reality Association. This is a nonprofit organization that will see the various companies coming together to determine and share best practices for the budding VR market. (TechCrunch, 163, iFeng, VentureBeat, Tech Spot)

global-vr-association

Internet of Things

GE Lighting is about to integrate Alexa Voice Service (AVS) components into its C by GE LED smart table lamp so user can talk to it to control both the lamp and other Alexa-enabled smart home devices and appliances. (The Verge, Digital Trends, GE, 010lm)

c-by-ge

Smart Cities World shows that autonomous vehicles will start adding 0.15% to Europe’s annual growth rate in the decades to come. As a result, the European (EU-28) gross domestic product will, cumulatively, be 5.3% higher in the year 2050 than currently, by which time autonomous vehicles will have contributed a total of EUR17T to GDP. (Read/Write, Smart Cities World)

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Honda to showcase NeuV autonomous, electric vehicle in CES 2017, which is developed by Softbank’s subsidiary company cocoro SB Corp and is supposed to allow the vehicle to artificially generate its own emotions. (TechNews, Techspot, Honda)

honda-neuv

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