12-22: Nokia announced that it has filed a number of complaints against Apple in Germany and the U.S.; LeEco has reportedly decided to minimize its activities in India in order to cut costs; etc.

Chipsets

The Shanghai subsidiary of silicon wafer supplier Wafer Works plans to expand its capital by CNY700M (USD102M) by selling new shares to a Henan-based industrial development fund. Wafer Works will use the new funds to build an 8” fab in Zhengzhou, China with a production capacity of 200,000 8” silicon wafers a month. (Digitimes, press, FM5)

Rick Tsai, ex-chairman for Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) and ex-CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), reportedly will join China’s state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup to assist in the establishment of a new 12-inch wafer plant in Chengdu. Tsinghua Unigroup has denied the speculation however, saying it is not in touch with Tsai. (Digitimes, ZOL, OfWeek)

tsmc-exceo-rick-tsai-joins-tsinghua

Shang-yi Chiang, the former executive VP and co-chief operating officer overseeing R&D for TSMC, has been appointed by Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) as an independent, non-executive director of the China-based pure-play foundry (TechNews, Digitimes, Asia Nikkei, OfWeek, Sina)

tsmc-former-rnd-chiang-shangyi-smic

Pure-play foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has spent a total of NTD6.57B (USD123.4M) on equipment from 8 suppliers, according to filings issued with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE). (Digitimes, press)

Intel has a team of quantum hardware engineers in Portland, Oregon, collaborating with researchers in the Netherlands, at TU Delft’s QuTech quantum research institute, under a USD50M grant established in 2-15. Intel reported that they can now layer the ultra-pure silicon needed for a quantum computer onto the standard wafers used in chip factories. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, Technology Review)

intel-qutech-quantum

Touch / Display

Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), a government-affiliated investment fund, said Wednesday it will provide up to JPY75B (USD635M) in financial support to Japan Display Inc. (JDI). (CN Beta, Japan Times, WSJ, Reuters)

jdi-chairman-mitsuru-honma

Foxconn Electronics, as the major shareholder of Sharp, will have the Sharp stop supplying LCD TV panels for Samsung and reduce shipments to Hisense beginning 2017. The reports claimed that Innolux will follow suit by cutting TV panel supply for Hisense by 700K units in 2017. Innolux emphasized it is independent of Foxconn and Sharp in terms of business operations and has nothing to do with Sharp’s reported supply cuts for Samsung and Hisense. (Digitimes, press, 51Touch)

The majority of OLED-making machines are supplied by Canon Tokki (a unit of Canon), and reportedly as it stands the company has a backlog of orders, with each machine said to cost around USD85M and has a wait time of 2 years. It might affect the OLED supply to Apple. (Ubergizmo, Bloomberg, CN Beta)

Korean manufacturing equipment maker SFA Engineering announced that it secured a USD93.5M order from China’s Visionox. SFA will deliver the equipment by August 2017. Visionox’s Gen-5.5 AMOLED line in Kunshan can currently produce around 4,000 monthly substrate, and once yields stabilize they will reach a full capacity of 15,000 monthly substrates. (OLED-Info, SFA Engineering, PJTime)

UK based organic semiconductor materials and technology company SmartKem, a developer of high-performance organic backplanes for flexible displays, announced a EUR3M financing round from its existing investors, including BASF Venture Capital, Octopus Ventures and Entrepreneurs Fund. (OLED-Info, New Electronics)

Kopin, a leading developer and provider of innovative wearable technologies and solutions for mobile virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearable computing systems, announced the entry into the fast growth OLED microdisplay market. (OLED-Info, Kopin, Business Wire)

Meizu’s new patent filing  shows inclusion of two displays on the smartphone. The first one is the main screen at the front and the other one is a smaller display present on the rear side of the device. Both the front and rear screens will reportedly be able to interact with each other. (Gizmo China, CN Beta)

meizu-patent-dual-display

Fujian Hua Chia Cai, a China-based wholly owned subsidiary of TFT-LCD panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), is constructing a G6 TFT-LCD factory with a monthly production capacity of 30,000 glass substrates in southeastern China, with installation of production equipment scheduled for Jan. 2017 and production to kick off in Jul. 2017. (Digitimes, press, 51Touch)

Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) has disclosed it has obtained significant orders from 2 major China-based smartphone vendors, with shipments scheduled for 1Q17. (Digitimes, press, CEB2B)

Camera

Kamerar ZOOM is a dual lens attachment system for Apple iPhone 7 Plus. There are currently two lens pairs in the system: a fisheye / telephoto pair and a macro zoom lens, priced from USD45. (The Verge, Peta Pixel, Kamerar, 163)

kamerar-zoom

Memory

The total memory IC market is forecast to increase 10% to a new record high of USD85.3B in 2017, according to IC Insights. ASP gains for DRAM and NAND flash will help boost total memory sales. Increases in the memory market are forecast to continue each year through IC Insights’ forecast, with sales topping USD100B for the first time in 2020 and then reaching nearly USD110B in 2021. (IC Insights, press, Digitimes, EE Focus)

icinsights-total-memory-ic-market

The demand growth for DRAM chips is set to outpace the supply growth in 2017, according to Frank Huang CEO of Powerchip Technology. Huang also noted that Powerchip has no plans to build DRAM production lines in China. (Digitimes, press, CEB2B, China Times)

powerchip-ceo-frank-huang

Toshiba sampling eMMC embedded auto NAND, launching JEDEC eMMC Version 5.1 compliant embedded NAND flash memory products supporting AEC-Q100 Grade2 requirements. The line-up offers densities of 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Mass production scheduled for 2Q17. (EE Trend, Street Insider, Electronics Weekly)

toshiba-jedec-nand

Seagate and SK Hynix will reportedly form a joint venture dedicated to developing SSDs for enterprise servers and data centers. (TechNews, Digitimes, The Register, 4-Traders)

skhynix-and-seagate

SK Hynix will invest KRW3.16T (USD2.7B) in South Korea and China to boost memory chip production—KRW2.2T will be spent on the new NAND chip plant which will be located in South Korea, and another KRW950B won will be spent to boost DRAM capacity at its existing facilities at Wuxi, China. (CN Beta, Reuters, WSAU)

Biometrics

Richard Windsor, an analyst at U.S.-based investment intelligence firm Edison Investment Research, explained, “Since the non-compete agreement means that Samsung cannot offer any Android services that compete with Google’s own services, Samsung may not be able to release smartphones with its own AI service.” (CN Beta, Patently Apple, Digital Trends, Business Korea)

Battery

WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance, announced it is working with General Motors to test an advanced wireless charging system prototype for electric vehicles. (CN Beta, InsideEVs, Electric Cars Report)

witricity-cars

Connectivity

To further enhance Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) industrialization and support the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) project, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia signed MoU to create the NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative (NFV-ITI). The main objective of NFV-ITI is to promote competition and create industry alignment on generic principles for NFV interoperability testing and support for specific customer situations. (EE Trend, The Fast Mode, WebWire)

NXP Semiconductors and Huawei announced they will extend their strategic collaboration that will result in more secure and convenient mobile payment experiences for public transit systems in Shanghai City, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Beijing. (TechNews, CN Gold, China Times, TWST, Yahoo)

Smartphones

International bank Credit Suisse expects LG to sell at least 5M LG G6 units in 2017. The device could add support for LG Pay and wireless charging. (Phone Arena, Softpedia, Android Soul, TTV)

LeEco has reportedly decided to minimize its activities in India in order to cut costs. It is reportedly exiting offline sales of smartphones, it is cutting 1,000 in-shop temporary jobs while minimizing advertising expenses, and apparently it will also postpone the launch of new smartphone models throughout the next couple of months. (NDTV, Economic Times, Android Headlines)

economictimes-leeco-india-stops

Nokia announced that it has filed a number of complaints against Apple in Germany and the U.S., alleging that despite a 2011 omnibus patent licensing deal, a variety of Apple products including the iPhone and iPad infringe a number of newly acquired Nokia patents. Apple has also filed suit against nine Nokia-aligned patent aggregators, alleging that the group is guilty of trying to squeeze money out of Apple with abusive licensing terms for standards-essential patents. (Android Authority, Seeking Alpha, Apple Insider, Nokia, CN Beta, Apple Insider)

According to Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and research agency Kantar IMRB, Indian consumers’ time spent on smartphones has increased by 55% from 2015, to 3 hours per day on average. Women are more engaged than men on smartphones and that they spend twice the time as their male counterparts on YouTube and gaming. (Laoyaoba, 163, Outlook India, Business Wire, Economic Times, MMA, report)

mma-indian-consumers-3hrs-per-day-smartphone

LG announced a bunch of Android smartphones – Stylus 3 and refresh K series: Stylus 3 – 5.7” HD in-cell display, MediaTek MT6750 processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage, fingerprint scanner, 3200mAh battery. K10 – 5.3” HD in-cell display, MediaTek MT6750 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, fingerprint scanner, 2800mAh battery. K8 – 5” HD in-cell display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 MSM8917 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage, 2500mAh battery. K4 – 5” HD in-cell display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 processor, 5MP + 5MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, 2500mAh battery. K3 – 4.5” FWVGA display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 processor, 5MP + 2MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, 2100mAh battery.  (Phone Arena, LG, CNET, CNET, PR Newswire, Fonearena)

lg-stylus-3 lg-k-series

Wearables

eMarketer, a research firm, is slashing its estimates of people using wearable technology. Just 39.5M American adults used a wearable at least monthly in 2015, it estimates versus its previous forecast for the year of 63.7M. Overall, it thinks the market grew 24.7%, versus its prediction of 60%. (Business Insider, eMarketer, press)

emarketer-us-wearables-penetration emarketer-us-wearables-penetration-2

Barclays projects initial production figures of Apple Airpods at 10~ 15M units. Assuming an ASP of USD159, this would translate into revenues of roughly USD3.5B in 2017. In comparison, IDC estimates that Apple shipped just about 4.2M units of the Apple Watch during the first 9 months of 2016. Assuming that Apple ships about 8M units over 2017, at an ASP of around USD350, it would translate to Watch revenues of USD2.8B. (CN Beta, Forbes, WSJ, IDC)

forbes-apple-airpods-business

According to TalkingData, global VR / AR hardware device shipment will grow rapidly, with CAGR more than 180% from 2016-2020. (199IT, TalkingData report)

talkingdata-2020-vr-ar-market

Internet of Things

Zenbo is a robot from Asus that responds to voice commands, has a touchscreen display that functions both as a face and information screen, and wheels that allows the robot to move around the house. It is priced from USD620. (CN Beta, Liliputing, Engadget)

asus-zenbo

Waymo, the Alphabet-owned autonomous driving technology company is in formal discussions with Honda on partnering up to use Waymo self-driving software and sensors on Honda vehicles. (CN Beta, Honda, TechCrunch)

The Top Seven Technology Trends for 2017, as identified by IHS Markit covering from artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things (IoT), far-reaching innovations. (IHS Markit, press, white paper, Laoyaoba)

ihs-7-tech-trends-in-2017

US White House released a report titled “Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence” advocates for 2 policies the administration has pushed for consistently throughout Obama’s presidency: More investment in STEM education, and a stronger social safety net. It also describes 5 primary economic effects that policymakers need to prepare for. (199IT, TechNews, White House report, Eurasia Review, Recode, Buzzfeed, SD Times)

whitehouse-5-effects-of-ai

A new report titled “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy” released by US White House describes how AI-driven automation will change the economy, offers a few scenarios policymakers should prepare for, and outlines some strategies to help the nation segue into an AI economy. The report begins with an optimistic perspective: AI will have a strong positive impact on the overall growth of productivity. (Computer World, Yahoo, White House report, Forbes, SD Times)

whitehouse-automation-creates-jobs

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