12-27: TSMC has rebutted reports that its foundry was experiencing initial low-yield problems with the firm’s new 10nm chip; Qualcomm has entered into a new 3G and 4G Chinese Patent License Agreement with Gionee;

Chipsets

TSMC has rebutted reports that its foundry was experiencing initial low-yield problems with the firm’s new 10nm chip. TSMC said its 10nm production had been proceeding as planned, adding that the chip had now entered volume production and was set to bring in profits in 1Q17. (CN Beta, China PostAvauncer)

Samsung and TSMC’s 10nm chipset is allegedly facing tight supply, and that may cause delay for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi 6 launch. (CN Beta, ChinaZ, 163)

tsmc-schedule

Huawei Kirin 970 is to pack an octa-core CPU comprised of 4 ARM Cortex-A73 cores, and 4 ARM Cortex-A53 cores, and rumored to be unveiled in 1Q17 in order to achieve mass production. (CN Beta, Gizmo China)

huawei-kirin-970-details

MediaTek’s partner in China Navinfo, Oriental Power and GIC’s SPV Rocco plan to invest EUR97M, EUR44M and EUR102M respectively to set up JV Siway in Netherlands, which will acquire 10% stake in navigation solution provider Here International B.V. (ZOL, P5W, Yahoo, TechNews)

Qualcomm Incorporated announced that it has entered into a new 3G and 4G Chinese Patent License Agreement with Gionee Communication Equipment Co. Ltd. (Laoyaoba, Reuters, PR Newswire, Street Insider)

Touch / Display

BOE will start selling transparent display in Japan, which could be used on refrigerator in small shops to display products, or luxury products shop windows. BOE will also provide the whole system for the transparent display. (CN Beta, Huanqiu, Nikkei)

boe-transparent-display

China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) in late Nov. 2016 started construction of an 11G LCD factory with monthly production capacity of 140,000 glass substrates in Shenzhen, southern China, at an investment of CNY53.8B (USD7.8B). Production of 43”, 65” and 75”  Ultra HD LCD TV panels and AMOLED panels is scheduled begin in Mar. 2019. (Digitimes, press, Tencent, 163)

Citing data from IHS, the report by the Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion (IITP) expected the global market for OLED panels to jump 32% on-year to USD19.2B in 2017. In terms of shipments, the global OLED market is predicted to rise 22% to 630M units, it said.  (TechNews, Yonhap News, Laoyaoba)

Japan Display Inc. (JDI) announced the commencement of mass production at its newly-constructed LTPS LCD line in its Hakusan Plant, located in Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.. The line, with leading-edge production equipment, uses Gen 6 glass substrates (1500x1850mm) and will produce high-performance and high-quality displays for high-end mobile device models. (TechNews, Sohu, JDI)

Camera

Apple will allegedly add a 3rd form factor to its iPhone line-up in 2017—5” to feature a dual-lens camera array with iSight modules arranged vertically. (Apple Insider, Macotakara)

apple-5-inch-dual-cam-vertical

Memory

SK hynix aims to become the first chipmaker to mass-produce the most-advanced 72-layer 3D-NAND chips from 2H17. The company expects to complete the development in 1H17 and start production in the 3Q17 at its Icheon plant in Gyeonggi Province. (TechNews, Huanqiu, Sohu, Korea Herald)

Samsung Electronics is expected to post KRW9T (USD7.47B) in operating profits in 4Q16. Its performance forecasts are improving, propelled by its semiconductor business. As the price and shipments of DRAM and NAND chips for computers are recently rising, Samsung Electronics’ device solutions (DS) business is expected to record some KRW4T (USD3.32B) in operating profits. (Business Korea, China Flash Market, Laoyaoba)

businesskorea-samsung-4q16-operatingprofits

Battery

Forbes author Ben Sin thinks that the biggest advance in Android smartphones development in 2016 is battery efficiency. (Forbes, Laoyaoba, 163, iFeng)

Smartphones

Apple is reportedly turning to manufacturing partner Foxconn to facilitate efforts to expand both research centers and business further into Southeast Asia, and open up facilities in China and Indonesia. (Apple Insider, CN Beta)

A lot of upstream suppliers of Apple indicate they do not have plan to build facilities in U.S. If Apple moves manufacture of iPhone back to US., it will lead directly a longer supply cycle, increasing inventory and redundancy, yield and other risks, which will in turn increase the costs of iPhone. (NBD, article, CN Beta, TechNews.co)

chinatimes-apple-suppliers-are-strong

LG is reportedly planning to release its next strategic smartphone called ‘G6 (tentative)’ a month earlier (from Apr. 2017 to Feb./Mar. 2017) than usual in order to increase its sales volume by releasing it earlier than its competitors. (Android Authority, ET News, Tencent)

UMi announced that the brand will be rebranding to UMIDIGI. The new identity, in the company’s language, “clearly tells who we are, what we do, and our vision into the future”. (UMIDIGI, GizChina)

umidigi

Gionee M2017 is official – 5.7” 2K dual-curved AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor, dual real 12MP – 13MP + 8MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 128 / 256GB storage, Android 6.0 (Amigo 3.5), fingerprint scanner, encryption chip, 7000mAh (2×3500mAh) battery, from CNY6999. (Gizmo China, CN Beta, NDTV)

gionee-m2017

Wearables

Most IC chips, platform products and hardware solutions currently available in the market are unable to keep up with the pace of development and hardware requirements of the VR industry, impeding makers’ efforts to ramp up their shipments in 2017, according to Digitimes. Most VR makers are reluctant to reveal their shipment targets for 2017 due to continued constrains in supply of hardware and software products. (Digitimes, press, CN Beta, TrendForce, press)

trendforce-2016-2017-vr

Internet of Things

From 4 Mar. 2016 till Nov. 2016, 6 autonomous developers or companies including Hyundai, KIA, Mobis, etc. with their 11 autonomous vehicles, which have been approved by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport South Korea, have already travelled 230,000km distance combined and without any accidents. (TechNews, Yonhap News)

After Gree announcing price increase on their air-conditioners, on 26 Dec. 2016, Midea also announced price up for their air-con products, with each increase CNY50~200. In fact, not only air-con is facing price up, due to material cost up, the whole home appliance products are facing price up as well. (CN Beta, EA3W, 163)

Sharp will regain marketing right of own-brand LCD TVs in the Europe market through investing JPY10.4B (USD88.6M) for an over 50% stake in Cyprus-registered Skytec Universal Media Corp. (SUMC).  (Digitimes, press, Asia Nikkei, People.cn, Huanqiu)

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