02-24: Qualcomm introduces a VR development kit in conjunction with Leap Motion; Lenovo has reportedly decided to kill both Motorola and Vibe line-up of devices; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm introduces a VR development kit, which has a head mounted display (HMD) powered by the Snapdragon 835 and an upgraded VR software development kit. This will be in conjunction with Leap Motion, pairing of a natural virtual reality interface on the Snapdragon 835 mobile platform. (Qualcomm, Android Central, Qualcomm, Tencent, CN Beta)

qualcomm-vr-kit-snapdragon-835

Qualcomm and LG have said they are coordinating efforts to facilitate testing and adoption of 5G and Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) communications into vehicles. They said they expect to showcase the wireless technologies through trials during the 1H18. (CN Beta, PR Newswire, Telecom Lead)

qualcomm-lg-cellular-v2x

United Microelectronics (UMC) has announced the availability of mass production for ICs built using the foundry’s most-advanced 14nm FinFET technology. UMC has achieved industry-competitive yields for the 14nm FinFET process, and is shipping 14nm wafers to its lead customers, the foundry added. (Laoyaoba, Elecfans, Business Wire, 4-Traders, NASDAQ, Digitimes, press)

MediaTek is unlikely to see its gross margin return to 40% in 2017 due to a combination of negative factors, such as a slowdown in smartphone market growth and limited potential profitability from the smartphone AP business. The planned merger with Airoha will also have a negative impact on MediaTek’s gross margin performance, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is on track to start risk production of 5nm chips in 1H19, said company co-CEO Mark Liu. TSMC’s 7nm process will be ready for risk production later in the 1Q17, with volume production scheduled for 2018. TSMC is looking to increase its R&D spending for 2017 by 15%, Liu disclosed. The foundry’s capex for the year will top USD10B. (Digitimes, press, ZOL, OfWeek, Elecfans)

tsmc-ceo-mark-liu tsmc-foundry-schedule

Touch / Display

Samsung mobile executive Li Yuanrong indicates that, with OLED display becoming common in smartphone, it is estimated that tight supply of OLED panels will only be slightly improved in 1H17, even with Foxconn’s Sharp expansion plan, it will not help in a short term. (52RD, FPDisplay, 51Touch)

According to Ubi Research, it looks ahead to build about USD57B market in 2020 of AMOLED panel for smartphones, and among this, it is expected to take about 72% by Samsung Display.The market of AMOLED panel for smartphones in 2017 would be highly increased on the strength of the growth of shipments on smartphones by Chinese set manufacturers and Apple’s iPhone launch applying flexible AMOLED panel. (UBI Research, press, Sam Mobile, GSM Arena, ChinaZ, Manews)

ubiresearch-samsung-oled

Camera

Sony has a new triple-layer CMOS image smartphone sensor, which includes a layer of DRAM. The new camera is being called Motion Eye. Sony will adopt this in 2017 flagship Xperia range. One of the key features is super slow motion at 960fps. (Xperia Blog, Aivanet, Pocket-Lint, CN Beta)

sony-xperia-camera-mobile-eye

Memory

Sony has just announced its new SF-G Series of SD cards, which come in 32, 64 and 128GB storage sizes – feature write speeds of up to 299MBps, which is made possible with Sony’s proprietary firmware. (Android Authority, Sony, ZOL, 163)

sony-sf-g-sdcards

Winbond Electronics has been approached by the Singapore government to set up a manufacturing site locally. Winbond is considering establishing a 12”wafer fab and an R&D center in Singapore. Winbond recently expanded its manufacturing site in Taichung, central Taiwan, as existing fabs are running at full capacity. (TechNews, Digitimes, press)

winbond-dram-revenues-share

Biometrics

In its patent filing for “Acoustic imaging system architecture”, Apple proposes a method by which a conventional capacitive fingerprint sensor like Touch ID might be replaced by an array of acoustic transducers laid out beneath a device display or its protective housing.  (CN Beta, Apple Insider, USPTO)

apple-touch-id-patent-acoustic-touch-id

Connectivity

A Denver apartment complex is the first to get gigabit internet speeds from Google via its wireless Webpass service rather than Fiber. Webpass specializes in multi-unit internet service using point-to-point wireless tech instead of cables, which Google Fiber acquired in Jun 2016.  (Google, Engadget, 163)

google-fiber-webpass-denver google-fiber-webpass

Qualcomm, Nokia and General Electric (GE) hailed an “industry first” demonstration of a private LTE network in unlicensed spectrum for Industrial IoT (IIoT) use. The technology is being developed by the companies to provide private, secure wireless coverage for a range of industrial settings including mines, power plants, offshore oil facilities, factories and warehouses.  (Laoyaoba, Nokia, Mobile World Live)

Keysight Technologies announced that it is collaborating with ZTE to assist them in the test and measurement of critical 5G key technologies, including mmW communications, New PHY, massive MIMO and BTS beamforming prototypes. Keysight will help ZTE accelerate 5G product time to market by providing industry-leading products and solutions. (Kejixun, Laoyaoba, Keysight, Telecom Paper)

Smartphones

According to Alexey Klochkov, Lenovo Eastern Europe MBG executive director, Lenovo has reportedly decided to kill both Motorola and Vibe line-up of devices, and come afresh as a smartphone brand under the name ‘Moto’.  (CN Beta, Rayarena, Gizmo China, Vedomosti)

Lenovo General Manager Middle East for Smartphones Sharay Shams indicates that the company will introduce 12 mods in 2017, which will remain compatible with the phones to be introduced by the company over the next 3 years. (Pocket-Lint, Express Tribune, 163)

Tablets / PCs

1Q17 results of Taiwan-based makers in Apple iPad supply chain, notably touch panel makers TPK Holding and General Interface Solution (GIS), are hanging in the balance, depending on when Apple is going release its new iPad Pro lineup, according to Digitimes. Apple is reportedly planning 3 new tablets for 2017, an entry-level 9.7” iPad, a 10.5” iPad, and an upgraded 12.9” iPad Pro. Both large-size models will not come until May-Jun 2017, thereby affecting 1Q17 sales of supply chain makers. (Digitimes, press, 163, Digitimes, 51Touch)

Archos Saphir 101 is announced – 10.1” 1280×800 IPS LCD display, MediaTek MT8163 processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.0, USB Type-C, shock-proof, IP54 certified, 6000mAh battery. (Phone Arena, GSM Arena, Archos)

archos-saphir-101

 

Wearables

Zappar has raised USD3.75M in funding for its augmented reality and virtual reality creative tools. London investment house Hargreave Hale led the round, with participation from trade investors You & Mr Jones and China’s iDreamSky. (VentureBeat, HiAPK)

zapper-ar-creation-tool

 

 

Internet of Things

Alphabet’s Waymo has sued Uber for stealing crucial technical information about its self-driving technology. Waymo’s lawsuit targets Otto, a self-driving truck startup that Uber acquired in 2016.  (Engadget, Waymo, Sina)

alphabet-waymo

Audio vendor Harman has unveiled a new Apple wireless CarPlay solution for car manufacturers, with the technology first hitting the market as manufacturer-installed gear in the BMW 5 Series Sedan. Harman is the first manufacturer’s system to use CarPlay’s wireless implementation with the iPhone connecting through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.  (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, Apple Insider)

harman-wireless-carplay

Sharp has acquired a 56.7% stake in Skytec UMC Ltd. This creates a new subsidiary to promote the manufacturing and sale of Sharp branded audio-visual products in Europe. (Yahoo, Evertiq, HQEW, Laoyaoba)

 

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