04-06: Hon Hai Precision Industry is reportedly offering more than JPY2T (USD18B) for the Toshiba’s memory chip business; Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and Broadcom have offered ToshibaUSD17.9B for its chip unit; etc.

Chipsets

The worldwide semiconductor market showed signs of recovery in 2016 following a down year in 2015, according to IHS Markit. In 2016, the market posted a year-end growth rate of 2% with chip growth seen across multiple market segments. Global revenues came in at USD352.4B, up from USD345.6B in 2015. Key drivers of this growth were DRAM and NAND flash memory, which grew more than 30% collectively in 2H16, said IHS. Key to this turnaround was supply constraints and strong demand, coupled with an ASP increase. (IHS, press, Digitimes)

ihs-semi-revenues-2016

Google hardware engineer Norm Jouppi indicates that Google’s Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) chip is 15 times to 30 times faster than contemporary GPUs and CPUs (compared to Intel Haswell CPU and NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPU). Additionally, the TPU is much more energy efficient, delivering a 30 times to 80 times improvement in TOPS/Watt measure (tera-operations [trillion or 1012 operations] of computation per Watt of energy consumed). (My Drivers, Kejixun, VentureBeat, ZDNet, TechTimes, Google)

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TSMC is on track to complete the construction of its new 12” plant in Nanjing, China, which will be ready for 16nm FinFET chip production in 2018,  with target production capacity of 20,000 wafers monthly. Construction of the fab kicked off in Jul 2016. Equipment move-in will take place at TSMC’s Nanjing plant in 2H17. (Digitimes, press, Sohu, 52RD)

Thanks to the economy growth in Mainland China, and the growth of mid-to-low smartphone segment, IC design market value in Mainland China has increased from USD5.66B in 2010 to USD24.75B in 2016, with 2010-2016 CAGR of 27.9%. Digitimes Research estimates that even though smartphone growth is slower in 2017, with the steady growth of IC demand in China, and drive from the government policy, 2017 IC design market value in 2017 will reach USD28.93B. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, press)

digitimes-2010-2017-china-ic-design-growth

Touch Display

China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) will invest CNY35B (USD5.08B) to set up a 6G line for producing flexible AMOLED panels using LTPS (low-temperature poly-Si) TFT-LCD backplanes in Wuhan City. The factory will have monthly production capacity of 45,000 glass substrates. With trial production to begin in 2Q19 and volume production in 1H20, the factory will produce 3”~12” high-resolution flexible AMOLED panels for smartphones and tablets. (Digitimes, press, 163, OfWeek)

Taiwan-based Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT)  Technology has announced its Gen 6 TFT-LCD production line construction in Fujian is going smoothly. It has invested CNY12B in the production line, mainly producing IGZO-backplane TFT-LCD panels for mid-t0-small display. (Laoyaoba, East Money)

LG Display (LGD) has not decided its Gen 10 panel fab to produce LCD or OLED panel, it is already rumored that LGD has already ordered equipments from Nikon. LGD reportedly has decided to order equipment for Gen 10 TFT exposure machine. It will be delivered in Jun 2018, with prelim target monthly production of 30K pieces, and gradually increase to 60K. (OfWeek, Sohu, Laoyaoba)

TrendForce finds that the potential scale of the future micro-LED market – one that would replace the entire current LCD display chain including BLU, polarizer and other components – could reach USD30B~40B. TrendForce believes that it will take around 3~5 years before micro-LED display products can replace the current generation of LCD counterparts. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press, China Times)

Not all of China-based brand smartphone vendors are to adopt AMOLED panels for their new models to be launched in 2017 due to concerns of insufficient supply of the panels and rising prices of memory products, according to Digitimes. Huawei, OPPO and vivo may be using OLED panels for their top-end models only. (Digitimes, press)

Memory

Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry is reportedly offering more than JPY2T (USD18B) for the Toshiba’s memory chip business. Similarly, private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and Broadcom have offered ToshibaUSD17.9B for its chip unit. (Laoyaoba, China Times, Financial Times, Business Journal)

chinatimes-hon-hai-toshiba

According to Seagate,  by 2025, the amount of data we are about to create will swell up to 163ZB, 75% of the world’s population will be interacting with digital data one way or another. An average person will interact with a connected device almost 4,800 times a day. (Seagate, white paper, CN Beta, Beta News)

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Sensory

It is rumored “technical issues” related to the OLED screen lamination process and unspecified difficulties with the 3D sensing system in Apple’s “iPhone 8” could potentially cause delays, shifting the launch to Oct / Nov 2017. Himax was recently reported to be the source of components for the 3D sensor cited as a possible reason for delays. (Apple Insider, Tencent, HiAPK)

Smartphones

Huawei is launching Honor Beta USA program, which will allow a small number of consumers in the country to give feedback to Huawei on not only the company’s current Honor products, but also for upcoming hardware and software products “slated to reach the market in 1-2 years from now.”  (Android Authority, Facebook, Phandroid)

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The regional court in Quanzhou reportedly ordered Samsung Electronics’ subsidiaries including Samsung China Investment and 2 units of Samsung Electronics in Huizhou and Tianjin to pay CNY80M (USD11.6M) for infringing patents of Huawei Device, the handset unit of Huawei. (Korea Herald, Reuters, CN Beta)

Shenzhen HuaFuRui owned Cubot will focus on moving to the east EU and begin deep collaboration with local distributors , like PIGU which is the biggest e-platform in Lithuania in 2017.  (Gizmo China, PIGU)

According to a survey conducted by Strategy Analytics on 2,000 users, 26% people in India are interested in purchasing a Xiaomi branded phone as their next Android smartphone. With 12%, phones from Samsung and Apple are the next preferred choices for smartphone buyers. (Gizmo China, Strategy Analytics, press, 10JQKA)

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Samsung is the most trusted brand in India, a recent study conducted by TRA Research has found.  The company improved the perception of its brand in the country by a significant margin in comparison to last year, moving up by 17 spots over the course of the last 12 months.  (Economic Times, India.com, TRA, listing, Tech2IPO)

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ZTE nubia Z17 mini is official – 5.2” FHD LTPS IPS LCD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 / 653 processor, dual rear 13MP-13MP + front 16MP cameras, 4 / 6GB RAM, 64GB storage, Android 6.0 (nubia UI 4.0), 2950mAh battery, from CNY1699. (My Drivers, GSM Arena, nubia, BGR)

zte-nubia-z17-mini

Gome K1 is official in China – 5.2” FHD 2.75D curved display (JDI supplied), MediaTek Helio P20 processor, 16MP + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, 3500mAh battery, CNY2699. (GizChina, CN Beta)

gome-k1

Huawei Honor 6C is unveiled in Europe – 5” HD AMOLED 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0 (EMUI 4.1), 3020mAh battery, EUR229. (Android Headlines, Techjuice, Yahoo)

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Tablets / PCs

Apple has revealed that it has no plans for Macs with touchscreens or Macs powered solely by ARM chips, rather than Intel processors.  (CN Beta, Axios, Mac Rumors)

Wearables

Xiaomi has launched a new Mi Panoramic camera, which is capable of taking 360° panoramic photos. The Mi 360° Panoramic camera comes with 23.88MP sensor and is capable of recording 3.5K video and IP67 certified. It is priced at CNY1699. (Android Headlines, Gizmo China, TechWeb, 52RD)

xiaomi-mi-360-panoramic-camera

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) has launched FunPark Watch, a smartwatch targeting children aged 4-12 years. CHT targets to ship 5,000 units of the FunPark Watch initially. It was co-developed with Taiwan-based Smartfun Digital, comes with built-in Google Map and 100 Chinese- and English-language audiobooks. (Digitimes, China Flash Market, Funpark, Techbang)

funpark-watch

Compal Electronics has reportedly entered the supply chain of Apple Watch and will begin shipping products in 2H17, according to Digitimes. Currently, Apple Watch orders are solely handled by Quanta Computer. Compal has reportedly recently moved equipment for smart device production to plants in Chongqing, preparing for Apple Watch manufacturing. (Apple Insider, CN Beta, Digitimes, press)

The nearly USD35B gaming console market is controlled by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, but according to recent data from market research firm HIS Markit, Sony’s PlayStation is slowly building up a lead in the market, and is on course to run away with USD20B sales in 2017. The PS4 install base is nearly twice that of Microsoft’s Xbox One, with the end of 2016 seeing PS4 at 53M against Xbox One’s 27.6M.  (Laoyaoba, 1Reddrop, Investopedia)

ihsmarkit-world-game-console-2017

Internet of Things

Department of Motor Vehicles in California recently published a stat where it shows that Alphabet’s Waymo is far ahead from its competitors. In about every one mile Uber’s autonomous system disengages – when the automated system forces the human driver / passenger to take over control of the vehicle. Waymo needs human intervention once every 5,128 miles.  (The Tech News, Clean Technica, The Guardian, CN Beta)

A Swedish manufacturer, Scania has announced plans to build Apple CarPlay into some of it heavy trucks. CarPlay will come to Scania Infotainment Systems equipped with a 7” touchscreen and a voice control option. (CN Beta, Scania, Apple Insider)

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BMW CEO Harald Krueger indicates that BMW will produce a low-volume hydrogen fuel-cell car in 2021, with wider availability in 2025. (CN Beta, BMW Blog, In Auto News)

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