06-03: Sorry for being regularly absent, these few days – Qualcomm entering PC industry; Google working with Sharp on new LCD tech; etc.

Chipsets

Just a mere 6 months after announcing Quick Charge 4, which boosted charging times and safety considerably over its predecessors, Qualcomm is introducing the new Quick Charge (QC) 4+ standard. It has 3 improvements: dual charge, intelligent thermal balancing, and advanced safety features. (CN Beta, Qualcomm, The Verge)

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Qualcomm has announced that Asustek Computer, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Lenovo are the first OEMs to develop mobile PCs powered by its Snapdragon 835 mobile PC platform featuring an integrated X16 Gigabit LTE modem. (Digitimes, press, LaoyaobaSohu)

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Tsinghua Unigroup chairman Zhao Weiguo has criticized Qualcomm’s intention of forming a joint venture with fabless chip firm Leadcore Technology and 2 local investment firms in China, describing it as a “low-class” tactic aiming to weaken Spreadtrum Communications’ competitiveness. (Digitimes, press, CN Beta, Sina)

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The ranks of chip companies that spend more than USD1B on capital expenditures are expected to grow to 15 in 2017, the most in 10 years, according to IC Insights. European chip maker STMicroelectronics NV and Taiwan’s Nanya Technology are both expected to join the “billion dollar capex” club in 2017, in addition to Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG and Japan’s Renesas Electronics. (IC Insights, press, TechNews, EE World)

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Touch Display

A new display from Samsung targeting use in VR headsets packs 2,024×2,200 pixels into a 3.5” form-factor, delivering an impressive 858PPI, nearly twice the 460PPI of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. The display is also capable of a 90Hz refresh rate and 100nits brightness.  (GSM Arena, Reddit, Road to VR, Sohu)

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Global AMOLED shipments are forecast to increase from 370M units in 2016 to 452M in 2017 and 1.127B in 2021, with the corresponding penetration of smartphones to rise from 24.3% to 27.6% and 53.0%, Digitimes Research indicated. (Digitimes, press, Sohu)

Integrated Service Technology (iST), the leading electronic verification and test lab, is debuting its “High Dynamic Range (HDR) measurement and color calibration service”. As only a handful of labs are qualified to offer HDR calibration services, scores of global display, computer, and TV brands are seeking iST’s assistance of this. (EE World, Laoyaoba, IST)

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Sharp and Google are jointly developing liquid crystal displays (LCD) for virtual reality devices that require faster movement and higher resolution than smartphones. The two companies seem to be jointly developing backlights and other technologies that allow for a smooth display and high resolution without leaving afterimages. (Laoyaoba, Asia Nikkei, Reuters, LED Inside)

Kopin and Goertek have unveiled their VR headset reference design, called the Elf VR. The Elf VR utilizes Kopin’s Lightning OLED microdisplay to create a headset that is lighter, more efficient and with a higher image quality compared to the current VR headsets based on smartphone-sized OLEDs. (Kopin, OLED-Info, 7tin)

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Hyperfluoresence and TADF OLED emitter developer Kyulux and quantum-dot developer Nanoco announced that the two companies will co-develop a future-generation hybrid OLED / QLED display technology that combines Kyulux’s hyperflourescent emitters and Nanoco’s heavy metal free quantum dots (CDQDs). (OLED-Info, OfWeek)
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Canada-based VueReal has developed a 4K Micro-LED microdisplay (6000PPI). VueReal says that its “Continous Pixelation” technology enables it to achieve low-power high brightness (10,000nits) high-density displays at very high yields and at an affordable price. (PR Newswire, PJ Time, OLED-Info)

FocalTech FT5X46 touch solution has been adopted by Xiaomi Max 2. FocalTech indicates that FT5X46 targets mid-to-high end smartphones, supporting ten-point touch, and can support gloves and hand gesture wake-up functions. (Laoyaoba, CNA, UDN, FocaTech 1, FocalTech 2)

According to UBI Research, sales of AMOLED in 1Q17 were USD4.31B, up 15% from 1Q16. Shipments amounted to 99.1M units, up 9% from the same period last year. AMOLED accounted for 88% of smartphone sales and 7% of TV sales. Especially, TV sales market share grew by 5% YoY and it shows big growth of OLED TV market. (OLED-Info, UBI Research, press, Laoyaoba)

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Camera

Sony has given priority to Apple, and China-based Huawei, OPPO and vivo for CMOS image sensor (CIS) capacity, according to Digitimes. Sony’s limited availability has prompted other smartphone companies, such as ASUS and HTC, to source CIS from other suppliers including OmniVision and Samsung. (Apple Insider, Digitimes, press, 91.com, 163)

In 2016 3D imaging & sensing devices became quite significant business wise, generating more than USD1.3B in revenue. With a CAGR of 37.7% over the next 5 years, the consulting company Yole forecasts 3D imaging & sensing devices to reach USD9B by 2022. Yole confirms, the number of 3D imaging and sensing devices manufactured is set to take off in 2017 propelled by the initial entry into the smartphone market. (Yole Development, press, MEMS)

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Memory

Samsung Electronics always leading the manufacturing process technology. It is the company that leads the 18nm process, its competitors Micron and SK Hynix are investing a huge amount of cash to catch up. (TechNews, Sohu, OfWeek, Money DJ)

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ORIX is reportedly joining the SK hynix-led consortium consisting of multinational investors such as US private equity firm Bain Capital to acquire Toshiba’s NAND flash memory chip business. (Laoyaoba, TechNews, The Investor, Korea Economic Daily)

Sensory

ManoMotion’s 3D gesture recognition technology tracks many of the 27 degrees of freedom (DOF) of motion in a hand. It also tracks depth and handles dynamic gestures (such as swipes, clicking, tapping, grab, and release), all with an extremely small footprint in using the resources of a central processing unit, memory, and battery. (VentureBeat, ManoMotion, Atman360)

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Apple has reportedly placed orders with German company Robert Bosch GmbH, which was recently added to Apple’s list of suppliers. Bosch already supplies barometric pressure sensors for iPhones. The firm will now supply the iPhone with some of its motion sensors, pushing Apple’s need of InvenSense aside. The new order with Bosch will reportedly make up as much as half of Apple’s total amount needed. (Laoyaoba, CNA, UDN, Bloomberg, IB Times)

Biometrics

OPPO and vivo are reportedly working with Silead Microelectronics and will use the brand’s GSL625x sensor. This sensor is one of the smallest fingerprint scanners on the market measuring only 6.8×2.4mm with a resolution of 508DPI, small enough to fit on the chin of the latest Samsung phones. (CN Beta, Sohu, GizChina)

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In Android smartphone fingerprint chipset market, in 2016 Goodix and FPC market share is comparable. Yet in 1Q17 Goodix has exceeded FPC. In 1Q17, Goodix’s revenues has reached CNY731M, 90.21% increase on year, and profit has reached CNY175M. At the same period, FPC’s revenues has reached approximately CNY546M, a 54% decreased on year; and profit has reached CNY42M, a 88% decreased on year. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, NASDAQ)

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Connectivity

Apple is testing next-generation wireless technologies, often called “5G”, that could potentially radically increase the speed and bandwidth of an iPhone’s cellular connection. An application for an experimental license to use new wireless technology, called millimeter wave, was signed by Apple and made public by the FCC.  (The Verge, Business Insider, Sohu, 163)

President of HDMI Rob Tobias reveals that HDMI 2.1 launch will be delayed to Aug 2017. New standard will support 10K 120Hz content, also 48Gbps transmit speed. (TechNews)

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Smartphones

According to IDC, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to rebound slightly in 2017 with expected growth of 3.0% over the previous year. In 2016, year-over-year growth was 2.5%, marking the lowest growth the industry has ever experienced. With several major devices entering the market in 2017, IDC anticipates shipment volumes will grow to 1.52B in 2017. (Android Headlines, Gizmo China, IDC, press, 163)

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Steve Cistulli, President and GM of TCL Communication North America, indicates that the demand of BlackBerry KEYone has been extremely high. (Phone Arena, Steve Cistulli, CN Beta, Sina)

tcl-blackberry-keyone-high-demand

ZTE nubia Z17 is launched –  5.5” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, rear dual 23MP-12MP offering 2x optical zoom + front 16MP cameras, 6 / 8GB RAM, 64 / 128GB ROM, Android 7.1 (Nubia UI 5.0), 3200mAh battery, from CNY2799. (Android Authority, Gizmo China, Sina)

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Moto Z2 Play is official – 5.5” FHD AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor, 12MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 3 / 4GB RAM, 32 / 64GB storage, Android 7.1, USB Type-C, fingerprint sensor, 3000mAh battery. (Android Central, PC World, Beta News, Motorola)

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Moto C is announced in India – 5” FWVGA display, MediaTek MT6737 processor, 5MP + 2MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.0, LTE (VoLTE), 2350mAh battery, INR5999. (Android Authority, India Today)

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YU Mobiles, subsidy of Micromax, launching Yureka Black – 5” FHD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6, 3000mAh battery, INR8999. (Android Authority, BGR, Tech2, NDTV)

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Tablets

According to Digitimes, sources from the upstream supply chain pointed out that Xiaomi and Huawei, which were originally expected to achieve good shipments, did not perform as well as expected because demand remains weak for consumer notebooks. For its first year, Xiaomi shipped less than 500,000 units and Huawei 700,000 units. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite is launched – 10.1” 1920×1200 IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, 8MP + 8MP cameras, 3 / 4GB RAM, 16 / 32 / 64GB storage, Android 7.0 (EMUI 5.1), LTE Cat. 4, 6600mAh battery.  (Android Headlines, Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Huawei)

huawei-mediapad-m3-lite

Internet of Things

By 2050, Intel and Strategy Analytics made the astounding prediction that the passenger economy will have a USD7T economic impact. The companies estimated that the passenger economy (services to fill the idle time while you ride in a car) would be more than twice the size of the sharing economy (based on companies such as Uber or Lyft that share resources across many people) by 2050. (Intel, report, infographics, VentureBeat, Laoyaoba, Sina)

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