06-04: BOE and CSOT are reportedly planning their 2nd Gen-10.5/11 fabs; Phison estimates that NAND Flash will be facing severe shortage in 3Q17; etc.

Chipsets

Apple’s 4 suppliers including Foxconn (Hon Hai), Pegatron, Compal and Wistron are sued by Qualcomm on 17 May 2017. Apple’s chief litigation counsel Noreen Krall indicates that this action of Qualcomm is “taking a short cut”, and Apple will help its suppliers in this litigation. (My Drivers, Inside, UDN, CN Beta)

The back and forth goes on in the US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust suit against Qualcomm. (Phone Arena, CNET)

ftc-qualcomm-back-and-forth

Solido Design Automation has become the first vendor to make commercially available its machine-learning algorithms to semiconductor customers, by launching Machine Learning (ML) Labs. Solido’s plan is to “collaboratively work with semiconductor companies to develop new ML-based EDA products”. (EE Times, PR Web, EET Taiwan, EET China)

solido-collaboration-machine-learning-eda-products

Intel has unveiled its new Core X-series of processors. Priced at an eye-watering USD1,999, the 18-core, 36-thread  Intel i9-7980XE serves as Intel’s salvo in its ongoing processor battle with AMD. Other members of the Core i9 family are more realistically priced and range from USD999 for 10 cores to USD1,699 for 16 cores (12 and 14 cores are also available).  (TechCrunch, The Verge, Wired, Forbes, Engadget, Sohu)

intel-core-x-series

With the apparition of 4G and complexification leading to increasing demand for filters, RF is restructuring the MEMS industry. According to Yole Development, RF MEMS filters represent the largest MEMS growth with a 35% CAGR in USD between 2017 and 2022. The total value of the global MEMS market is projected to grow from about USD13B in 2017 to more than USD25B in 2022. (EET China, EE Times, Yole Development, press)

yole-top-mems-manufacturers-2016

Touch Display

WitsView analyst Fan Boliu indicates that as smartphone and tablet market is saturating, there is merely a tiny space to grow, thus panel makers need to turn to other applications, such as automotive. (Apple Daily, Laoyaoba, 7Headlines)

chinatimes-automotive-market

Touch panel industry has been evolving, and a numbers of vendors have been closed down or their business have been shrunk down. Currently there are only 2 huge groups of vendors left—collaboration between TPK and O-Film, and also Hon Hai’s General Interface Solution (GIS). (UDN, Laoyaoba)

Idemitsu Kosan and BOE Display agreed to form a strategic alliance with an aim to develop high-performance OLED materials and displays. Specifically, Idemitsu intends to develop and supply OLED materials in accordance with BOE’s needs, as BOE is starting to mass producing OLED displays in several fabs in across China. (Laoyaoba, CE, Sohu, 51Touch, LED Inside, Idemitsu Kosan)

BOE and CSOT are constructing their Gen-10.5/11 fabs, and now they are reportedly planning their 2nd Gen-10.5/11 fabs. BOE’s 2nd Gen-10.5 fab will be located in Wuhan, while CSOT’s 2nd Gen-11 fab will be located in Shenzhen, codenamed t7. BOE’s under construction 1st Gen-10.5 fab is located in Hefei, and planning to enter production in 1H18. CSOT’s Shenzhen-located Gen-11 fab will start production in 2019. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes)

IDC is projecting 314.2M devices in less than 5” size category will ship worldwide in 2017— shrinking to 223.3M by 2021. Meanwhile, it is expecting the vast bulk of the smartphone market to become almost equally divided between devices with screens of between 5”<5.5”, and those with screens of 5.5”<6” — expecting shipments to grow from 593.3M and 558.7M in 2017 respectively, to 731.4M and 749.3M by 2021. (TechCrunch, 91.com, iResearch, Laoyaoba, FPDisplay)

idc-forecast-2021-smartphone-by-display-size

Memory

According to Strategy Analytics, 97% of smartphone models announced in 1Q17 had a card slot, the highest quarterly figure on record. The drop in 4Q16 was influenced by the announcement of multiple model variants from Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, Gionee, LeEco, Meizu, Google and others. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Strategy Analytics, press)

strategyanalytics-memory-card-slots-smartphone-2017

Taiwanese supplier of NAND flash memory controllers and modules Phison chairman Pua Khein-seng estimates that NAND Flash will be facing severe shortage in 3Q17. The company has put in USD50M to build up the inventory. (Laoyaoba, LTN, UDN)

phison-pan-jiancheng

The global DRAM market will remain an oligopoly of 3 large firms over the next 3~5 years, according to Pei-Ing Lee, president for Taiwan-based Nanya Technology. Lee believes that China’s emerging DRAM companies will not be able to pose a threat to their bigger counterparts within the next 3~5 years. (UDN, Laoyaoba, 52RD, Digitimes, press)

nanya-lee-peiling

Biometrics

8” foundry production capacity is reportedly fully occupied in 2H17, even extend to 2Q18 because of fingerprint chipsets. Sigmaintell indicates that in 1Q17 global shipment of smartphone with fingerprint sensor has reached about 180M units (a 18% increased on year), which is 53.7% of the whole smartphone shipment share. It estimates that in 2Q17 this will grow further to 57%. (Laoyaoba, UDN, World Journal)

udn-8inch-foundry-is-full-because-of-fingerprint-sensor

Connectivity

Silicon Labs announces a major expansion of its Wireless Gecko SoC portfolio, making it easier for developers of all skill levels to add versatile multiprotocol switching capabilities to increasingly complex IoT applications. The new EFR32xG12 SoCs support a broader range of multiprotocol, multiband use cases for home automation, connected lighting, wearables and industrial IoT. (PR Newswire, EE Journal, MEM, Laoyaoba)

silicon-labs-zigbee-bluetooth

Europe plans to add thousands of free Wi-Fi hot spots to public spaces across all EU members countries over the next few years. The hot spots will be added as part of a plan called WiFi4EU, which was agreed to by the European Parliament, Council, and Commission. The parties agreed to add 6,000~8,000 Wi-Fi hot spots by 2020.  (TechNews, The Verge, Europe)

Smartphones

Microsoft reportedly has a new hardware device being tested internally and that there is also a separate branch of Windows Mobile for this device. The new device is expected to enable “new experiences”, and it will likely introduce a new UI tailored for this new hardware. (My Drivers, Deccan Chronicle, Asianage, OnMSFT, MS Poweruser)

A number (unconfirmed of 20) of mobile phone suppliers have reportedly gathered at LeEco’s Chaoyang building, asking for the company to clear their debts. (IT Home, Sina, CE.cn, Tech.China)

leeco-suppliers-asking-for-pay-debt

The company’s Chief Marketing Officer Jan Huckfeldt  has suggested that The Lenovo Moto brand will not be a major focus of Motorola Mobility going forward. He says the full brand is a valuable asset and they are fully focused on the Motorola brand going forward.  (Android Headlines, Phone Arena, Motorola Fans)

motorola-brand-going-forward

Apple has announced that its global developer community has earned over USD70B (up from USD50B a year ago) since the App Store launched in 2008. (Business Wire, TechCrunchSohu, iFanr)

apple-usd70b-app-developers

Wearables

MIT has been working on a wearable solution designed to augment and replace the cane. The system features a 3D camera with an on-board computer hung around the neck at chest level. The camera senses the location of objects, converting the signals into pulsing haptic vibrations that alert the wearer to the location of an object. (TechCrunch, MIT, Limitless IQ)

mit-blind-wearable

Considering the potential business opportunities of VR / AR / MR, Huawei intends to develop the related ecosystem and infrastructure capability. The company currently is forming its own talent team, and reportedly building R&D centers in US and Mainland China. (Laoyaoba, UC, Sina, Digitimes, iiMedia)

huawei-to-develop-ar-vr-5g-killer-app

Internet of Things

Toyota Motor Corp said it had sold all shares in Tesla Inc by the end of 2016, having canceled its tie-up with the U.S. luxury automaker to jointly develop electric vehicles. Japan’s biggest automaker had bought around a 3% stake in the Palo Alto-based automaker for USD50M. (My Drivers, Sohu, CN Beta, Raw Story, Reuters, Japan Times)

toyta-tesla-split-up

UBS Global IT Analyst Sundeep Gantori estimates that artificial intelligence (AI) technologies could create an economic value of about USD1.8T~3T in Asia by 2030. But that value comes at a cost, with an estimated 30M~50M jobs in Asia at risk of displacement in the medium to long term. (Laoyaoba, Money DJ, CNBC)

Both Bosch and Continental are now partnered up with the Chinese internet giant Baidu to work together on not only automated driving, but also on connected cars in general and mobility services. (VentureBeat, TechCrunch, Sohu, FT Chinese)

continental-baidu-collaboration

Samsung Connect Home will serve is able to turn home into a mesh of connectivity so that every room in the house. Each of the routers available has a coverage of 1,500 square feet and it can connect up to 5 of them to cover around 7,500 square feet. (Laoyaoba, Android Community, The Verge)

samsung-connect-home-mesh-router

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