08-13: Sharp regards products relating to 8K technology as a pillar of business expansion; Sharp is willing to extend a helping hand to beleaguered JDI; etc.

Chipsets

Intel is retiring its Atom x5-Z8100P SoC that is used inside Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset. Intel asks its customers to place their final orders on the Atom x5-Z8100P SoC (Cherry Trail family) by Sept 30 and says that the final shipments will be made on Oct 30. (CN Beta, Extreme Tech, OnMSFT, AnandTech)

According to IHS Markit, mobile phone’s RF Front-End Control Interface (RFFE) market size has grown from USD4.3B in 2010 to USD13.4B in 2017, with CAGR of more than 17.7%. During this period, the RFFE market growth is 5 times of the growth of the overall semiconductor market, which demonstrates the importance and complexity of RFFE. (IHS, press, Laoyaoba)

CFRA’s Anthony Zino indicates that the semiconductor content of a car is increasing, which drives the semiconductor growth, in particular the infortaiment system has the most potentionl because it has a lot of components. In 2016, global infortainment system shipment has reached 22.5M units,which is equivalent 1 in 4 cars is equipped with such system. US is the biggest market, in 2017 it grows 28% and in 2018 it will grow 22%. Japan is also an important market with 5-year CAGR reaching 32%. (Barron’s, Laoyaoba, TechNews)

Sensor areas for environment observation

Qualcomm announces a planned collaboration with Taiwan-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) on 5G NR-enabled small cell technology. The collaboration aims to speed up delivery and commercialization of 5G NR small cell products in the region. (UDN, Seeking Alpha, Laoyaoba, Telecompaper, RCR Wireless, Telecoms Tech News)

Touch Display

While previous reports on Foxconn’s U.S. display factory have described it as making large panels for use in TVs and monitors, but there is report claiming it will be making LCD screens for iPhones. The facility, which would build liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology used for Apple’s iPhone, would be the first of its kind in North America. (CN Beta, 9to5Mac, WSJ)

LG announced that its next flagship smartphone will be the first phone to adopt LG Display (LGD) plastic OLED FullVision display. The new phone, V30 will have 6” QHD+ (1440×2880) display. (OLED-Info, LG, DCFever, WeAnd)

Sharp regards products relating to 8K ultrahigh-definition technology as a pillar of business expansion, aiming to earn more than JPY300B (USD2.74B) in sales in fiscal 2020. Company president Tai Jeng-wu said Sharp plans to launch 8K-related products by year-end as a step toward achieving the target. (Laoyaoba, UDN, Megatime, Japan News)

Sharp is willing to extend a helping hand to beleaguered Japan Display (JDI), hoping to form a joint team to develop LCD products in Japan, according to company president Dai Cheng-wu. (Japan News, Digitimes, Taipei Times, Sina)

Memory

Memory has been in shortage and its cost is increasing throughout 2017, impacting smart phone and other mobile device market, also influencing IC design vendor operation. Not only 3Q17 will be a bad season, it will be continue throughout end of 2017. DRAM has been in the coldest season in 1H17, NAND and NOR Flash are in shortage. (CNA, UDN, Laoyaoba)

Sensory

Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster estimates that 40% of Apple iPhones shipped in 1H18 will include VCSEL lasers but by the 2H18 85% will incorporate 3D sensing capabilities. Based on this assumption, Apple would ship about 239M iPhones in 2018 of which 160M or 67% would include 3D sensing. (iClarified, Loup Ventures, press, Laoyaoba)

Battery

New research from The University of Manchester has demonstrated flexible battery-like devices printed directly on to textiles using a simple screen-printing technique. A solid-state flexible supercapacitor device has been demonstrated by using conductive graphene-oxide ink to print onto cotton fabric.  (CN Beta, Daily Mail, Phys)

Nissan has confirmed that they came to an agreement with GSR Capital, a private investment fund based in China, selling its electric car battery division Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC). (Electrek, Investopedia, Nissan, Yicai, Sina)

Connectivity

Based on some analysis, global USB Type-C market is increasing, by 2020, the market size will grow to CNY66.9B, and if consider digital smart headset, its size will grow more than CNY100B. USB3.1 standard has a number of restrictions. USB3.2 supports multi-channel design, its transmission speed is 2 times of USB3.1. (Laoyaoba, EE World)

Smartphones

According to the U.S. Patent Office, up to Aug 2017, Samsung has been granted 4,143 patents placing them only second to IBM with 5,797 patents. Apple was granted 1,559 patents landing them in 6th position for the year thus far. (CN Beta, Patently Apple)

Xiaomi has announced that its Redmi Note 4 model sales surpassed 5M in the Indian market since launched in Jan 2017.  (GizChina, NDTV, Indian Express, News18, Sina)

Barclays said that just 11% of its survey respondents would spend more than USD1,000 on Apple iPhone. 18% of consumers who already own an iPhone are willing to spend more than USD1,000. However, 85% of respondents are willing to pay more for the newest generation smartphone device. (Phone Arena, CNBC, Apple Insider, Sina, Sohu)

Apple’s spending on R&D totaled USD2.9B for F3Q17, rising 15% YoY against a revenue gain of just 7% for the same period. That brought Apple’s R&D spending to USD11.2B for the trailing 12 months, which is about 5% of the company’s revenue for the period. However, the company’s R&D spending over the past 12 months trails that of Microsoft ,Amazon.com and Google-parent Alphabet. (TechNews, WSJ)

Jean M. Twenge at The Atlantic found that maybe smartphones are not all they are cracked up to be, and that those born 1995~2012 (who she refers to as the iGen generation) are affected more negatively by smartphones. In fact it seems that because of smartphones and the fact that we are connected all the time has made iGen a more depressed generation compared to Millennials. (The Atlantic, pressUbergizmo, YLZXEdu, LC123, JL Online)

Wearables

Snap’s operating revenue over the 3-month period ending Jun 30 amounted to USD182M, a 153% YoY increase. The company has generated USD5.4M in “Other” revenue, which would equate to around 41,500 pairs of Spectacles camera sunglasses at a USD130 price point.  (TechCrunch, Android Headlines, Sohu, Sina, IT Home)

oglass is an AR glasses launched by Shenzhen Augmented Reality Technologies. Founder Su Po reckons that before 2020 AR technology still stays at PC’s stage in 70s / 80s, yet industrial AR application has become mainstream. Around 2025, AR will enter consumer products segment.  (iFeng, Laoyaoba)

Internet of Things

Craig Moffett at MoffettNathanson estimates a 941,000 cable / satellite TV subscribers cut the cord during 2Q17, up from 809,000 in the same time frame a year earlier, a clear indication cord-cutting is accelerating. “The rate of pay TV subscriber erosion worsened, rising sequentially from 2.5% last quarter to 2.7% in the second quarter, the fastest rate of decline on record,” notes Moffett. (Fast Company, Quartz, The Atlas, Android Headlines)

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