08-20: Lenovo believes its mobile division can bounce back in F2Q17; Ericsson sues Wiko for patent infringement; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm Technologies has acquired Netherlands-based Scyfer. Scyfer is developing AI and machine learning (ML) technologies for a number of industry vertical applications. The deal is a continuation of the Qualcomm subsidiary’s business imperative of advancing AI and ML technologies at the device level. (Android Headlines, Seeking Alpha, CNET, Digit, Sina, China Times)

Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Chris Wilder indicates that Intel has invested huge in Advanced Driver Assisted Systems (ADAS) market, Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye will force the market to drive faster than it wanted to. Intel did not inherently have the heritage, pedigree, relationships, nor the software to deliver an end-to-end solution for self-driving vehicles. This acquisition propels Intel to one of the top spots of a nascent but growing industry.  (Forbes, Laoyaoba)

The past year has seen a resurgent interest in 200mm (8”) fabrication. During this transition to IoT as a major driver of semiconductor growth, the number of 200mm fabs decreased substantially. In 2007, there were 199 200mm fabs worldwide and by 2015 this had dropped to just 178. (Sohu, EE Times, article, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

As a Chinese company that owns an in-house 3D Touch solution, also launching first force touch smartphone with ZTE in 2015, New Degree Technology (NDT) has been beneficial from this trend. NDT expects its force touch sensor will reach 10M units shipment in 2017, and in 2018 it targets 100M units. (Laoyaoba, EEPW)

Despite extensive investment being made in plastic OLED (POLED) panels, a supply shortage for the flexible displays is likely to continue for at least the next couple of years, according to Sigmaintell. Analyst Vicky Chen indicates that Chinese display makers are preparing to produce POLED panels from 2018, but it is going to take around 5 years to stabilize production procedures and optimize yield rates to get ready for mass production. This means global supply is likely to stay put for the time being. (The Investor, Phone Arena, Sohu)

Motorola has been granted a patent for a smart glass technology that uses a “memory” glass-like polymer that remembers its original shape and reverts back to it. It is not just a hardware process. The software side includes the phone detecting if there is a crack on the screen, prompting a healing process, and when accepted begins the repair. (Gizmo China, SlashGear, Phone Arena, Tencent, iFanr)

Memory

According to TrendForce, the global DRAM revenue reached a new historical high in 2Q17. Compared with 1Q17, the undersupply situation was not as severe, and OEM clients in the downstream were able to gradually extend their inventories. Nevertheless, the global ASPs of PC / server DRAM rose by more than 10% sequentially in 2Q17, while the global ASP of mobile DRAM products showed a less than 5% gain. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)

Aug 2017 quotes for RAMs used in VGA graphics cards have risen to USD8.50, up by 30.8% from USD6.50 in Jul. Both RAM industry leaders Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have allocated part of their VGA RAM production capacities to producing memories for servers and handsets, fueling the price rally. (Digitimes, press, AnandTech, Digitimes)

Biometrics

KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo indicates that only Apple and Samsung would use optical fingerprint recognition technology in mass. He also expects optical fingerprint scanner would be 3~5 times more expensive than current capacitive fingerprint scanner. If optical fingerprint scanner demand increases, Egistec and TSMC would benefit from that. (Laoyaoba, CN Beta)

Smartphones

Lenovo believes its mobile division can bounce back in F2Q17, according to the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing.  The company posted a loss of USD72M during the F1Q17, the first in almost 2 years. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, Gizmo China, Reuters, Sina, NBD)

Ericsson sues Wiko in the regional courts of Düsseldorf and Mannheim in Germany, for patents infringement. Wiko is headquartered in France, China OEM Tinno Mobile owns most of the company’s stake.Ericsson has more than 42,000 granted patents worldwide. Ericsson’s annual revenues from its patent fees are about SEK7B (about USD867M). (EE World, C114, Evertiq, TechMoran)

vivo SVP Ni Xudong believes that there is already a common sense in the industry in regards to dual camera and big display, especially for “big display”. It will basically become the “selling point” for 2H17, and will gradually become the “default” specs. (EE World, Laoyaoba, Sina, Tencent)

Xiaomi has partnered with Google in India to launch its first Android One device, which internally known as Xiaomi A1. This Android One smartphone is going to be based on the Mi 5X from Xiaomi. (Android Headlines, XDA-Developers, Go Android, Krispitech, IT Home, CN Beta)

Wearables

Less than 10% of adults wear smartwatch right now, according NPD Group. NPD believes consumers’ embrace of the devices will begin to accelerate in the next couple of years, saying about 15% of U.S. adults will be wearing them by 2019. That is a growth of 60% from 2Q17 through 4Q18, NPD says, “driven in large part by anticipated new product introductions from market leaders.” (Android Headlines, Fast Company, NPD, press, Telecompetitor, 91.com, Feng)

A patent application for a “waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner” was published by Facebook’s virtual-reality subsidiary, Oculus. The device “may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer-generated elements” and may “be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly that presents media to a user’s eyes”. (Laoyaoba, Business Insider, Mashable, Fast Company)

Samsung’s latest granted patents titled “holographic see-through optical device” includes a micro display, a relay optical system, at least one waveguide, at least one first holographic optical element, and at least one second holographic optical element. The patent also describes the possibilities with this augmented reality device. (SlashGear, Laoyaoba)

Internet of Things

Baidu has announced it opens its conversational AI platform DuerOS to businesses and third parties. This plan will make DuerOS as a core to expand its partnership eco-system in the coming 3 years. (VentureBeat, Laoyaoba, Sina, C114, Shenzhenware, SCMP)

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