08-25: Western Digital is reportedly offering JPY1.9T for Toshiba’s memory chip business; Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung and would-be heir of the tech empire was sentenced to 5 years in prison; etc.

Chipsets

To increase the reliability of chipsets and processor, TSMC and EDA simulation software vendor Ansys announces collaboration on “Automotive Reliability Enforcement Flow. (Laoyaoba, TechNews, Sohu)

IC Insights’ latest forecast is for semiconductor industry capital spending to climb 20% in 2017. It shows the steep upward trend of quarterly capital spending in the semiconductor industry since 1Q16. Although there was a slight pause in the upward trajectory in 1Q17, 2Q17 set a new record for quarterly spending outlays.  (IC Insights, press, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

The share of In-Cell solutions in the global smartphone market is estimated to reach 31.9% by the end of 2017, according to TrendForce. This latest share figure for In-Cell solutions is mainly attributed to the near maturation of IC products for TDDI (Touch with Display Driver Integration) as well as their rapid adoption in the panel industry. TrendForce estimates that the share of In-Cell solutions integrated with TDDI chips in the smartphone market will grow from about 6% in 2016 to about 14% in 2017. (TrendForce[cn], press, Laoyaoba, TrendForce, press)

With the expansion of AR / VR market, Micro-LED thanks to its self-lit, thin, and light mass advantages, it is showing some opportunities in the AR / VR segment. BOE and OLED Microdisplay maker OLiGHTEK as well as Kopin announced a new joint-venture to produce OLED microdisplays for the consumer VR and AR markets.  (Laoyaoba, TechNews, LED-100, Jiemian, OLED-Info, BOE)

The popularity of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs and smartphones has boosted not only the OLED display market but also the OLED encapsulation materials market. According to IHS Markit, the OLED encapsulation materials market is expected to grow 4.7% in 2017 compared to a year ago, to USD117M. (IHS Markit, press, Laoyaoba)

Research found the possibility the replacement parts installed by repair shops contain secret hardware that completely hijacks the security of the device. The malicious parts cost less than USD10 and could easily be mass-produced. The booby-trapped parts could be indistinguishable from legitimate ones. (Ubergizmo, Ars Technica, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 10JQKA, Tencent)

Camera

According to LG Innotek, the number of employees of Optical Solution Business Department increased from 2,173 in Dec 2016 to 2,946 in Jun 2017. The sales estimate shows that it will surpass KRW3T (USD2.65B) due to increase in number of demands of camera modules and supply of new modules.  (Patently Apple, Huron Report, Laoyaoba)

Memory

A consortium that includes Western Digital is reportedly offering JPY1.9T (USD17.4B) for Toshiba’s memory chip business, which the Japanese conglomerate is trying to sell to cover losses from its U.S. nuclear business. (TechNews, Reuters, Reuters)

Smartphones

ZTE has reported a 30% rise in net profit for 1H17 with profits landing at around USD344M. Overall revenue was up by 13% to just over USD8.1B. ZTE says around 60% or USD4.8B was a result of growth in the telecom equipment sector of its business. Revenue from its consumer-side smartphone business grew by 24% to just over USD2.6B.  (Android Headlines, SCMP, Market Watch, ZTE, Reuters, JRJ, WSJ)

Chinese vendors are facing saturated market in their homeland, thus expanding to overseas to survive. However, as most vendors’ IPRs not enough, no confidence in developed countries, yet some emerging markets such as Brazil is not easy to tackle, thus India (2nd largest population) has become their first choice to expand. (52RD, Digitimes, press, HiAPK)

Xiaomi may ramp up its smartphone shipments to 25M~30M units in 3Q17, buoyed by the launch of multiple models, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, My Drivers)

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung and would-be heir of the tech empire, was earlier today found guilty of bribery and embezzlement, and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. (Phone Arena, Reuters, VentureBeat, CN Beta)

YotaPhone 3 is launched in China – 5.5” FHD AMOLED display + 5.2” HD E-Ink display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 13MP + 12MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, Android 7.1 (YotaOS 3.0),  front fingerprint scanner, 3300mAh battery, from CNY2398. (GizChina, The Verge, Android Police, ZOL, Sohu)

PCs / Tablets

Toshiba has launched a new miniature PC called the dynaEdge Mobile Mini PC. The entire PC measures only 6.5×3.3 x×0.8-inches with an overall weight just under 11 ounces. It sports 6th-gen Intel Core processors and Windows 10 Pro. It is priced at USD620. (My Drivers, Liliputing, SlashGear, CN Beta, Business Wire)

Wearables

HTC is working with an adviser as it considers bringing in a strategic investor, selling or spinning off its Vive virtual reality headset business. (VR Source, Bloomberg, Ping West, Sohu)

CFO of Himax Jacqueline Chang indicates that the YoY declines were due to discontinuation of LCOS and WLO shipments to one of the major AR device customers who decided to end the products production as we’ve reported before. This major AR device is allegedly Microsoft HoloLens. (TechNews, Leiphone, MS Poweruser)

Internet of Things

The development of Apple’s autonomous driving technology is allegedly at about the stage where Google’s self-driving car project “was 3 years ago”. Google’s project, now spun out into its own company called Waymo, is by many accounts the furthest along in self-driving technology.  (Android Headlines, Business Insider, NY Times, Sohu)

Intel has recently conducted a study to see if people who have never ridden in an autonomous car change their mind after experiencing it first-hand.  Jack Weast, chief systems architect of Intel’s Autonomous Driving Group, indicates that drivers fear and lack trust in the nascent technology. (CN Beta, Engadget, Intel, Silicon Beat, Fast Company)

Mobvoi is launching its own smart speaker “Tichome” on Taobao crowdfunding site, priced at CNY649. Tichome claims it has the most complete music library, working with a series of music providers such as QQ Music, and it can control 40 categories 300 types smart devices. (CN Beta, 9to5Google, Leiphone)

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