09-14: Toshiba has agreed to negotiate with a group led by Bain Capital; Apple is allegedly in talks to provide capital to Bain for an equity stake in Toshiba’s chip business; etc.

Chipsets

MediaTek’s ASIC team has successfully grabbed orders of Cisco from Broadcom. The company will begin shipping the ASIC products to Cisco from 2018. (Laoyaoba, UDN)

vivo reportedly will launch Y67 Next with MediaTek MT6750 in 2H17, and Y54 with MediaTek Helio P23 processor, as well as, Y68 with 12nm built MediaTek Helio P40 processor. Though vivo Xplay 7, X13 and X13+ are still using Qualcomm, but MediaTek’s models in 2018 still more than 2017, thus its share in 2018 would increase. (Laoyaoba, UDN)

BrainChip rolled out an FPGA-based accelerator for its spiking neural network (SNN) software and hopes to deliver an ASIC within 2 years to expand its existing markets. The BrainChip accelerator packs six SNN cores in a Xilinx Kintex chip on a PCI Express board processing video at up to 600 frames/s at about 15 W max. (EE Times, Embedded Computing, EE News Europe)

Worldwide billings for semiconductor manufacturing equipment reached USD14.1B in 2Q17, exceeding the record level set in 1Q17, according to SEMI. The billings for 2Q17 were 8% higher than 1Q17, and 35% above the same quarter a year ago, said SEMI. (Digitimes, press, The Digital Times, China Times)

Despite a slightly down first quarter, the semiconductor industry achieved near record growth in 2Q17, posting a 6.1% growth from the previous quarter, according to IHS Markit. Global revenue came in at USD101.4B, up from USD95.6B in 1Q17. This is the highest growth the industry has seen in 2Q14. (IHS Markit, press, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

Demand for full display smartphone panels explodes in 2H17. As phone display size is bigger, yield rate is lower causing the tight supply for the panels. This would cause the cost to increase, which benefits HannStar, CPT, AUO and Innolux. (UDN, Laoyaoba)

Korean panel makers are pushing aggressively for AMOLED panels. Samsung Display has closed down 2nd Gen-5 fab, causing a-Si panel supply is continuously tight. This would further cause the cost of smartphone LCD panel to increase. HannStar, CPT, AUO and Innolux would be beneficial from this trend. (Laoyaoba, UDN)

Japan Display Inc (JDI) CEO Shuichi Ohtsuka indicates that to R&D OLED it needs a huge amount of investment, thus collaborating with Sharp is “possible”. (Investors, Apple Daily, Laoyaoba)

Samsung, via its investment arm Samsung Ventures, and LG, through its LG Display division, have invested EUR25M  (USD30M) in German OLED company Cynora. (Cynora, VentureBeat, PJ Time)

Memory

Toshiba has agreed to negotiate with a group led by Bain Capital, the American investment firm, that also includes 2 organizations controlled by the Japanese government. They will seek to strike a deal over Toshiba’s chip business. A deal, which Toshiba hopes to complete by this month, is widely expected to value the chip business at more than USD20B. (Android Headlines, NY Times, WSJ, WSJ, CN Beta)

The China high-end IC Alliance (CHICA), which was set up by China’s National Semiconductor Industry Investment Fund (known as the Big Fund) earlier in 2017, is looking to add another sub-alliance to promote and enhance the development of China’s local memory industry. (Digitimes, press, EEPW)

Apple is allegedly in talks to provide capital to Bain for an equity stake in Toshiba’s chip business, a move designed to shift sentiment away from a group backed by Western Digital.  (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, Tencent, CN Beta)

Sensory

KGI Securities provides a list of suppliers for Apple iPhone X 3D sensor supply chain, which includes TSMC, Hon Han, Sharp, Largan, Sony, etc.. There are more than 20 suppliers for the whole supply chain. (Laoyaoba, SEMI, Apple Daily)

Smart insole sensor is developed by University of Quebec at Chicoutimi in Canada. Its smart algorithm promises to make sure user’s lifting with proper form more effectively than any health and safety video training video can do. (Digital Trends, MDPI, Science Net, Sohu)

Battery

Apple has offered a sneak peek at a charging pad called AirPower. Designed by Apple, the all white, ovaloid mat can charge iPhone, Apple Watch and a new wireless-compatible AirPods case at the same time.  (Apple Insider, The Verge, Ars Technica, Engadget, CN Beta)

Connectivity

GSMA suggests that by 2025, nearly half of all connections will be 5G connections. GSMA predicts that by 2025 there will be 208M 5G connections. This represents 49% of all connections in the U.S. In addition, GSMA notes that if realized, this will see the US showing faster 5G adoption rates “than any other region.” (GSMA, report, Android Headlines)

More than 5.3B devices with Bluetooth signals are at risk of a malware attack newly identified by an internet of things security company Armis. Dubbed Blueborne, the attack works by masquerading as a Bluetooth device and exploiting weaknesses in the protocol to deploy malicious code. (My Drivers, Armis, The Verge, CNET)

Smartphones

TrendForce estimates that the global production volume of Apple iPhone devices (including all previous models) for 2017 will total around 227.5M units, representing an annual increase of 5.6%. TrendForce forecasts that around 43% of smartphones shipped worldwide in 2020 will feature the AMOLED display. (CN Beta, TrendForce, press)

Apple unveils iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, powered by Apple A11 Bionic processor: iPhone 8 – 4.7” 750×1334 Retina HD IPS LCD 3D Touch display, rear 12MP f/1.8 + front 7MP f/2.2 cameras, 2GB RAM, 64 / 256GB storage, iOS 11, Touch ID, IP67 certified, from USD699. iPhone 8 Plus – 5.5” 1080×1920 Retina HD IPS LCD 3D Touch display, rear dual 12MP f/1.8 – 12MP f/2.8 + front 7MP f/2.2 cameras, 3GB RAM, 64 / 256GB storage, iOS 11, Touch ID, IP67 certified, from USD799. iPhone X – 5.8” 1125×2436 AMOLED Super Retina Display with 3D Touch, rear dual 12MP f/1.8 – 12MP f/2.8 + front 7MP f/2.2 cameras, 3GB RAM, 64 / 256GB storage, iOS 11, Face ID, IP68 certified, from USD999. (Apple Insider, Apple Insider, GSM Arena, GSM Arena, Apple, Apple, CN Beta, The Verge)

OPPO A71 is launched in India – 5.2” HD display, MediaTek MT6750 processor, 13MP f/2.2 + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage, 3000mAh battery, INR12,990 (USD200). (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, India Today, Flipkart)

Archos launching 2 ruggedized  IP68 phones, powered by MediaTek MT6737 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras: Sense 47X – 4.7” HD display, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 3000mAh battery, EUR199. Sense 50X – 5” FHD display, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 3500mAh battery, EUR279. (Phone Arena, Winfuture)

Wearables

Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE compatibility is announced – 1.65” 390×312 3D Touch AMOLED display, Apple S3 processor, 768MB RAM, 16GB storage, watchOS 4.0,GPS, 50m water-proof, eSIM, USD399 (LTE) / USD329. (Apple Insider, The Verge, CNBC, Quartz, CNET, TechCrunch)

Internet of Things

Samsung Electronics and its subsidiary Harman International Industries are set to release an artificial intelligence (AI) speaker in 2018, according to the former’s President of Mobile Communication Koh Dong-Jin.  (Android Headlines, Business Korea, Sina, CN Beta, Neowin)

According to NPD, since 2014, high resolution (hi-res) audio devices have experienced steady growth with U.S. dollar sales increasing 77% in 2016 compared to 2014 and unit sales more than doubling over the same time period (118% growth). (Twice, PR Web, NPD, Laoyaoba)

Samsung is set to announce that it has set up an automotive strategic business unit for autonomous and advanced driver assistance services (ADAS), together with a USD300M fund to invest in automotive start-ups and technology. (CN Beta, Reuters, Daily Mail, Samsung)

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