10-08: Holiday is over! AI chipset likely appear on every flagship smartphone in 2018; Inquiries into potential 3D sensing solutions from Android brand vendors have at least tripled; etc.

Chipsets

Global power semiconductor revenues grew year-over-year by 3.9% in 2016, reversing a 4.8% decline in 2015, according to IHS Markit. All categories of power semiconductors (power discretes, power modules, and power integrated circuits) were up for the year, with the discretes market seeing the biggest jump. Sales in all regions increased, with China revenues topping the list. IHS Markit expects the market to grow by 7.5% in 2017, to USD38.3B and achieve yearly increases through 2021. (IHS Markit, press, CTimes, EE Times, EEPW)

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf believes that the company will be successful in their fight with Apple. He emphaiszes that they have a business model that we think has a record that is pretty clear. It allows for a lot of competition and easy ability for people to get into this industry.  (Laoyaoba, The Street)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) will remain an industry leader, with growth driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), automotive, high-performance computing (HPC) and mobile, says its chairman Morris Chang, who has announced to retire by Jun 2018. (Reuters, TechNews, Asia Nikkei)

According to Digitimes Research, the production value of the global foundry industry is expected to grow by a CAGR of 6% to reach USD74.66B in 2022, the final year of a five-year forecast period, driven by the still growing – albeit at a slower pace – smartphone industry, an increase in the number of ICs used in each smartphones and rising demand for advanced processes. (Digitimes, press, Money DJ)

In 2018, artificial intelligence (AI) chipset likely appear on every flagship smartphone. (TechNews, Leiphone, Sohu, The Next Web, Korea Herald)

Touch Display

Smartisan CEO Luo Yonghao reveals that there will be no full-display phone in 2017, and may be in 2H18, with higher AA ratio. (CN Beta, Sohu, Sina)

Sharp will start making liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for automobiles and ultra-high definition monitors at its key manufacturing facility that once focused solely on supplying LCD panels for Apple iPhone. The Kameyama No. 1 plant is now gearing up move beyond smartphones to also produce LCD panels for automobiles and 27” 8K LCD panels for use in monitors. (TechNews, Asia Nikkei)

With competition in the TV panel market gradually mounting in the above 55” segment, some makers have been aggressively establishing new 10.5G production lines, including: China’s BOE and CSOT; Japan’s Sakai Display Products (SDP); and Korea’s LG Display. For their 10.5 production, panel makers are mostly eyeing 65” and above 4K-8K applications that will facilitate their competition in the high-end TV panel market. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, OfWeek)

Sensory

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, inquiries into potential 3D sensing solutions from Android brand vendors have at least tripled since Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera system and Face ID in Sept 2017. To that end, Android vendors are likely to turn to 3D sensing products from Qualcomm and Himax, Orbbec, and Mantis Vision. (Apple Insider, GSM Arena, 163, 91.com)

Biometrics

KGI Securities Analyst Ming-chi Kuo says Samsung has decided to integrate a compact image sensor (CIS) design instead of a “CIS+independent light emitter” arrangement for a sub-screen fingerprint solution set to debut in its Galaxy Note 9, due out in 2H18.  (Apple Insider, GSM Arena, 163, 91.com)

Connectivity

Ericsson opens a brand new US-based design center for the testing and development of key components to 5G radio base stations, Application Specific Integrated Circuit Design Center (ASIC Design Center). (Android Headlines, ZDNet, Telecom Asia, Fierce Wireless, PR Newswire)

 

Smartphones

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, suggests the so-called “supercycle” will not truly gain momentum until 2018 due to multiple factors. He estimates that for 2017, Apple iPhone shipments will come in at 210M~220M units, which should grow to be 245M~255M units in 2018. (CN Beta, 9to5Mac, Mac Rumors)

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Lite is announced in Philipines – 5.5” HD IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 MSM8937 processor, rear 13MP + front 13MP f/2.0 cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, front fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh battery, PHP7695. (Laoyaoba, GSM Arena, ASUS, GizChina)

PCs / Tablets

Asustek Computer is planning to reduce the proportions of notebook orders given to BYD and Wistron for 2018 and will increase those to Pegatron and Quanta Computer to improve product quality and time to market, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, Laoyaoba)

PC brand vendors including Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell have shown interests in entering the medical care device market and are partnering with their component suppliers to design related products, according to Digitimes. Research firm BMI Research’s figures showed that the worldwide medical care device market had a scale of USD323.9B in 2015 and will grow to USD382.5B by 2018 with a CAGR of 5.7% from 2015-2018. (Digitimes, press)

Wearables

Intel has allegedly closed its Recon brand of augmented-reality goggles for sporting and industrial applications. (Laoyaoba, Bloomberg)

VRenetic aims to make 360 degree broadcasting accessible and affordable to everyone. The company has its own free app, VResh, that allows for real-time streaming of panoramic video with the use of a proprietary smartphone-connected camera. (VentureBeat, Sohu)

Internet of Things

According to Cornell University, Google’s AI has an IQ of 47.28 based on tests carried out throughout 2016. Google’s score is slightly below a six-year-old human’s IQ of 55.5, but more than double Apple Siri’s IQ of 23.9. By their measure, Siri is not as smart as Microsoft’s Bing or Baidu, which have respective IQs of 31.98 and 32.92. (Ubergizmo, ZDNet, Cornell University, CNBC, Business Insider, Huanqiu)

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