03-11: Intel allegedly considers bid for Broadcom; BOE has officially announced its plans to construct its third line in Chongqing’s Liangjiang New District; etc.

Chipsets

Taiwan-based semiconductor testing solutions in memory, logic, and mixed-signal Ics vendor Ardentec chairman Zhang Jiming is positive with the growth in 2018, and he is not against any plan of merger in the future. The company’s fab in Nanjing is expected to begin operation in 2Q18. Hhe also reveals that the company will aggressively develop the automotive, IoT and HPC segments, the coming 3 years are important operating time for the company. (UDN, China Times)

Intel allegedly considers bid for Broadcom. Intel is allegedly eager for Broadcom’s pursuit of Qualcomm to fail “as the combined company would pose a serious competitive threat”.  (WSJ, CNBC, The Street, Reuters, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

TCL Corp indicates that its Gen-11 panel production line in Shenzhen, which amounts to CNY46.5B and designed to produce 90,000 pieces of substrates per month mainly for 65” and 75” large size TV panels, has begun construction from end of 2017. It expects to enter mass production by 2019. (JRJ, STCN, Laoyaoba)

TCL has announced that it recently developed 31” 4K OLED that is applied with inkjet printing technology at its inkjet printing R&D open platform called ‘Juhua Printing Display Technology’. Its subsidiary CSOT has participated in this development, and this 4K OLED was produced from Gen 4.5 half-cut R&D line. TCL set a goal of securing 11th generation inkjet printing technology by 2019. CSOT, Tianma, CEC-Panda, etc. are developing relevant technologies together at Juhua Printing Display Technology. (Laoyaoba, ET News, TechNews)

Lee Dong-hoon, president of Samsung Display while taking office as chairman of the Korea Display Industry Association, has pointed out difficulties facing the small and medium-sized display industry. Korean display companies’ pain has been growing with a drop in prices of large displays for TVs due to the slow season of the TV market and sluggish sales of small displays due to a slump in smartphone sales. (Laoyaoba, Business Korea)

BOE has officially announced its plans to construct its third line in Chongqing’s Liangjiang New District. BOE’s new fab will cost CNY46.5B (USD7.3B). BOE’s Chongqing line will have a monthly capacity of 48,000 Gen-6 (1500×1850mm) substrates. The new fab will be able to begin production in 2H20. As of today BOE has committed to invest CNY10B (USD1.5B) while the Chongqing Government invested CNY16B. The rest of the funds will be raised from external sources. (OLED-Info, BOE, OfWeek, JRJ)

Camera

Panasonic Corp is considering selling a Chinese plant that makes security cameras in a deal it hopes will fetch over USD450M. Panasonic is allegedly looking to close first-round bidding in early Apr 2018, and potential buyers include U.S. equity fund Carlyle Group and British funds Permira and CVC Capital Partners. Panasonic expects to gain over JPY50B (USD468M) from selling the plant in Suzhou, a city in southeast China’s Jiangsu province. (Reuters, CN Beta, Asia Nikkei)

Currently global top 5 smartphone vendors Samsung, Apple, Huawei, OPPO and vivo already adopt dual-camera, and in 2018 this will continue. Camera will enter more diverse applications, with 2 major possible directions: 1) rear and front are adopting dual cameras; or 2) using 3D sensing module like Apple, but the technical and cost barrier are high. (Laoyaoba, China Times)

Sensory

Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster believes Finisar’ results reveal minimal VCSEL revenue is USD8M~10M for the quarter ending Jan 31. Commentary from management suggests the company is preparing for a large uptick in 2H18, in line with rumors of a multi-iPhone launch this fall. Finisar’s its 700,000-square foot plant in Sherman, Texas, saying VCSEL production at the facility is expected to go live in 2H18.  (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Loup Ventures)

Phones

Google allows other companies to create custom commands when the Google Assistant is built into their products. Now, instead of saying, “Hey Google, talk to…” and then a third party company, users will be able to issue a simpler command. LG is one company that has already changed its voice commands for its line of appliances. (The Verge, NDTV, Android Authority, Sohu, Sina)

Gionee has officially denied the rumors of being acquired by HiSense, but stating the company is negotiating potential funding. In end of 2017, the company is rumored in debt to suppliers and having difficulties with its cash flow. In mid Jan 2018, Gionee in Shenzhen and Shanghai, etc. are being sued by suppliers, meanwhile Liu Lirong’s assets with the company is being frozen. (CN Beta, Fonow)

Huawei has topped the European Patent Office’s 2017 patent-filing tally for the first time. Huawei filed 2,398 patents in 2017, edging up from its runner-up position a year earlier, followed by Siemens and LG. (Android Headlines, Asia Times, ZDNet, China Daily)

According to MBLM, Apple and Disney ranked as the first and second most intimate brands for millennials. Comparatively, in MBLM’s 2017 report, Disney placed first, followed by Amazon and Netflix. The other brands that round out the top 10 are: Target, Amazon, Nintendo, Google, Xbox, Netflix and Whole Foods. (Laoyaoba, PR Newswire, MBLM, report)

Huawei Y9 (2018) is officially unveiled in Thailand – 5.93” 2160×1080 FHD+, Huawei Kirin 659, rear dual 16MP-2MP + front dual 13MP-2MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 8.0, 4000mAh. (Gizmo China, GizChina, Winfuture, Firstpost, GSM Arena)

Wearables

According to IDC, in China 4Q17 wearables market shipment reached 15.21M units, a 22.1% up on year. Basic wearable (those that do not support third-party apps) shipment has increased 11.1% compared to 4Q16, and smart wearables have increased 161.8% on year. Kid’s watch has contributed to the growth, in addition to the Apple’s new smartwatches. (IDC, press, Laoyaoba)

Internet of Things

Waymo and Google are launching a self-driving truck pilot in Atlanta, US. Waymo’s trucks use the same suite of custom-built sensors that power the company’s self-driving minivans. Waymo plans to launch a fully driverless ride-hail pilot in Phoenix sometime in 2018. (TechCrunch, Medium, Tencent)

Xiaomi eco-system subsidy Viomi has denied the news of infringing others’ patents and causing the products to take off shelf. Viomi has allegedly infringe a US company’s patents, which include a design patent, bowl basket patent, door look architecture and door body architecture, etc. (Laoyaoba, Leiphone, XCN News, JRJ)

Velankani Electronics (VEPL), an electronics manufacturing enterprise that focuses on the design and manufacture of products that qualify under India’s Government-led “Make in India” program, has collaborated with STMicroelectronics in the design and development of Velankani’s Prysm smart meters for the India market. (NASDAQ, Laoyaoba)

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