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06-22: vivo has started developing TOF depth camera; GIS will ship under-display fingerprint sensor module as earliest as 3Q18; etc.

Chipsets

Huawei is reportedly in the process of planning 2 new processors known as the Kirin 710 and Kirin 980, which will act as direct competitors to Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 and 845 respectively. Huawei is also looking towards its long-term future by developing a processor dubbed the Kirin 1020 with a focus on 5G. (Phone Arena, Anzhuo, Mobile Scout, Android Headlines, 52RD)

As a core subsidiary of Tsinghua Unigroup, UNISOC has announced the launch of the world’s most integrated Quad-core LTE chip platform – UNISOC SC9832E. UNISOC SC9832E possesses a mature 28nm HPC+ processor technology, featuring 1.4GHz Quad-core Arm Cortex (TM)-A53 processor. It is equipped with 3D graphics acceleration Mali T820 MP1 graphics processor. It supports 5-mode Cat 4 communication and VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi capabilities. (CN Beta, GizBot, PR Newswire, Telecom Paper)

Mechanical motion control component and industrial robot maker Hiwin Technologies will invest JPY10B (USD90.7M) to set up a factory to make ball screws and linear guideways in Kobe, Japan, primarily for supply for Japan-based makers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and machine tools. (Digitimes, press, UDN)

Samsung is introducing its 7nm EUV technology. Samsung could be the first to use EUV technology, which is said to be beneficial in comparison to the earlier lithography tools provided by ASML or Nikon. Samsung states that its upcoming 7nm technology features a 27nm fin pitch and a 54nm gate pitch, resulting in the smallest FinFET transistors right now. (CN Beta, ZDNet, WCCFTech)

Shunsin Technology, a subsidiary of Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) specializing in assembly and test of system-in-package (SiP) modules, has obtained new orders for 3D sensing modules for use in high-end fiber-optic devices and consumer electronics applications from 2 US chip vendors, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press)

Touch Display

Government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is developing micro LED applications for displays of various sizes. For small-size displays, ITRI is developing a 0.55” display made from single-light micro LED chips of 10-micron in size based on a silicon substrate at a pixel pitch of 12.8µm, with the display to be used in AR and VR devices. (Digitimes, press, OfWeek)

For Chipbond Technology, COF (chip on film) process will become a major revenue growth driver in 2H18 and the firm’s COF capacity will remain tight through the end of year, FJ Wu, chairman of Chipbond said. Chipbond has completed preemptive deployments in the 12” COF packaging segment to meet ever-increasing demand for high-end COF packaging, Wu said, his company’s 8” COF capacities have maintained full utilization to fulfill orders for TDDI ICs. (Digitimes, press)

According to Sigmaintell, in 1Q18 global full display panel shipment is near 420M units, in each 180M units are “full display” panel, indicating a more than 40% penetration rate. Samsung Display (SDC) as the global most important AMOLED supplier, is leading the market. (Laoyaoba, Sigmaintell, press)

The global production capacity of small- and medium-sized AMOLED panels continues to expand, and will reach 13.6Mm2 by 2018, an increase of 51.1% compared with the previous year, says TrendForce. As Chinese panel makers continue to release new capacity, the global capacity of small- and medium-sized AMOLED panels may double to 27.3Mm2 in 2021. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn])

Camera

EMS provider Lite-On Technology will establish partnership in Thailand for marketing its industrial control solutions there, with the country as a stepping stone to tap the ASEAN market. Lite-On Tech develops industrial control solutions through integrating front-end PLCs (programmable logic controllers) and human-machine interfaces with back-end inverters, servo-drives, motors. (Digitimes, press, UDN, CNYES)

Image sensor packaging specialist Xintec has decided to suspend its 12” wafer-level packaging production line for 1 year due to disappointing CMOS image sensor (CIS) demand for mass-market applications. Besides, Xintec’s costs of packaging automotive CIS are still high and not competitive due to insufficient economies of scale, which have discouraged the company from keeping its 12” wafer-level packaging production line. (Digitimes, press, Sohu)

Sensory

Pico Zense is launched by Pico as a high accuracy, high definition time-of-flight (TOF) depth sensing solution, which is based on Rockchip RV1108. It is able to recognize hand gesture, body positioning and recognition, which could help integration of 3D vision sensing on a product. (EE World, Laoyaoba, Sohu)

vivo has started developing TOF depth camera which can achieve similar functions as 3D structured light module. Hence, it is expected to support 3D depth mapping of the face for unlocking the screen. Also, users will be also able to authenticate payments through it. (Gizmo China, IT Home)

Biometrics

President of General Interface Solution (GIS) indicates that the revenues have recovered, in 3Q18 the production capacity is ful, and in 2H18 the performance will turn stronger. GIS will ship under-display fingerprint sensor module as earliest as 3Q18. (Laoyaoba, UDN, OfWeek, UDN)

Phone

Instagram has announced that it has reached 1B monthly active users, after passing 800M in Sept 2017 with 500M daily users. While Snapchat’s daily user count grew just 2.13% in 1Q18 to 191M, and Facebook’s monthly count grew 3.14% to reach 2.196B, Instagram is growing closer to 5% per quarter. (TechCrunch, The Verge, Business Insider, Sina)

Panasonic P90 is launched in India – 5” HD 2.5D curved, MediaTek MT6737, rear 5MP + front 5MP, 1GB+16GB, 2400mAh, INR5,599. (GSM Arena, Panasonic, NDTV)

vivo Y81 is launched in Thailand – 6.22” 720×1520 HD+, MediaTek Helio P22, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 8.1, 3260mAh, THB4990K (USD219). (GSM Arena, FPT)

LG Stylo 4 is launched at MetroPCS in US – 6.2” 2160×1080 FHD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear 13MP + front 5MP, 2GB+32GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 3300mAh, USD179. (GizChina, GSM Arena, LG)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Worldwide shipments of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets were down 30.5% year over year, totaling 1.2M units in 1Q18, according to IDC. Despite a poor start to 2018, IDC anticipates the overall market will return to growth over the remainder of the year as more vendors target the commercial AR and VR markets and low-cost standalone VR headsets such as the Oculus Go make their way into stores.  (IDC, press, Android Headlines, Sohu)

Home

According to a recent survey of consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Brazil, conducted by IHS Markit, the predominant uses of smart speakers revolve around asking questions, checking the weather, listening to news and playing music. About 65% of survey respondents used their smart speakers for these functions in Mar and Apr of 2018, while only 6% reported using a smart speaker to control lights, televisions and other connected devices in their homes. (IHS Markit, press, Android Headlines, iFeng)

According to Strategy Analytics, consumers worldwide bought 663M smart home devices in 2017, and this will increase to 1.94B in 2023, when sales of smartphones will be 1.86B. The fastest growing category in 2018 will be smart speakers, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, with a growth rate of 109%.  (Strategy Analytics, press, Laoyaoba)

Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft has acquired Bonsai, a small artificial intelligence start-up. Bonsai’s software draws on a trendy approach called reinforcement learning, which involves training systems to yield better outcomes through trial and error.  (TechCrunch, CNBC, East Money, JRJ)

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