08-25: Sharp reportedly will start equipment move-in at its new 10.5G LCD plant in Guangzhou in Feb 2019; Sharp has already established a group of 400 researchers, designers and technical experts for OLED; etc.

Chipsets

Global semiconductor industry revenue grew 4.4%, quarter over quarter, in 2Q18, reaching a record USD120.8B. Semiconductor growth occurred in all application markets and world regions, according to IHS Markit. Samsung Electronics continued to lead the overall semiconductor industry in 2Q18 with 15.9% of the market, followed by Intel at 13.9% and SK Hynix at 7.9%.  (IHS Markit, press)

Samsung Electronics has announced its new narrowband (NB) Internet of Things (IoT) solution, Exynos iS111. It incorporates a modem capable of LTE Rel. 14 support that can transmit data at 127-kilobits-per-second (kbps) for downlink and 158kbps uplink, and can operate in standalone, in-band and guard-band deployments. (TechNews, Samsung)

According to Digitimes, in 3Q18 global shipment of smartphone application processor (AP) is expected to reach 450M units, a 18.7% up on quarter. With new handsets from Apple and Huawei launching soon, 7nm high-end AP share will increase exceeding 10.5%. Digitimes expects global 7nm AP shipment share will increase to 18.3% in 4Q18, exceeding 10nm share. (Money DJ, TechNews)

Touch Display

IHS Markit suggests Apple could make a fundamental change to the backplane of its displays, moving away from the low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor (LTPS TFT) that is currently used in mobile AMOLED panel production. Research and analysis director David Hsieh suggests Apple is instead looking towards the development of low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) backplanes. (Apple Insider, IHS Markit, press, CN Beta)

AU Optronics (AUO) is showcasing an 85” 8K4K bezel-less ALCD TV display, combining next generation HDR, 120Hz refresh rate, and quantum dot wide color gamut technologies.  The TV possesses several industry-leading strengths, including the proprietary use of GOA (gate on array) technology to become the first to have produced all around bezel-less design for maximized viewing effect. (My Drivers, Digitimes, press, CN Beta)

Sharp reportedly will start equipment move-in at its new 10.5G LCD plant in Guangzhou, China in Feb 2019, with plans to kick off the first phase of the facility in Aug 2019 and to begin volume production in Oct 2019. The first-phase facilities of the 10.5G line will have a production capacity of 45,000 substrates a month. The 10.5G line will focus on production of flat panels ranging from 40”~69” at the initial stage. (Digitimes, press, PJ Time)

Foxconn-owned Sharp has already established a group of 400 researchers, designers and technical experts for OLED. The operation size is similar to its camera component department, which brings in revenues of JPY250B. (TechNews, Nikkan, Money DJ)

LG Display (LGD) said it has sold 1.3M units of large-sized OLED panels in the Jan-Jun 2018 period, jumping from 600,000 units posted a year earlier. LGD said the sales rose among different sizes, from 55” to 77” panels. LGD said the completion of its new production line in China, which is scheduled for 2H19, is expected to improve the company’s monthly production capacity to 130,000 sheets from the current 70,000 sheets.  (Laoyaoba, CCIDNet, Forbes, Yonhap News)

Panasonic has partnered an affiliate of Japan Display Inc (JDI) to license out a low-cost organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel-making process, a possible alternative to the conventional method used by Samsung Display. The unlisted affiliate, JOLED, is in talks with several global panel producers to license its printing process for OLED panels. The method can produce OLED screens 20%~30% cheaper than the current evaporation process. (Laoyaoba, Reuters, First Post)

Sensory

Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s patent application for “Reference switch architectures for noncontact sensing of substances” details methods by which an electronic device can be calibrated to measure the concentration of a particular substance in a given sample. More specifically, an optical system is configured to perform absorption spectroscopy.  (Ubergizmo, Apple Insider, USPTO, Cailiao)

Battery

University of Waterloo proves that 4-electron conversion for lithium-oxygen electrochemistry is highly reversible. The team is the first to achieve 4-electron conversion, which doubles the electron storage of lithium-oxygen, also known as lithium-air, batteries. (TechNews, Science News, MIT Technology Review, University Waterloo)

Connectivity

Shipments of 5G-enabled end devices, including smartphones, CPE (consumer premise equipment) and Wi-Fi devices, are unlikely to ship in large-scale until 2021 after initial shipments kick off in 2019 with the volume reaching barely 1M units, Digitimes estimates. Shipments of 5G smartphones will account for 97% of total 5G end-device shipments as well as 18% global smartphone shipments in 2022. (Sina, Sina, Digitimes, press)

Phone

Samsung Galaxy A8 Star is announced in India – 6.2” 2220×1080 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, rear dual 16MP-24MP + front 24MP, 6GB+64GB, Android 8.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 3700mAh, INR34,990. (GSM Arena, Tech Androids, Amazon)

Home

The global smart lock market is expected to post a CAGR of close to 15% during the period 2018-2022, according to Technavio. The residential segment held the largest market share in 2017, accounting for nearly 97% of the market. This end-user segment is expected to dominate the global market throughout the forecast period. (Android Headlines, Business Wire)

Lenovo’s smart home brand Lecoo R1 fingerprint scanner equipped smart lock is launched with CNY2280. Lecoo is using FPC live body fingerprint scanner, and it can also detect body temperature. The lock can be opened in 0.3s. (My Drivers, OfWeek, Tom.com)

Xiaomi ecological chain enterprise Lumi United Technology officially launched the AQara Smart Door Lock S2, with a starting price of CNY1999. The lock adopts live fingerprint technology to seamlessly integrate FPC fingerprint sensor into the handle, a 360º accurate recognition, and one step unlock. (My Drivers, Sina, Xiaomi Today)

Robotics

Sony has announced that it will be re-leasing the Aibo robot dog in the US with USD2899. Aibo has touch sensors (for petting), facial recognition (for recognizing its owners), and camera mapping (for memorizing your house layout). (TechNews, Sohu, OfWeek, CN Beta, Business Insider, The Verge, PR Newswire)

E-Commerce

Walmart is capitalizing on the collaboration with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten with the launch of a full e-book and audiobook catalog on Walmart.com, alongside its assortment of physical books. The new site, called Walmart eBooks, includes a library of over 6M titles. Walmart will also sell Rakuten-owned Kobo e-readers both online and in stores.  (TechCrunch, AdWeek, The Star, Sohu)

Payment

Google Pay support is expanding yet again with the new addition of approximately 30 financial institutions, bringing the total number of banks supported in the U.S. up to 1,614. Major banks and bank card issuers such as Chase, BBVA Compass, Bank of America, US Bank, Synchronicity, and Wells Fargo were added to Google Pay way back when the service was still known as Android Pay and are not included in that figure.  (Android Headlines, Android Police, Google)

Fintech

Alibaba-owned Southeast Asian e-commerce marketplace Lazada has partnered with business financing startup Finaxar to launch a loan scheme for Lazada sellers in Singapore. Finaxar has announced that these sellers can now apply for loans directly online through the Finaxar Merchant Credit Line that’s integrated into the Lazada platform.  (TechCrunch, Channel News Asia, KR Asia, Tech In Asia, Baijiahao, Ebrun)

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