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05-12: AU Optronics (AUO) will continue to strive into the high-end segments of a display market; Honor 20 series will have a Dynamic Holographic glass back made with the new Triple 3D Mesh process; etc.

Chipsets

According to Deloitte, the global semiconductor sector’s total revenue is set to increase from USD481B in 2018 to USD515B in 2019 and continue its robust growth well into the coming decade. Continued enhancements of existing products and the inclusion of emerging technology such as AI in products and 5G networks, as well as rapid growth in automotive and industrial electronics, will be some of the market’s key driving forces. (Deloitte, Deloitte report, Deloitte report CN)

According to Deloitte, the AI chip market is expected to account for over 12% of the total AI market by 2022, with a CAGR of 54%. The Americas is expected to lead the market, followed by EMEA and then APAC. The Americas overall will dominate the market throughout 2022. (Deloitte, Deloitte report, Deloitte report CN)

Touch Display

According to Sigmaintell, global smartphone panel shipment reaches 378M units in 1Q19. Sigmaintell forecast that in 2019 the shipment would reach 1.65B units, which is over-supply. Flexible OLED smartphone panel supply-demand ratio in 2019 is about 55%. In 2019 China top 4 brands (Huawei, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi) demand for rigid OLED demand reaches 150M units, as compared to less than 100M units in 2018. (GizChina, Sigmaintell, press, CN Beta)

Shipments of small- to medium-size LCD panels by Taiwan makers fell 23.6% sequentially to 184M units in 1Q19, reflecting factors including seasonality and significant reduction in shipments by financially-battered Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press, OfWeek, Sohu, Yahoo)

AU Optronics (AUO) will continue to strive into the high-end segments of a display market that has been generally plagued by oversupply and shrinking profit margins, according company president Michael Tsai. (Digitimes, press)

Sensory

Microsoft has announced TORC (Touch Rigid Controller), which is a small, physically solid device that uses haptics to replicate the elasticity of squeezed objects. The company expects that it will be incorporated into VR and AR controllers. (CN Beta, Microsoft, VentureBeat)

Automakers and Tier-1 suppliers, as well as technology providers (e.g. semiconductor vendors) and smart mobility companies (e.g. ride-sharing companies) not traditionally involved in the automotive industry, are all racing to develop and invest in related technologies. Semiconductor vendors in particular are actively developing a wide-range of microchips, fusion and system-on-a-chip devices incorporating AI and machine learning technologies. (Deloitte, Deloitte report, Deloitte report CN)

Biometrics

UBS estimates under-glass fingerprint sensors to ship 229M / 393M units for 2019 / 2020, implying 20% / 35% penetration in Android. UBS expects the optical solution to dominate with 74% / 77% share in 2019 / 2020, given its lower relative cost, and ultrasonic the rest. The current optical hot-zone solution is based on silicon CMOS. For wide-area sensing, however, UBS expects the TFT process to become mainstream due to its lower cost. The large-area sensors should be introduced in 2H19, and should account for a 35% share of optical products in 2020E. (UBS report)

To further enhance the user experience, UBS believes chip makers are trying to extend the sensing area from hot zone to larger display area. The two currently leading optical-based IC designers, Goodix and Egistec, are both aiming to release their solutions in 2H19 or late-2019. There are several approaches: 1) Goodix’s patent application is to combine multiple optical sensors, with each corresponding to a different display area; 2) to install a larger lens that can concentrate signals from larger area; and 3) to work with panel makers by replacing the silicon sensors with a TFT-based sensing layer based on the panel glass process. (UBS report)

According to statistics and forecast data from Lucintel, the global fingerprint identification market in 2017 was approximately USD1.3B, accounting for 10.32% of the biometric market. It is estimated that the fingerprint identification market will grow to USD2.8B in 2022, accounting for 8.62% of the biometric market share that year. (Changjiang Securities report)

Material

According to Honor, the Honor 20 series will have a Dynamic Holographic glass back made with the new Triple 3D Mesh process. The Honor 20 series uses a 2-stage process that combines multiple layers to create the phone’s glass back. First, the company manufactures a depth layer that it embeds with millions of miniature prisms to create a diamond-like appearance. That layer is then combined with a glass layer, before another color layer is added as well. (Phone Arena, Tom’s Guide, Sohu, Sina)

Connectivity

Guotai Securities has consolidated the overall completion of the 3rd phase of the NSA test by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Huawei, ZTE and CICT have completed the test content of the NSA in the 3.5 / 4.9GHz frequency band. Ericsson has only completed the test of the content of the NSA in the 3.5GHz band. Nokia-The Bell test content in both frequency bands is also almost completed. Chinese main equipment manufacturers, especially Huawei and ZTE lead 5G system test results. (Guotai Securities report)

Phone

ASUS loves the e-sports mobile phone market. In addition to maximizing the ROG brand value, ROG mobile phone gross margin is higher. The 1Q19 quarterly financial report shows that the gross profit margin of ROG mobile phone is as high as 16.8%, which is about 3 times of the gross profit margin of Xiaomi smartphone. (My Drivers, Bnext, Tencent)

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) new study reveals that 65% of U.S. adults enjoy video games and many Americans are playing games for recreation as well as stress relief and other benefits. For Gen X gamers (ages 35-54) both males and females largely prefer mobile gaming. The study also looked at Boomer gamers (ages 55-64) and found that males in this demographic prefer PC games and women prefer mobile gaming. (ESA, Variety, Reuters, Apple Insider)

Samsung regained the top spot in India’s premium segment (≥INR30,000 or roughly ≥USD430) in 1Q19, after losing out to OnePlus 3 quarters in a row. Initial uptake for the Galaxy S10 series drove Samsung to the leadership position in the premium segment. (Android Authority, Counterpoint Research, press)

Wearables

Lenovo EGO is launched in India, priced at INR1,999. Key features of the smartwatch include 20-day battery life, 24/7 heart-rate monitor, sleep tracking, water resistant up to 50 meters. (VentureBeat, CN Beta, Indian Express)

Home

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has upgraded its wireless Beoplay A9 speaker, retaining the tried and true form, but building significantly upon the technology, including adding Google Assistant integration and Adaptive Room Compensation. It is priced at USD3000. (CN Beta, New Atlas)

Artificial Intelligence

Cisco open-sources the MindMeld conversational AI platform. In 2017, Cisco acquired MindMeld, which pioneered and commercialized one of the industry’s first Conversational AI platforms. Over the past 5 years, the MindMeld Conversational AI Platform has been used to build advanced conversational applications for some of the world’s largest organizations. (CN Beta, Cisco)

Google has awarded USD25M in grants to a range of organizations to help them apply machine learning to fight some of the world’s biggest challenges. The program is also an extension of Google’s AI for Social Good program, which provides flood forecasting to communities in India and is researching how to provide speech recognition for more people with disabilities. (CN Beta, VentureBeat, TechRadar)

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