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3-17: Xiaomi Qihoo 360 suing each other; Samsung Electronics laying off; JDI closing 2 Japan panel lines; Huawei hires Messi to be the sponsor; ZUK is making Kim Soo-Hyun smartphone, etc.

Xiaomi Qihoo 360 suing each other; Samsung Electronics laying off; MediaTek X20 is owned exclusively by Meizu for few months; global chipset vendors are entering drone market; JDI closing 2 Japan panel lines; Huawei hires Messi to be the sponsor; ZUK is making Kim Soo-Hyun smartphone; Toshiba is investing huge in building new NAND fab; HTC needs to sell 3-4 million Vive to break even; etc.

Chipsets

MediaTek Helio X25 (MT6797T) is an enhanced version of the Helio X20 and was co-developed with Mediatek and Meizu, which latter will have several months’ exclusive access. (GSM Arena, GizChina, My Drivers, Leiphone, WCCF Tech)

mediatek-helio-x25-for-meizu

Taiwan-based IC design houses including MediaTek and Realtek Semiconductor will foray into the chipset solution market for commercial drones, particularly for the China market. (Digitimes, Hexun)
Intel is adding speech recognition features (TrulyHandsfree) to its system-on-chips (SoC) via a partnership with Sensory. (CN Beta, The Next Web, Gizmodo)

Display

Samsung Display unveiled their 55” mirror and transparent OLED display panels back in June 2015, and the company finally announced the availability of these displays in 2Q16. The mirror display model number is ML55E, transparent display model number is TO55E. (OLED-Info, Tech Investor News)

samsung-transparent-oled

Japan Display announces structural reform, closing Mobara Plant (G4.5 line of a-Si and LTPS) on Dec. 2016 and Higashiru Plant (G3.5 line of LTPS technology) on Apr. 2016. (TechNews, FPDisplay, Reuters, 4-Traders)

Camera

Apple U.S. Patent 9,288,395 describes a new way of taking panorama photos that requires OIS. The patent is titled Super-resolution based on OIS and it describes technology that would let you take panoramic pictures without actually moving the iPhone as you do now. (CN Beta, BGR, Yahoo)

apple-patent-super-resolution

Memory

SanDisk 256GB NAND flash chipset is leaked, and might be used in Apple next-generation iPhones. (CN Beta, Redmond Pie, HD Blog)

sandisk-256gb-nand

Increased DRAM capacity coming from advanced processing nodes from Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron may result in some pricing uncertainty in the market in 2H16, says Nanya president Pei Ing Lee. (Digitimes, press, Sohu)
Toshiba is investing JPY360 billion on a new factory for flash memory chips. It is investing in the plant, which will make its proprietary 3D flash chips, over a period of 3 years till March 2019. Toshiba expects output to begin no earlier than 2018. (TechNews, Toshiba, Bloomberg)

Sensors

AliveCor  (founded by ex-Google executive Vic Gundotra) the leader in FDA-cleared electrocardiogram (EKG) technology for mobile devices, introducing the first medical-grade EKG band for the Apple Watch, Kardia Band along with a new app for smartphones (available now). (CN Beta, Yahoo, TechCrunch)

apple-kardia-band

Arion from ATO Gear analyses biomechanics using intelligent insoles containing pressure sensors, that feed the data to an app to provide with real-time feedback during the run and provides with an intuitive way to review the data later helping to plan and develop the running training. (4-Traders, Pocket-Lint, ATO Gear)

ato-gear-arion ato-gear-arion-sensr-kit

AutoDietary is a high-tech, food-tracking necklace being developed by Northeastern University in China. AutoDietary wraps around the back of the neck with a tiny high-fidelity microphone recoding the sounds made during mastication and as the food is swallowed. That data is sent to a smartphone via Bluetooth, where food types are recognized. (University at Buffalo, Eureka AlertEngadget, Lab Base)

autodietary

Material

Vantablack S-VIS from Surrey NanoSystems can trap 99.8 % of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. According to the company, it is 17 times less reflective than the super-black paint used in the Hubble telescope. (CN Beta, Daily Mail, CNET, Gizmag, Surrey NanoSystems)

vantablack-s-vis

Connectivity

China Mobile has reportedly decided to phase out its TD-SCDMA standard 3G network, and put more resources into developing TD-LTE standard 4G service. (CN Beta, Huanqiu, 163, ECNS, People.cn)

Smartphones

RBC Capital stated that Apple iPhone 5se would prove beneficial for Apple as it would stem the replacement rate of consumers who wanted a 4” iPhone. RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani expects iPhone 5se shipments to come in the 10-15 million units range on an annual basis. He believes the smartphone would increment revenues by USD7.5 billion. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Bidness Etc, Ubergizmo)
KeyEast has announced that it is collaborating with ZUK Mobile, to produce the Kim Soo-Hyun Starphone, which will have specialized integrated app to obtain the newest news on Kim Soo Hyun on the go. (CN Beta, IT168, 163, Koogle)

zuk-korea-smartphone

Xiaomi and Qihoo 360 are suing each other for unfair competition, and asking for CNY20 million from each other. (CN Beta, OfWeek, 163)
Former CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop has been hired by Australia-based telecommunications company Telstra for the newly created role of Group Executive Technology, Innovation and Strategy. (Windows Central, Neowin, Caijing, IT Home)
According to Samsung and business industry sources, the total number of employees and executives, including contract workers, at Samsung Electronics’ headquarters stood at 96,902 as of the end of last year, down 2,480 from 99.382 at the end of 2014. In addition, Samsung Electronics reduced the number of its R&D centers. (CN Beta, iFeng, Business Korea)
Brand Finance puts thousands of world’s biggest brands to the test every year, and this year it has listed Global 500 with Apple being the first, Google the second and Samsung the third. (TechNews, Brand Finance, report)

brandfinance-global-500-2016

South Korea distribution company Youmi signed an agent agreement with Xiaomi to be fully responsible for the sale of some Xiaomi products (not smartphones and TVs) in South Korea. (CN Beta, China Tech News)
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has been offered a huge financial incentive to ​ sponsor Huawei, and could stand to make more than EUR5 million a year if he takes the deal. (CN Beta, 4-Traders, Yahoo)

huawei-messi

Wearables

Oculus confirms 28 Mar 2016 launch of the VR headset Rift with 30 games. (Android Headlines, Ubergizmo, Yahoo, Ali213, IT Home)

oculus-rift

Nixon Mission is a rugged Android Wear watch , water resistant up to 100m – 1.3” AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, with a number of sensors, USD400. (CN Beta, Android Central, CNET)

nixon-mission

Nokia has officially announced the HyperAdapt 1.0, the company’s first commercially available pair of self-lacing sneakers. (Ubergizmo, Pocket-Lint, The Verge, Inquisitr, i-Size)

nike-hyperadapt-1.0

According to Deutsche Bank estimates, HTC cannot break even unless it can sell 3-4 million virtual reality headsets in 2016 and 2017. (Barron’s, press, TGBus)
Internet of Things
BMW is kicking off a Project i 2.0 initiative that will push autonomous and networked driving technology in the same way that Project i boosted electric cars. (BMW, Engadget, Autoblog, 163)
Baidu is to test its autonomous cars in the US, with a goal of building a “commercially viable” car by 2018. (CN Beta, The Verge, WSJ)

baidu-self-driving-car

ABI Research forecasts that 400 million people will rely on robotic car sharing by 2030. (CN Beta, ABI Research, press)
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