8-10: MediaTek introduces deca-core Helio X30 processor, MP in 1Q17, by TSMC 10nm; etc.


MediaTek introduces Helio X30 processor, which features the deca-core setup (4×Cortex A73 @ 2.8GHz + 4×Cortex A53 @ 2.2GHz + 2×Cortex A35 @ 2GHz), and a tri-cluster design. It supports cameras sensors up to 40MP and video capture up to 24MP. It supports 8GB RAM (2×LPDDR4 POP 1600MHz) and equipped with PowerVR 7XT GPU. It also supports 3 CA and Cat. 12 LTE. (Gizmo China, CN Beta, 91, Android Headlines, Tech PP)


MediaTek Helio X30 SoC designed for mid-range and high-end smartphones will be ready for volume production in 1Q17. The chips will be built by TSMC using the foundry’s 10nm process technology. (Digitimes, press, EEPW, EE Focus)
TSMC is reportedly working with Apple on 10nm chip A11 designs with its backend integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology that will go into production later in 2017. (Apple Insider, Digitimes, press, Ubergizmo, 163, ChinaZ)
Intel acquires Nervana, a startup specializing in processor-based “deep learning as a service” through Nervana Engine, a dedicated AI hardware accelerator due in early 2017. (Engadget, Intel, Sina, 36Kr)


Touch Display

TFT-LCD panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) has shipped 35.39 million small- to medium-size panels in July 2016, increasing 9.1% on month and 17.8% on year, while shipments of large-size applications totaled 67,000 units, growing 45.8% sequentially but dipping 32.1% on year. (Digitimes, press, Sohu, China Stock)


According to Apple’s new patent, its screen — a single panel that theoretically stretches from the phone’s left-hand side to its right and bends around its bezels. (Digital Trends, JRJ, Huanqiu)



Powertech Technology (PTI) has announced plans to inject an additional USD25 million into Powertech Semiconductor (Xian), its subsidiary responsible for backend services for memory vendor Micron Technology. PTI has reported consolidated revenues of NTD4.14 billion (USD131.5 million) for July 2016, up 6% sequentially and 19.5% on year. (Digitimes, press, China Times)
Micron announced its first 3D NAND chip for mobile devices. It has 32GB of capacity and is targeted at mid-range and high-end phones. It is based on the new UFS 2.1 standard. (CN Beta, PC World, IT World)



By combining SolarCity and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk hopes to create an integrated renewable energy company that can sell solar panels as well as the batteries to preserve their power to homes and businesses all over the world. However, the demand for such batteries, especially among home consumers remains extremely small. Only about 450 U.S. homeowners installed batteries to save homemade electricity last year, according to GTM research. (CN Beta, WSJ, Yahoo, Market Watch)
A new approach to lithium-air batteries could lead to more energy-efficient, faster-charging cells that last longer than conventional lithium-ion versions, according to MIT. The cell contains nanometre-sized particles of a substance the researchers call nanolithia. (CN Beta, The Engineer, MIT, New Electronics)



According to Digitimes, China-based Truly Opto-Electronics is expected to ship 10 million fingerprint sensor modules in 3Q16 and ramp up shipments to 45 million units for all of the year. (Digitimes, press)
According to ∑intell, the fingerprint IC demand in 2016 is estimated to be around 498 million units, a 40% increase on-year, and the demand would be high sequentially. It estimates that in 2017 global fingerprint IC shipment would exceed 700 million units, and near 50% of smartphones would be equipped with fingerprint scanning function. (Toutiao, China FPD, Sigma Intell, article)

digitimes-fingerprint-techniques-comparison digitimes-biometrics-2020 sigmaintell-fingerprint-ic-orders

Researcher Salvador Mendoza indicates that it is possible for a third party to intercept Samsung Pay tokens and use them to make wireless payments. However, Samsung indicates that Samsung Pay Pay uses a multi-layer security system that works in tandem with the security systems to detect any emerging threats. (Engadget, DEFCON, Phandroid, CN BetaSamsung Mobile Security Blog, People, Sohu)


The Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist, Lorrie Cranor indicates that requiring periodic password changes could end up making password less secure. The reason is that when most people are required to change their password, they end up using their old password, but they make a small change. (TechNews, Ars Technica, Business Insider)



Earth Overshoot Day is declared every year by Global Footprint Network, a nonprofit research group that focuses on sustainability. 8 Aug. 2016 marks the point when humanity as a whole has used up the resources needed to live sustainably for a year. (TechNews, Global Footprint Network, Earth Overshoot Day, Quartz)


Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is reportedly looking into all-glass enclosures for iPhone in 2017. (Ubergizmo, Asia Nikkei, TNW, Apple Insider, ZOL, TechWeb)
Apple has categorically denied that it has manipulated the Russian smartphone market, and has declared that resellers in Russia instead set their own pricing.  (Apple Insider, Reuters, CNFOL, JRJ)
RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani notes that Apple should be able to hold onto more profit than some expect with its next iPhone model, presumably and “iPhone 7”, given implications the company is pressuring its suppliers to reduce prices, thereby boosting Apple’s profit margin. The analysts looked at companies including TSMC, Catcher, Cirrus Logic, Dialog Semiconductor, and others. (CN Beta, Business Insider, Barron’s, press)



ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 is official powered by MediaTek MT8176 hexa-core processor – 9.7” 2048×1536 display, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0 (ZenUI), 5900mAh battery, NTD11,000. (EE Trend, GSM Arena, Mobile Geeks, India Times, Fudzilla)



Rumoured Apple could be planning to unveil a “killer new product” developed within its health laboratories. The new product will “accurately collect users’ personal daily life including heart rate, pulse, blood sugar changes and other information”. Pressure sensing 3D Touch technology will play a crucial role. Apple is tapping suppliers including TSMC, Foxconn, TPK, Zhen Ding, and more. (IT Home, CN Beta, Apple Insider, Macotakara)

Internet of Things

Karma Automotive, the successor to high-end extended-range plug-in vehicle maker Fisker Automotive, is planning a factory in China that will make as many as 50,000 vehicles a year.  (CN Beta, Auto Blog, Fortune, Bloomberg)


The University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht’s Tissue Factory has completed a test with a 3D bioprinted rabbit shoulder implant. The UMC Utrecht, the Hogeschool Utrecht and the ProtoSpace Foundation have just joined forces in Utrecht3DMedical, aiming to realize 3D printed organs. (CN Beta, 3Ders, CNN, Open Bio Medical)


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