10-18: MediaTek Helio P15, Qualcomm Snapdragon 653, 626 and 427 announced; Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 first 5G modem is announced; etc.


MediaTek announces Helio P15, an upgrade from P10 released in 2015. It is built on TSMC 28nm HPC+ process, with 8×A53 cores. The new chip has a higher clock speed of 2.2GHz and its Mali-T860 GPU also gets clocked higher at 800MHz. (Gizmo China, Sina, OfWeek)


Qualcomm is updating its mid-range segment Snapdragon 400 and 600 series with 3 new products – Snapdragon 653, 626 and 427. They support QC 3.0 fast charging and dual-camera setup. Snapdragon 653 / 626 is expected to be launched in 4Q16, while 427 in early 2017. Qualcomm also announces that in the past 12 months, there are already more than 400 models based on Snapdragon 600 series from OEM, out of which 300 is already launched, and 100 is still under development. (Liliputing, CN Beta, AnandTech, Qualcomm)

qualcomm-snapdragon-653-feature qualcomm-snapdragon-626 qualcomm-snapdragon-427

Qualcomm announces 5G modem, Snapdragon X50. Designed to work only in the 28GHz millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum initially (supporting the Verizon 5GTF and KT 5G-SIG specifications), it is capable of 8×100MHz carrier aggregation, giving it access to 800MHz of spectrum. All of this extra bandwidth enables up to 5Gbps on the downlink. (AnandTech, EE Times, C114)


Qualcomm announces Snapdragon X16 LTE modem that is capable of Gigabit Class speeds (1Gbps, Cat. 16 based on 3GPP standards). The company has worked closely with Telstra, Ericsson and NETGEAR on the world’s first Gigabit Class LTE mobile device, and the first Gigabit Class LTE commercially ready network using X16. Qualcomm also announces next-generation Snapdragon 800 series will integrate X16 modem. (Yahoo, CN Beta, Forbes, Forbes, CNMO, OfWeek)


Qualcomm is laying out its plans to support connected camera functionality including emerging camera spaces like 360 / VR, IP security cameras, dashcams, bodycams and action / sports cameras with its Snapdragon 625 IP camera reference design developed with Thundercomm Technology. (TechCrunch, PC World, Yahoo)


According to SEMI report in Jun. 2016, in 2016~2017, considering 8” / 12” fabs, there are already 19 new fabs confirmed to be built, 10 of which will be located in Mainland China.  Based on the information consolidated by Technews, 12” fab will be increased drastically. (TechNews, article, OfWeek)

technews-12inch-fab-china technews-12inch-fab-china-ongoing technews-12inch-fab-china-planning technews-12inch-fab-china-current

SEMI recently completed its annual silicon shipment forecast for the semiconductor industry for the period 2016–2018. It shows polished and epitaxial silicon shipments totaling 10,444M inch2 in 2016; 10,642M inch2 in 2017; and 10,897M inch2 in 2018. Total wafer shipments in 2016 are expected to exceed the market high set in 2015 and are forecast to continue shipping at record levels in 2017 and 2018. (TechNews, China Times, OfWeek, SEMI, press)


Combined revenues of Taiwan’s top-3 foundries – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), United Microelectronics (UMC) and Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) – are estimated to be USD9.36B in 3Q16, up 14.3% sequentially and 18.5% on year, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)
According to Asia Nikkei, Japanese makers of semiconductor production machinery are receiving a big boost to their sales from a spike in demand in China. Tokyo Electron and Disco appear to have logged record sales in China in the 6 months through Sept. 2016. (Asia Nikkei, TechNews)


Worldwide semiconductor revenue is forecast to total USD332B in 2016, a decrease of 0.9% from 2015, according to Gartner. This represents 2 consecutive years of revenue decline, which has happened only once in history. But the outlook for the semiconductor market is improving. (Gartner, press, Digitimes, Sohu)
AMD and Alibaba have formed a strategic partnership to offer a more robust Alibaba Cloud service built on AMD’s Radeon Pro GPU technology. (TechNews, eWeek, Cloud Pro, IT Portal Pro)
Google, AMD, Xilinx, Micron and Mellanox have joined forces with IBM to create a “coherent high performance bus interface” based on a new bus standard called “Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface” (OpenCAPI), which is Capable of a 25Gbits per second per lane data rate. (AnandTech, article, CN Beta)


According to Gartner, worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to decline 0.3% in 2016, to USD64.6 billion. The market is expected to return to growth in 2017, increasing 7.4%. (Gartner, press, data, 52RD, OfWeek)


Synopsys announced the successful tape-out of multiple customer test chips with DesignWare Logic Libraries and Embedded Memories for TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process. (TMCNet, Yahoo, iTer News, TechNews)
Inside Apple iPhone 7 is a field-programmable gate array, or FPGA, made by Lattice Semiconductor, according to Chipworks. Kevin Krewell, a principal analyst at Tirias Research thinks the FPGA inside iPhone 7 could be used for running machine learning algorithms or it could do additional image processing for unreleased virtual (or augmented) reality feature. (CN Beta, Forbes, Chipworks, blog)


Touch Display

Demand for VR devices will remain quite strong in the next two years, said Jason Tsai, wearable device analyst for TrendForce. Conversely, product shipments will not keep pace with the demand. Shortages of key components, particularly OLED panels, will prevent device makers from putting more products on the shelves. (TechNews, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)


It is widely speculated that Apple 2017 iPhone would be using OLED panels. Apple, which usually prefers to have multiple suppliers, is in negotiations with Sharp to procure OLEDs. Japan Display Inc. is moving to build up its own OLED production capabilities. (Bloomberg, article, Yahoo, TechNews, Live Mint)
A patent filing made back in Aug. 2016 by Meizu reveals a device with flexible, foldable display. The patent was filed precisely on August 28 in China with the title “Flexible Display Device” with an application number 201610634752.2. (Gizmo China, ZOL, 163)


Medical supply company EPGL president Michael Hayes said that in conjunction with Apple, the company will utilize its intellectual property to develop iOS apps to project an image on a contact lens oriented around the perimeter of a contact lens for use in AR applications. (Apple Insider, EPGL, iFeng, 91.com)


Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, and Sharp might start making next-generation display panels for smartphones in China as early as 2019. The Foxconn-Sharp alliance plans to invest JPY200 billion (USD1.92 billion) to become capable of mass-producing OLED panels. (Sigma Intell, article, Sanwen, Asia Nikkei, Sam Mobile)


Zytronic, a leader in custom designed, high performance Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT and MPCT) touch sensors today announced that, in collaboration with Tangible Display, it is able to offer object recognition capability on its MPCT multi-touch glass (ZyBrid) and foil (ZyFilm) sensor products up to 85” in diagonal. (EE Trend, Big-Bit, Neesham)



oZoKase is an Apple iPhone case with a 16MP selfie camera wih flash and featuring 5× times battery backup. (CN Beta, Prefundia)



According to Digitimes, Yangtze River Storage Technology (YRST) will start operating China’s first 12” fab for the manufacture of NAND flash and DRAM memory at the end of 2016, and is expected to produce the region’s first homegrown 3D NAND flash memory as early as end-2017. YRST is built based on Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing’s (XMC) 12” IC R&D and manufacturing capability. (Digitimes, press, SEMI, Sohu)
Toshiba, SK Hynix and Micron will reportedly begin to roll out 3D NAND semiconductors on a full scale in 2H17. Samsung will begin to mass-produce 4th-gen (64-layer) 3D NAND flashes around Mar/Apr. 2017 by moving up the completion of its semiconductor plant in Pyeongtaek by at least 3 months. This may cause 3D NAND to be over-supply. (D1Net, Business Korea, Sohu, OfWeek, ET News)



Samara scientists at the national research University named after academician S. P. Korolev has developed a technology through use as a source of radioactive carbon-14 that will create a nuclear battery with a lifespan of over 100 years. The half-life of this element is 5 thousand 700 years, it is non-toxic and has low cost. (CN Beta, Seven Day News)


Apple continues to expand its operations in Ireland, despite ongoing criticism of its presence there for tax purposes, with the company’s international iTunes business now setting up shop in the town of Holyhill. In all, some USD9B in assets have been moved from Luxembourg to Ireland. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Business Post)
Apple and Huawei will see the biggest benefits from Samsung Galaxy Note 7 disaster, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Samsung was expected to ship 12~14 million Note 7 in 2016. Apple is estimated to capture 5~7 million of these shipments, mainly for the iPhone 7 Plus. (CN Beta, Daze Info, Yahoo, iClarified)
According to supply chain, Apple might re-organize distribution share of its iPhone assembly orders in 2017 to a number of suppliers for its, thereby to decrease the costs. There is rumor that Apple might consider Wistron, in addition to its current assemblers Foxconn and Pegatron. (CN Beta, Feng)
Samsung has announced it will continue to pay all suppliers for unused Galaxy Note 7 parts. Moreover, Samsung will offer compensations for these unfinished components and pay for all materials that suppliers needed to make Note 7 parts. (CN Beta, Gizmodo, Phone Arena, Reuters)
According to James Rutherfoord, CEO of mobile device commodities of Microsoft Asia – Pacific, HMD Global (the owner of Nokia commercial rights for 10 years) planned to launch 2 new phone products in 4Q16 and at least 2 smartphones in the early 2Q17. (CN Beta, Nokia Poweruser)
Gionee P7 Max is announced in India – 5.5” HD IPS display with NEG protection, MediaTek MT6595 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0, 3100mAh battery, INR13999. (Android Authority, GizChina)


nubia Z11 mini S is launched – 5.2” FHD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 23MP PDAF + 13MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, LTE (VoLTE), fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, 3000mAh battery (with NeoPower 2.0 a single full-charge lasts 3.5 days), from CNY1499. (Gizmo China, 163, ZOL, My Drivers, Android Community, NDTV)



HTC is expected to ramp up shipments of its HTC Vive VR devices to 1.5 million units in 2017 compared to 400,000 units expected for 2016. (Digitimes, press, China Times)
HTC has announced another major investment into its Vive X accelerator program, to the tune of an additional USD100M. This marks the 2nd stage of the Vive X program, which was initially launched back in Aug. 2016 with an original USD100M. (VR Source, Focus Taiwan, 163, China Times, iFanr, CNET)
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai indicates that Playstation VR is able to provide an entirely new gaming experience, and a variety of content beyond gaming. (CN Beta, Variety)
More than 22,000 London police officers will soon be given body cameras. The new hardware is supplied by Taser. A red light and beeping noise will indicate new recordings. officers will need to hit the shutter manually and notify the public “as soon as practical”. The footage will then be uploaded to a secure server. (Engadget, Metropolitan Police, Mayor Watch, CN Beta)


Gaming PCs or peripherals company Razer to acquire the audio technology company THX, which was founded by George Lucas in 1983. Razer believes the acquisition will reinforce Razer’s leadership in gaming and extend the brand into broader areas of entertainment, while at the same time empowering THX to develop into a global powerhouse, independently. (CN Beta, CNET, Digital Trends, Forbes, Yahoo, Medium)

Internet of Things

A well-known AI researcher, Russ Salakhutdinov of Carnegie Melon University, is joining Apple to work on its own AI technology. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, Sina, 163)


Netflix will halt any and all launch plans in China due to a “challenging” regulatory environment. In place of an official Netflix launch, the company now plans “to license content to existing online service providers in China”. (CN Beta, Market Watch, The Verge)
China-based e-commerce operator Alibaba Group has announced that it cooperates with 13 enterprises, including Taiwan-based Foxconn Electronics and smartphone vendor HTC, to participate in a project to create a city brain for Hangzhou City, eastern China. (Digitimes, press, Sina, Baijia)


Apple allegedly has shifted its attention from making an actual car to developing self-driving software that it can deploy in partnership with existing car manufacturers. (Ubergizmo, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, Sohu, iFeng)
ecobee Inc. announced the launch of ecobee3 lite. It offers smart home integrations with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Echo. It is priced at USD169. (CN Beta, PC Mag, Business Wire)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *