12-29: Qualcomm Inc. said it will fight a ruling by South Korea’s top trade regulator; BOE Technology has begun construction of Gen-6 (B11) flexible AMOLED fab in Mianyang, Sichuan; etc.


Samsung will use its Exynos 8895 chipset in the Galaxy S8 in 2017. Allegedly, there would be two variants of the chipset: the Exynos 8895M and the Exynos 8895V, both made using Samsung’s 10nm FinFET technology. They have 4 Exynos M2 CPU cores (clocked at 2.5GHz or 2.3GHz depending on the variant) and 4 Cortex A53 CPU cores (clocked at 1.7GHz). (GSM Arena, Sam Mobile, CN Beta)


Qualcomm Inc. said it will fight a ruling by South Korea’s top trade regulator that fined the wireless company USD865M for allegedly violating competition laws with its patent licensing practices. (Washington Post, LA Times, Laoyaoba)

Intel is reportedly studying a new uArch in order to replace the current x86 uArchs in Desktop and Enterprise market. Tiger Lake (2019) will be the last evolution step of this Core generation, started with Sandy Bridge. (CN Beta, Bits and Chips, Forbes)

Touch / Display

BOE Technology has begun construction of Gen-6 (B11) flexible AMOLED fab in Mianyang, Sichuan, which expects to start operation in 3Q19. This would be the 2nd Gen-6 AMOLED production line after the one in Chengdu. The total investment would be CNY46.5B, monthly production capacity is about 480K pieces. IHS expects BOE’s Gen-6 production area is near LGD’s. (Laoyaoba, Sichuan, Sina, OLED-Info, BOE)


Samsung is closing L7-1 LCD fab, causing the tight supply of 40” / 43” TV LDC panels in 2016. Now, Samsung is rumored closing L7-2, which may cause the unbalanced supply till 2018. However, IHS Markit analysts indicates that Samsung is unlikely closing L7-2. (Laoyaoba, OfWeek, OLEDW)

Sony looks to put OLED televisions on shelves worldwide by summer 2017. They will hit Europe, the U.S. and China starting in the spring. Sony will source panels from LG Display and draw on its own proprietary technology for image processing. (TechNews, Asia Nikkei, Geegle News)

TrendForce finds that the share of In-Cell products in the global smartphone display market will expand to 29.6% by the end of 2017. The recent rapid adoption of In-Cell solutions among panel makers is due to the increase in the supply of IC components related to Touch with Display Driver Integration (TDDI). TrendForce also forecasts that On-Cell solutions will benefit from the strong demand for AMOLED in 2017, and their share in the smartphone display market worldwide will grow to 26%. Conversely, the market share figure of the traditional Out-Cell solutions will shrink to 42.8% in 2017 due to the competition from the other two touch display technologies. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)



Himax Imaging, a subsidiary of Himax Technologies, has announced the HM5530 UltraSenseIR product, a low-power and low-noise 5.5MP backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS image sensor with more than 40% quantum efficiency in the near infrared (NIR) spectrum enabling the next generation of embedded computer vision applications such as 3D cameras, autonomous navigation, event and pattern recognition and human-machine interaction. (Himax, Himax[cn], Digitimes, China Times)


Facebook’s Oculus has acquired an eye-tracking startup known as The Eye Tribe, which has developed a USD99 eye tracking device developer kits for computers, and software that can bring gaze-based interfaces to smartphones and potentially virtual reality headsets. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, TechCrunch)


CEVA, Inc., the leading licensor of signal processing IP for smarter, connected devices, together with Himax Imaging, Inc., a subsidiary of Himax Technologies, Inc. and emza Visual Sense, announced that the companies have developed the industry’s first intelligent always- on visual sensor specifically designed to overcome the power and cost -constraints of vision processing for IoT applications, dubbed WiseEye IoT sensor. (EE Trend, emza, M2M Zone)

Microsoft’s patent application describes a technology to identify inanimate objects and allow them to be selected as tracked objects. The system would then keep its eye on that object and react when it is moved, as well as track objects that leave the field of view and then return in some other location or at a different time. (Digital Trends, USPTO, ZOL, MS Poweruser, 91.com, Tencent, 163)


VFX skilled Kert Gartner has been pioneering new methods to make capturing virtual worlds as compelling as filming in the true world. His newest method makes an actual virtual digicam out of an additional HTC Vive controller and a smartphone. (3D VR Central, Road to VR, TechNews)



University of California, Riverside has developed a new self-healing substance that regenerates itself opening up the possibility of creating robots that repair themselves. As well as being able to self-heal, the material is transparent, stretchable and can conduct electricity. (CN Beta, Daily Mail, Tecake, New Atlas, UCR)



HTC will allegedly launch 3 new smartphones in 1Q17—HTC X10, HTC 11 (or HTC Ocean), and HTC Ocean Note. (Phone Arena, ePrice, Phandroid, Android Headlines)


Pegatron reportedly will gain 5%~10% of orders of Apple’s 5.5” iPhone in 2017, breaking the long time exclusivity of Foxconn. Currently, Pegatron is still responsible for 4.7” iPhone, and its orders share reaches 65%, Wistron on the other hand only has about 5% of the orders. (CN Beta, Elecfans, IT Home)

Tablets / PCs

Global shipments of Microsoft Surface Studio all-in-one PC during 4Q16 were originally estimated at 15K units mainly because its prices are much higher than other AIO PCs, but actually may reach 30K  units based on orders, and Microsoft has ordered 30K units to be shipped in 1Q17, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers, cited by Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, CN Beta)


Meizu announces JDTab, in collaboration with JD, Foxconn, Harman and LeEco – 7.85” 2K display, MediaTek MT8173 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Flyme OS, USB Type-C, Harmon Kardon speakers, 6200mAh battery, CNY1499. (CN Beta, GizChina, 163, IT Home)



LG announced a pair of new wireless wearable audio products – TONE Studio wearable speakers (touted as capable of 3D surround sound) and TONE Free earphones (wireless earphones that charge when docked in the companion neckband. (Engadget, LG, Phone Arena, 163, Tencent)


Samsung has 2 patent applications regarding possible future wearable devices—a smartwatch-bracelet device, and a wearable device with foldable panel that includes a plurality of segment members. (GSM Arena, Patently Mobile, Sam Mobile)


Internet of Things

Samsung announces Amazon Echo compatible POWERbot VR7000 vacuum cleaners that can generate up to 20W of suction power, featuring unique Self-Cleaning Brush System, and equipped with several intelligent features that power the unit’s automated performance. (TechCrunch, Business Wire, Ubergizmo, 163, TechNode)


Intel will demonstrate its full suite of IoT solutions at CES 2017 using a Tiny Smart Home powered by Amazon Alexa for voice control and MiOS for home automation. MiOS is the company behind the popular Vera DIY home automation system. (Android Headlines, CE Pro)


Amazon received a patent for “aerial fulfillment centers” — massive blimp warehouses that would float 45,000 feet in the sky and deliver products with precision-guided UAVs. The aerial fulfillment centers would basically be massive, permanently-floating warehouses stocked with tons of Amazon merchandise, and staffed by workers carried to and from work in flying “shuttles”. (TechCrunch, CN Beta, Inverse)


Vancouver-based parking payment company PayByPhone has been acquired by Volkswagen Financial Services AG. Founded in 2001, PayByPhone bills itself as one of the fastest growing mobile payments companies in the world, processing more than USD250M in payments annually. (Android Headlines, Fortune, Financial Post, CN Beta)

Created by U.S. startup Five Elements Robotics, NannyBot’s mission imperative is to follow kids around and feed audio and video back to a parent’s smartphone, tablet or computer. It even boasts an optional basket accessory to hold children’s toys. (Digital Trends, OfWeek)



Vietnam’s economy expanded more than 6% for a second year, defying a regional slowdown to remain one of the world’s best performers as manufacturing surged. The economy grew 6.21% in 2016, compared with the median estimate of 6.3%. (TechNews, Bloomberg, Yahoo)


As the year 2016 is winding up Bloomberg has reported that the world’s wealthiest people are ending 2016 with USD237B more than they had at the start. (TechNews, Bloomberg, Sina, 163)


Mobile payment services have expanded significantly during 2016 as smartphone makers intensify their efforts to build their own payment ecosystems. According to market research firm TrendForce, the scale of the global mobile payment market will reach USD780M by the end of 2017, amounting to an annual increase of 25.8%. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)

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