01-20: TSMC seemingly confirmed that it plans to introduce an enhanced variant of its 16nm manufacturing technology, perhaps 12nm; Samsung India will lay emphasis on large screen displays to accelerate adoption rate; etc.


TSMC seemingly confirmed that it plans to introduce an enhanced variant of its 16nm manufacturing technology, though it is not clear if the technology will, in fact, be marketed as 12nm. TSMC has several 16nm variants—FinFET, FinFET Plus, etc.. This “12nm” technology looks like TSMC trying to come up with something that can give competing 14 / 16nm technologies a run for their money. (Laoyaoba, Leiphone, Motley Fool, Fudzilla)

VIA Technologies  announced the launch of its VIA Custom IoT Platform Design Service to enable customers to accelerate the development of application-specific IoT systems and devices tailored to meet their exact usage requirements. (Digitimes, VIA Tech, VIA Tech[cn])


Dialog Semiconductor has announced the DA9210-A power management IC (PMIC). The DA9210-A is a multiphase, automotive grade, 12A DC-DC buck converter that supplies the high current core rails of microprocessor devices, including those used in next generation infotainment systems taking center stage in today’s connected cars. (Digitimes, press, MEM China)


Touch / Display

Japan Display Inc. (JDI) has now started mass producing 5” displays with a pixel density over 500ppi. The new 5” LTPS LCD displays have WQHD resolution (1440×2560) and are being manufactured with a new technology that reduces power consumption over 25%. (GizChina, Gizmo China)


Display technology maker DigiLens has raised USD22M to create better augmented reality and virtual reality products in which digital information lies on top of transparent glass. Strategic investors include Sony, Foxconn, Continental, and Panasonic, along with venture investors Alsop Louie Partners, Bold Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Dolby Family Ventures. (VentureBeat, Laoyaoba)


Samsung India will lay emphasis on large screen displays to accelerate adoption rate for such devices among consumers. Samsung India, VP (Mobile Business) Manu Sharma indicates that the company will now focus on large screen devices with display sizes of 5.5” and upwards. Samsung today has 2 devices with 6” screen size. (Economic Times, Android Authority)

Global shipments of smartphones equipped with OLED panels will exceed those of smartphones with TFT-LCD panels in 2019, according to US- and Japan-based Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC). Global shipments of OLED panels will increase from 389M units in 2016 to 134B units in 2021 of which 99% will be used in smartphones and 1% in VR devices and smartwatches. Apple iPhone will account for 20-35% of global shipments of OLED panels beginning 2017. (Digitimes, press, DSCC, press, CNFOL)


LG Display (LGD) CEO Sang-Beom Han indicates that Samsung’s QLED TV is actually a type of LCD TV, thus it shares the disadvantages of LCD. QLED still have limitation on colour gamut, view angle, and to increase the brightness to 1500~200nits, the brightness of the backlight must be increased. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes)




University of California, LA as well as the Stockholm and Uppsala Universities of Sweden have used a Nokia Lumia 1020, well known for its 41MP shooter, in developing an array which transforms the phone into a portable, low-cost microscope capable of genetic sequencing. (Digital Trends, Nature, Phys, Tencent)


According to Digitimes, more mid-range smartphones are expected to feature a dual lens setup in 2017. Growth of the global dual-lens smartphone market will play a key driver of CIS demand during the year. The supply of CIS has already been tight as a result of strong demand for dual-lens smartphones, the sources identified. Robust CMOS image sensor demand will make a positive contribution to both CoAsia Microelectronics and Sunnic Technology & Merchandise. (Laoyaoba, DP review, Digitimes, press)

Sharp reportedly would recover its stake in Japanese camera module maker Kantatsu, from previously 18% to increase to 44%. This would make Foxconn holding power over Kantatsu via Sharp. Thus, the rumor of competing with Largan Precision for Apple’s iPhone camera modules orders is spreading.  (TechNews, MainichiPatently Apple)


Tsinghua Unigroup’s planned manufacturing site in Nanjing will cover an area of about 100 hectares, and total investment in the site is estimated at around USD30B, according to the state-backed technology conglomerate. It will initially inject about USD10B to complete the first phase of the plant project, with monthly production set at 100K units. (CN Beta, Semiconductor Engineering, article, WSJ, Digitimes, press)


Sales of SSD products by Lite-On Technology in 1Q17 are expected to be affected by a tight supply of memory products, according to the CEO Warrant Chen. Lite-On will ramp up shipments of other product lines, including LED devices, LED lighting products, and high-end camera modules, to make up shortfalls caused by decreased sales of SSD products, Chen indicated. (Digitimes, press, MLCC1)


Taiwan-based Lite-On Semiconductor, a maker of discrete and analog IC components, has entered the supply chain for Apple next-generation iPhone by providing GPP bridge rectifiers for the support of fast wireless charging, according to Digitimes citing Commercial Times report. (Digitimes, press, Techno Buffalo, CN Beta)

Morgan Stanley analyst Shawn King says that Chinese battery suppliers may cut their prices by 35%-40% in 2017, while still making a profit. Morgan Stanley sees this as negative for South Korean EV battery suppliers Samsung SDI and LG Chem, but any sharp price erosion on the battery front would imperil the viability of Tesla Motors’ Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada. (Laoyaoba, Forbes)


According to TrendForce, the global market value of voice recognition solutions is projected to grow from USD2.61B in 2016 to USD15.98B in 2021, with the CAGR in the forecast period at 43.64%. The main source of growth momentum will come from the widespread adoption of voice-based virtual assistants in various devices. (TechNews, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)


Edward Snowden criticized BlackBerry over its supposed stance on privacy, claiming that the Canadian company follows “the AT&T model” by not considering individuals as customers and acting like governments are its real customers. (Android Headlines, Betakit)



ZigBee Alliance announced that 8 member companies have achieved certification for 20 silicon platforms which form the basis for ZigBee 3.0 products. Certified ZigBee 3.0 silicon platforms are now available from Atmel, Exegin, Qorvo (formerly GreenPeak Technologies), NXP, Samsung, Silicon Labs, Texas Instruments and ubisys, which serves the large community of ARM-based SOC developers. (Laoyaoba, Business Wire, ZigBee)


Catcher Technology has announced a plan to invest USD100M to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary in Suqian, China for R&D, sales and manufacturing of materials, products and molds. (Digitimes, press, China Times)


Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) forecast that in 2017 smartphone shipment would reach 1.56B units, a yearly growth of 5.4%, a slightly increase from 2016’s 2.9%. By 2020, the shipment would reach 1.69B units. MIC’s analyst Aaron Lin indicates that the future growth of smartphone relies on the increase numbers of users in emerging markets, estimating global smartphone penetration has increased from 53% in 2016 to 66% in 2022. (Laoyaoba, MIC)


Meitu is reportedly exporting user data to external IPs. According to more than a few users, the app was found to be sending all kinds of user data including the MAC address, the screen resolution, display model, and the IMEI number to remote servers. (Android Headlines, Medium, The Register, CNFOL)



TECOS GmbH has developed a pair of “safe shorts”, with a combination of light, flexible, but tear- and cut resistant materials. The patented closing mechanism enables the connection with a siren force alarm at 130db. It is priced at EUR100. (CN Beta, Safe Shorts)


Juniper Research believes in next 5 years, about 40% of the market will be accounted for by hybrid smartwatches, which are the smartwatches that have some “smart” functionality, and feature an analog display instead of a touchscreen. It forecasts just 60M smartwatch shipped with USD21B market for 2021. (Android Headlines, Market Wired, Wearable, Juniper Research, OfWeek)



Internet of Things

Latch’s M-series Smart Lock has a built-in wide-angle camera that snaps a photo every time someone uses the lock. Aside from using a key to unlock it, it can be opened with an NFC-equipped card, or by punching in a code on the touchscreen. There is a companion app that connects to the lock via Bluetooth and lets authorized users inside with just a tap. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Latch, Time, CNET)


Future Mobility, a Chinese auto startup initiated by Tencent and Foxconn, plans to build a CNY11.6B (USD1.70B) plant to produce high-end, smart-electric cars. The facility, based in Nanjing, will be able to produce 300K electric cars a year. The construction is divided into 2 phases, with the first phase scheduled to be completed in 2019, bringing a planned production capacity of 150K cars. (CN Beta, Reuters, Bloomberg, 4-Traders)

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