02-14 Happy Valentine’s Day: Qualcomm unveils 2 products supporting Wi-Fi 802.11ax; JDI unveils high-transmittance (80%) color transparent display; 2017 DRAM is in tight supply; etc.


With fingerprint scanner becoming smartphone’s standard specification, the market demand of fingerprint IC in 2017 is expected to increase from 200M to 400M units. Vendors such as Goodix, Silead, and Egis are expected to challenge leadership of FPC. This would also drive the orders of wafer, and industry expects that in 2017 fingerprint IC would fulfil the production of 8” wafer fab. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, article)


Qualcomm has revealed IPQ8074 system-on-chip (SoC) for broadcasters (routers and access points) and the QCA6290 SoC for receivers (Wi-Fi devices). They belong to the first end-to-end commercial Wi-Fi portfolio to support the 802.11ax standard. (Android Headlines, CN Beta, AnandTech, CNET, Qualcomm)


Intel has confirmed that its upcoming 8th generation of processors is going to stick with the 14nm process for the 4th time in a row. Intel is expected to launch its 8th generation Core processors in 2H17. It also announced that the firm was going “data center first.” (CN Beta, Ubergizmo, AnandTech, PC World, Ars Technica, TechSpot, HardOCP)


SEMI pointed out that Mainland China actively builds fab production capacity, in 2016 account for 19% of global wafer equipment investment, the total wafer fab construction fees reached USD2B, and in 2017 this number would increase to USD4B, which is 70% of global wafer fab construction fees. In Mainland China more than 20 wafer fabs are under construction, and expects the production would account for 18%~19% globally in 2019. (EE World, Laoyaoba, 52RD, EEPW, KK News)


It expects Mainland China wafer fabs capex would exceed USD10B in 2018. The concern is that Mainland China logic process cannot breakthrough 14nm node, thus turning to cost-effective mid-range process technology. The industry expects in the coming 3 years, 28nm and 40nm process would become a fiercely competitive field. (Laoyaoba, article, CSIA, Digitimes, Yahoo)


Touch / Display

Japan Display Inc (JDI) announced the development of a 4.0” high-transmittance (80%) color transparent display. The newly-developed display achieves a high transmittance level of 80%, nearly 1.8 times higher than conventional transparent OLED displays. (Far East Gizmos, Nikkei Technology, PC Mag, KK News)


Samsung Display has won a fresh deal with Apple to supply an additional 60M units of 5” OLED panels, worth of KRW5T (USD4.3B), for the next-generation iPhone. The new deal comes after Samsung Display struck a deal in 2016 supplying 100M 5.5” OLED display panels worth KRW8T (USD6.96B). (Apple Insider, Pulse News, The Investor, UDN, Sina, CN Beta)

Samsung Display mentioned in Nov 2016 that its target is to increase mid-to-small size OLED panel production in 2017 to be 35% more than 2016. With Huawei, OPPO, etc. pushing OLED smartphones, mid-to-small size OLED production will be increased hugely. Samsung’s orders occupy 68% of the production but this number will decrease to below 50%. (China Times, article)

Apple is launching a cheaper 9.7” iPad. To reduce cost, Apple is rumored to introduce Mainland China’s suppliers, for instance BOE and O-Film are considered, and that would influence F-TPK and GIS. Apple expects to ship 6M cheaper 9.7” iPad in 1Q17. (Laoyaoba, China Times, 52RD)

Chip on Film (COF) packaging and COF substrate is expected to grow driven by the end products including 4K UHD TV, OLED smartphone, LTPS high-resolution phone, etc. Driver IC packaging vendors such as Chipmos, Chipbond and COF substrate vendor JMC Electronics are expected to benefit in 2017. (Laoyaoba, OLEDW, FPDisplay, Digitimes, article)


Tsinghua Unigroup Nanjing semiconductor project is invested mainly by Tsinghua Unigroup, focusing on 3D-NAND flash, DRAM products, with area of 1500 acre. First phase of the project costs about USD10B, with monthly production of 100K chips. Other than the USD30B chipset fab construction, Tsinghua is investing about CNY30B to build a IC development area. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, WSJ, Reuters)


Micron is reportedly seeking buyers for its NOR flash memory business, as it intends to focus on more-profitable DRAM and 3D NAND flash areas. Winbond and GigaDevice Semiconductor are potential buyers. Micron’s NOR flash business was formerly Numonyx, which was acquired by Micron for USD1.27B in 2010. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

DRAM is in tight supply in 2017, with the transition from 1x to 1y phase. After Samsung Electronics moving into 18nm process, Micron and SK Hynix are also fully focusing entering 1xnm process. (Laoyoaba, Digitimes, article)



The new flow battery is developed by the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). By storing energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water, these batteries could retain their capacity for a 10 years or more. Not only does this non-corrosive battery have an exceptionally long lifetime but it is cheap to produce too. (Android Headlines, Harvard,Daily Mail, Futurism, CN Stock)

Apple is now listed as one of the 213 members of the Wireless Power Consortium. IHS Technology consumer survey data shows over 90% of consumers want wireless charging on their next device. (GSM Arena, WPC, 9to5Mac, Sohu)


MIT has devised a new wireless charging process aimed at impeding counterfeit wireless chargers. The solution is a wireless charger, which uses a cryptographic authentication technique known as elliptic curve cryptography. Through this process, an electronics device can verify the wireless charger it is using and halt the charge if the unit fails the authentication test. (Android Authority, MIT, Engadget)


According to Yole Development, shipment volumes in fingerprint market will benefit from 19% CAGR through to 2022 when the market will be worth USD4.7B. The average cost of a fingerprint sensor has decreased from around USD5 in 2013 to USD3 in 2016, and even less for low-end technologies. (Yole, press, Yshows, Sohu, EE Times)


MIT has developed a speech recognition chip capable of real world power savings of between 90~99% over existing technologies. The technology features a “voice activity detection” circuit capable of distinguishing ambient noise from speech, turning on on-board speech recognition hardware when it detects the latter. (Android Authority, TechCrunch, MIT)


OPPO’s India factory, scheduled to come online later Feb 2017, will be able to produce an initial 50M units per year. Eventually, it will rise to 100M, covering all its India models. Alongside the production facility, OPPO has vowed to open a nearby, USD216M industrial park in Greater Noida. The industrial park will be finished in 2~3 years. (CN Beta, Tech in Asia)


According to Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, Samsung bested Apple in all the Southeast Asia (SEA) territories included in the survey except one – Singapore. In 2015, only 18% of Filipino respondents said they own a Samsung smartphone, while 47% owned an iPhone. By 2016, 34% reported owning a Samsung phone, while the share of iPhone owners dropped to 23%. (Laoyaoba, Marketing Interactive, Malaya)


Samsung has increased the first shipments of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus to almost 17M units. (Android Headlines, WCCFTech, The Investor, My Drivers)

Google has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with its flagship phones Pixel and Pixel XL. (Laoyaoba, Forbes, article)


Hisense A2 dual-screen smartphone is launched in China – 5.5” FHD AMOLED + 5.2” qHD E-ink 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 16MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 3090mAh battery. (Android Headlines, Phone Radar, Phones Review)


BLU Tank Xtreme 5.0 is announced – 5” HD IPS LCD display, MediaTek MT6580 processor, 5MP + 5MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Android 6.0, IP65 certified, 3000mAh battery, USD130. (CN Beta, Android Authority)


PCs / Tablets

According to Digitimes, HP has decided on the distribution of orders among its four main Taiwan-based ODMs for notebook to be launched in 2017, with Quanta Computer maintaining the status as the largest accounting for 35% of HP’s planned total orders, higher than the 32% in 2016. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)


ODM Quanta Computer shipped 2.7M notebooks in Jan 2017, declining 30.8% on month but rising 17.4% on year, according to the company. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)


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