11-24: Qualcomm has disclosed a framework for industry participants to access Qualcomm’s patented inventions used in 5G; Intel has acknowledged and patched a new suite of security problems affecting its Intel Management Engine; etc.


As the PC market has lost some casual consumers to smartphones, the hardcore gamer has turned into the engine that drives the GPU market. In 3Q17, this trend helped Nvidia grow its share of the market with a 29.53% QoQ increase in total GPU shipments, according to industry-tracking firm Jon Peddie Research. AMD shipped 7.63% more and Intel was up 5.01% during the same period. (VentureBeat, Jon Peddie Research, Tencent)

Digitimes Research forecasts smartphone AP shipment would reach 179M units by 4Q17, which is slightly 1.4% growth QoQ, and 2017 as a whole has grown 1.4% from 2016. Because of full display, smartphone vendors have to revised their design causing delay of the shipment, MediaTek then pushes their Helio P23, P30 to enter China Mobile Cat.7 standard, also incorporating Vision Processing Unit (VPU) on their chipsets, so it expects to narrow its gap with Qualcomm in 4Q17. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Qualcomm has disclosed a framework for industry participants to access Qualcomm’s patented inventions used in the upcoming 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standards: An effective running royalty rate of 2.275% of the selling price of branded single-mode 5G handsets; and an effective running royalty rate of 3.25% of the selling price of branded multi-mode (3G/4G/5G) handsets. (CN Beta, iam, Gizmo China, Silicon Investor, Qualcomm)

According to IC Insights, Samsung first charged into the top spot in 2Q17 and displaced Intel, which had held the number 1 ranking since 1993.  In 1Q16, Intel’s sales were 40% greater than Samsung’s, but in just over a year’s time, that lead has been erased.  Intel is now expected to trail Samsung in the full-year 2017 semiconductor sales ranking by USD4.6B. Samsung’s big increase in sales this year has been primarily driven by an amazing rise in DRAM and NAND flash average selling prices.  (IC Insights, press, CN Beta)

Intel has acknowledged and patched a new suite of security problems affecting its Intel Management Engine. This subsystem controls many low-level capabilities of the SoC, and can be used for features like remote access and Intel’s Trusted Execution Engine. The company has released a list of 10 vulnerabilities across multiple products that are addressed by recent driver updates. (Wired, Extreme Tech, ZDNet, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

Taiwan-based Chimei Materials Technology plans to set up two more 2,500mm polarizer production lines in China within 5 years, according to company chairman Ho Chao-yang. Now ranking as the world’s No. 5 polarizer supplier with a 7% share, Chimei Materials is aggressively moving to boost its market share by constructing three 2,500mm polarizer production lines in technical cooperation with Japan’s Nitto Denko, to better meet the growing market demand in China, Ho said. (OfWeek, China Times, Digitimes, press)


Taiwan Topology analyst Tsai Zhuozhao indicates that mobile 3D sensor module market size CAGR in the coming 3 years could reach 209%, with USD1.5B in 2017 growing to USD14B by 2020. From Himax Technologies 3Q17 financial report, the SLiMTM solution that it works with Qualcomm will enter mass production by end 1Q18 with preliminary 2M units production per month. Wingtech’s chairman assistant Deng Anming also confirms that some mid-range handset of Wingtech in 2018 will adopt facial recognition function, and already in contact with a number of suppliers for 3D camera module testing. (Caijing, Laoyaoba, Yicai)

With Apple iPhone X triggering the 3D sensing facial recognition trends, the market expects Apple will adopt this technology in other models, and Android vendors are following. 3D VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) expects to grow 17.3% CAGR in 2016~2022, and will grow to USD1B by 2022. (CSIA, Digitimes, C114, Laoyaoba, Sinotf)


Sensory announces that it has partnered with Fujitsu to assist more banks, financial institutions, enterprises and others in adopting face biometrics within their mobile apps. Sensory’s TrulySecure face biometric authentication is FIDO Certified and provides users an extremely secure mobile banking experience without compromising convenience. (Android Headlines, PR Newswire)


TDK presents CeraCharge – the first solid-state rechargeable battery in SMD technology. Depending on requirements, the number of charge/discharge cycles this battery is able to perform ranges from several dozens to up to 1000. With its compact EIA 1812 package (4.5×3.2×1.1 mm) it offers a capacity of 100 µAh at a rated voltage of 1.4 V.  (EE News Europe, TechNews, TDK)


Semblant has demonstrated the elite protectiveness of their smartphone nanocoating technology by achieving IPX7 certification across multiple, top-tier mobile devices. Semblant has experienced the rapid adoption of its latest MobileShield product in 2017, having built approximately 10M devices at IPX7-certified level since the beginning of 3Q17. (Laoyaoba, EEPW, Market Wired)


Internet of Vehicles (IoV) is being fast developed based on two standards of wireless communication technology, DSRC (dedicated short range communications) and C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) developed by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project). In terms of IoV development, the US has taken the lead, Digitimes Research indicated. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

Since 2000 and the development of smartphones, the number of frequency bands used in mobile telecommunication has undergone a huge increase from 4 bands in the 2000’s to more than 30 bands today. To manage this growth, also pushed by the upcoming 5G, RF modules have been widely developed. Today filtering is the strongest growing market among the numerous RF component families dedicated to mobile telecommunication applications, with a USD16B revenue by 2022, thanks to the traditional need of new antennas and development of multiple carrier aggregation. (Yole, press, Laoyaoba)


Solid design and low prices helped China’s Transsion Holdings overtake Samsung in 2017 to become the number one smartphone company by sales in Africa, and now it is making inroads into India. The Shenzhen-based company — best known by the names of its Itel brands — sold more than 50M phones in Africa in 1H17, mainly “feature” models with physical keypads, according to IDC. (Financial Times, article, Laoyaoba)

Mainland China market demand for smartphone is slowing down because of saturation. Chinese vendors have gradually shifted their focus on Africa, India and other emerging markets. For instance, Transsion has already acquired 3 of Indian’s domestic brands. (EE World, Digitimes, Laoyaoba)

Xiaomi has announced a new manufacturing plant in India. This facility is located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh and made in partnership with Hipad Technology. This is the third manufacturing facility started by Xiaomi since it started doing business in India in 2014. This new manufacturing facility is dedicated entirely to manufacturing power bank.  (GSM Arena, Business Today, Sohu)

Global smartphone shipments are expected to grow 5% on year to reach 1.43B units in 2017 and expand another 4.8% to over 1.5B units in 2018, according to Digitimes Research. Replacement demand for smartphones from feature phone users in emerging markets in Southeast Asia, South America and Africa will be the main source of sales growth for smartphones from 2018-2022 with shipments to grow at a rate of 60M~70M units a year during the projected period. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

Apple’s SVP for VP Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson indicates continued to drive home Apple’s goal towards using 100% recycled materials across all of its products, Apple’s “right to repair” philosophy, and Apple’s point of view on the taxes it pays. (My Drivers, Apple Insider, News.com)

Coolpad Note 5 Lite is launched in India – 5” HD display, MediaTek MT6735CP processor, rear 13MP + front 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, Android 6.0 (Cool UI 8.0), 2500mAh battery, INR8199. (Android Headlines, NDTV, BGR)


Apple has reportedly acquired Vrvana, maker of the Totem headset, a headset that can do both virtual reality and augmented reality, for around USD30M. (Apple Insider, TechCrunch, Business Insider, ZDNet, Tencent, Sina)

Misfit has launched a new hybrid smartwatch today called the Command. It includes a smart button that can be programmed to do various things, like play music or take a photo. It is water resistant up to 50m and should last for up to a year before needing a new battery. It is priced at USD149.99. (CN Beta, Misfit, The Verge, Digital Trends, GSM Arena)

While consumer-grade augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) has gained a lot of market attention, more companies have begun to find these head-mounted devices (HMD) to help increase productivity, reduce time-to-market, and increase safety, quality and staff satisfaction. According to Greenlight Insights, the global VR market, driven by business and gaming applications, is expected to reach a market of USD74.8B in 2021. (Road to VR, ETT Taiwan, Laoyaoba)

Internet of Things

Apple has allegedly told suppliers it expects to ship 4M HomePods in 2018. Taipei-based Fubon Securities analyst Arthur Liao predicted those production numbers earlier this month. By comparison, Amazon has sold an estimated 15M units since going on sale in 2015, according to analysts at CIRP LLC. (Phone Arena, Bloomberg, Sina)

With Apple rescheduling the launch of its smart speaker HomePod from Dec 2017 to early 2018, Amazon Echo series is expected to dominate the smart speaker market during the year-end holidays of 2017 and benefit the device manufacturers Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) and Compal Electronics. (Digitimes, press, Apple Daily)

Competition in the global smart speaker market is expected to become keen in 2018 as vendors are trying to add more accessories or functions such as 3D lenses or pico-projectors into smart voice assistant devices, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press)

Alphabet, through Verily Life Sciences, is invested in applying technology and data science to health care. Google’s in-house Brain team is as well, with the machine learning division running a pilot study that applies existing voice recognition technology to transcribe medical conversations. (Android Headlines, 9to5Google, Google, Pixel CN)

Samsung would create an artificial intelligence (AI) research center and strengthen an executive role to look for new business areas for all its 3 major business groups. The new AI research center would be under a joint research center of the mobile and consumer electronics businesses, 2 of its 3 main businesses, the company said. (Android Headlines, CNBC, Samsung, Reuters, Leiphone, Sina)

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