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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 3:21:41 PM
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"growing (AI) smart speaker market".......................................................................

More supply chain makers vying for growing smart speaker market
Sammi Huang, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Friday 29 September 2017]
More supply chains for AI-based voice assistant devices and smart speakers have begun to emerge as nearly all heavyweight tech companies including Google, Apple, Samsung Electronics, Amazon, Microsoft and China-based Alibaba, Xiaomi Technology and Tencent all have jumped on the bandwagon, according to industry sources.

Taiwan-based supply chain makers engaging in production of camera modules, biometrics chips, displays, touch panels, driver ICs, network communication chips and ODMs are looking to grab a greater share of the growing market pie, said the sources.

IC-design house MediaTek has been benefiting from Amazon's launch of its Echo family products, said the sources, adding that MediaTek is currently the primary chipset supplier for Echo smart speakers, accounting for over 50% of Amazon's purchases of chips for Echo products, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News report.

Texas Instruments (TI) and Intel are the two other chipset suppliers for Amazon, said the report.

However, China-based chipset maker Amlogic is stepping up efforts to compete against MediaTek for Amazon's chipset orders for 2018, the sources indicated.

Amazon's recently released Echo Plus and Echo Spot will also benefit other supply chain makers, including Foxconn Electronics (ODM), Merry Electronics (acoustic components), Ability Opto-Electronics Technology (optical lenses) and Chicony Electronics (power supply).

Makers in the supply chains for Google Home and Apple's HomePad are also likely to see strong sales in 2018 as Google is set to announce new Google Home devices in October and Apple is to release new HomePod products in December.

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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 3:28:30 PM
   of 6718
IoE, Industry 4,0 added IPC demand drivers..............................................

Seeking to become major IoT brand: Q&A with Aaeon chairman YS Chuang
Ninelu Tu, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES [Thursday 28 September 2017]
As one of Taiwan's major makers of industrial PCs, Aaeon Technology was back to the capital market in late August 2017, when it was relisted on the local bourse six years after it was acquired by Asustek Computer and delisted in 2011. Over the years, the entire IPC industry has flourished remarkably, driven by the IoT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0 trends, and the company has also experienced significant growths and upgrades.

During a recent interview by Digitimes, YS Chuang, chairman of Aaeon, talked about the changes, opportunities and challenges facing Taiwan's IPC industry, the company's changes over the past six years, and its goals after going public again.

Q: How do you see the changes in the IPC industry and market trends?

A: Taiwan IPC players used to focus on factory automation, infrastructures, and vertical markets such as medical care, national defense and transportation. But the emergence of the IoT concept has driven a wider variety of industrial applications for IPC products, and stricter specification requirements will also affect the future development of the IPC industry. Besides, commercial automation will be a new IoT application field, allowing great room for development by IPC makers.

In terms of business models, leading players such as Advantech and Adlink Technology have focused on promoting their own brand products while also handling some medium-size contract manufacturing orders. Smaller firms have mostly relied on small contract manufacturing orders. But Ennoconn's move to focus on contract manufacturing has created certain impacts on traditional IPC makers and generated more collaboration between ICT and IPC firms .

Over the past 3-5 years, acquisitions have increased, gradually changing the business models of the industry. After Asustek Computer announced its acquisition of Aaeon in late 2010, Foxconn has since acquired Ennoconn, which has again made acquisitions of its own. Advantech and Adlink have also purchased stakes in small system integrators or industrial tool suppliers to expand their markets and become more competitive. Moreover, such ICT players as Wistron, Compal and Inventec have also started to engage in deeper cooperation with IPC makers.

There are now more than 30 IPC enterprises in Taiwan, mostly operating on a small to medium scale, leaving much room for acquisitions and mergers among them. Our company is also seeking acquisition opportunities, but the targets will be players in areas where Aaeon's expertise does not lie, such as gaming or POS.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages the changing industrial environments will bring to IPC makers?

A: The emerging IoT, Industry 4.0 and smart industry concepts have fueled the development of a greater diversity of IPC products and applications such as commercial automation. In this regard, growing pricing pressure will force globally leading IPC makers to farm out production, triggering flexible demand for small-volume and large-variety production services.

For Taiwan IPC players, growing IoT applications will bring them a bright business prospect, as Taiwan's robust ICT industries and sound supply chain infrastructures will boost domestic IPC makers' competitiveness in the global markets.

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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 3:40:35 PM
   of 6718
4GB RAM Sony mid-tier Xperia XA1 Plus. Yes, mid-tier.................................................................

RAM & NAND prices could start dropping as new nodes and layers ramp. Price Elasticity.

the shill. A few years ago.
Anemic 250MB fones were replacing PCs. LOL.
I've seen an 8GB fone. That's 32X.
23MP camera requires gobs and gobs of NAND bits.
Why would anyone believe a shill or a sponsored "expert".
shills paid 7 figures to move prices.
"experts" paid to support shills.

Innovators and entrepreneurs with new techniques and materials.
Done EUV/ArF.


Taiwan market: Sony Mobile launches mid-tier Xperia XA1 Plus
Max Wang, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 3 October 2017]
Sony Mobile Communications has launched its new mid-tier model, Xperia XA1 Plus, in the Taiwan market, priced at NT$11,900 (US$392) unlocked.

The Xperia XA1 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920. The model is powered by a MediaTek 1.6GHz octa-core Helio P20 processor and comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB ROM.

The Xperia XA1 Plus packs a 23-megapixel primary camera on the rear and an 8-megapixel front selfie shooter. It comes with a high-end camera as the photograph capability has become one of the most important features of today's smartphones, according to Jonathan Lin, general manager of Sony Mobile Taiwan.

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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 3:56:19 PM
   of 6718
MediaTek to test NB-IoT in Japan 1Q18.........................................................

"MediaTek's commitment to an exciting new era that's set to fuel the massive growth of the Internet of Things."

5G IoE is going to be a yuge EUV/ArF bit driver.


MediaTek to conduct interoperability tests with SoftBank for NB-IoT development in Japan
Rodney Chan, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Tuesday 3 October 2017]
MediaTek has announced it will conduct a series of interoperability tests of NarrowBand IoT connectivity (NB-IoT) with SoftBank in the first quarter of 2018 to pave the way for development of NB-IoT commercial applications in Japan.

"MediaTek is proud to be at the forefront of NB-IoT technology innovation, which has the potential to deliver new ways to connect that are both cost effective and power efficient," said Yoshitaka Sakurai, general manager of MediaTek Japan, as cited in a press release. "This initiative with SoftBank, along with the unveiling of our MT2625 NB-IoT SoC solution and our collaboration with leading telecommunications companies around the world, demonstrates MediaTek's commitment to an exciting new era that's set to fuel the massive growth of the Internet of Things."

MediaTek said it has played a pivotal role in the formulation and implementation of the 3GPP LPWA specification for NB-IoT. The company recently unveiled its integrated and ultra-low-power MT2625 NB-IoT SoC and announced its collaboration with China Mobile to build the world's smallest NB-IoT module (16mm X 18mm) around the chipset.

The company said its MT2625 NB-IoT chipset is built to meet the requirements of cost-sensitive and small IoT devices and leverages MediaTek's advanced power consumption technology to enable IoT devices to work with batteries for years. The SoC combines an Arm Cortex-M microcontroller (MCU), pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM), flash memory and power management unit (PMU) into a small package to lower the cost of production while also speeding up time-to-market. The MT2625 supports a full frequency band (from 450MHz to 2.1GHz) of 3GPP R13 (NB1) and R14 (NB2) standards for a wide range of IoT applications including smart home control, logistics tracking and smart meters.

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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 4:06:56 PM
   of 6718
China racing to complete 1st round of NAND & RAM fabs......................................................

"expected to take delivery of the first batch of advanced lithography machines by the end of 2017"

Watch the RAM and NAND GBs stuffed in gadgets soar. Price Elasticity. Here, history DOES repeat.


Plant construction geared up at major China memory bases
Jean Chu, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES [Monday 2 October 2017]
China's three major memory production bases, Wuhan, Fujiang and Hefei, are seeing construction of DRAM and NAND flash manufacturing plants moving into high gear, with the No. 1 plant of Wuhan's Yangtze Memory Tech (YMTC) already topping out in late September, according to industry sources.

The sources said Fijian's Jinhua Integrated Circuit was carrying out memory plant construction at the fastest pace among three makers covered by China's special memory development project, slated to finish the construction of its key plant structure in October this year. But it was outpaced by Wuhan-based YMTC, which already topped out its No. 1 memory production plant, plus its energy facility, under the first phase of the project on September 28, ahead of schedule.

In the first phase, YMTC will invest a total of US$24 billion in building three large-sized 3D NAND flash manufacturing plants on a total land area of 1,969 acres, with construction kicking off in late 2016.

The firm's No. 1 plant is set for official run in 2018, with a monthly production capacity of 300,000 wafers and annual production valued estimated at over US$10 billion. The company is engaged in massive recruitment of talent needed to support the operation of the new plant.

In addition, YMTC is also stepping up the development of new memory products. It has completed the development of 32-layer 3D NAND flash memory, and is developing more-advanced 64-layer memory, which is scheduled for mass production in 2019. The company aims to become a globally leading supplier of storage chips by the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, the Hefei-based Rui-Li IC is actively placing orders with suppliers for a variety of DRAM manufacturing equipment, and is expected to take delivery of the first batch of advanced lithography machines by the end of 2017. As the most aggressive DRAM startup in China, the company has zeroed in on the 19nm process node for the production of DRAM, and will then advance to 17nm, aiming to become the most advanced DRAM supplier in China

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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 4:15:02 PM
   of 6718
Kilowatts: "3nm process likely to double that by 5nm"..................................................................................

Ton more layers?
EUV/ArF pulses almost exclusively.


Commentary: Triple-win decision for TSMC to build 3nm wafer fab in Taiwan
Josephine Lien, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES [Monday 2 October 2017]
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has recently decided to set up the world's first 3nm wafer fab in the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) after gaining government promises to address all the water, power and land supply issues involved. This has been widely recognized as a triple-win decision for Taiwan, TSMC, and the upstream and downstream supply chains of the country's semiconductor industry.

TSMC had mulled setting up its 3nm wafer fab in the US due mainly to the availability of stable power supply there. For any 12-inch wafer plant, more advanced process requires higher power consumption, with electricity consumed by 3nm process likely to double that by 5nm process. Accordingly, after a massive power outage occurred on August 15, 2017 around Taiwan, doubts had deepened over whether Taiwan's power supply could secure normal operation of a 3nm wafer fab in the country.

It is believed that TSMC's 3nm wafer fab requires total power consumption of 1.25 million kilowatts and the foundry house's total power consumption after the new fab becomes operational will command 10% of Taiwan's total power supply. The state-run Taiwan Power has pledged to expand its power generating capacity.

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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 4:23:07 PM
   of 6718
“China to install first EUV equipment as early as 2019, says ASML executive”..........................................

"In addition, Kim commented that litho equipment demand from China is set to grow robustly in 2018-2019"

China to install first EUV equipment as early as 2019, says ASML executive
Jean Chu, Shanghai; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Monday 2 October 2017]
Major China-based IC foundries are already in talks with ASML about the installation of their first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment for the manufacture of 7nm chips, according to Young-Sun Kim, country manager of ASML China. The first EUV litho system is expected to be installed at a China-based foundry as early as 2019, said Kim.

Once a leading China-based foundry installs EUV equipment, other local foundry chipmakers are expected to follow suit, Kim noted.

In response to some speculation indicating China-based foundries are given less priority for the supply of EUV litho tools, Kim clarified that ASML treats every single customer equally. As long as orders are confirmed, ASML will fulfill the orders and ship EUV litho tools to China without any problems, Kim noted.

There are more than 50,000 components required to build an EUV system, Kim continued. The lead time between the orders confirmation and the delivery of tools is around 21 months, Kim said.

In addition, Kim commented that litho equipment demand from China is set to grow robustly in 2018-2019. In addition to China-based IC foundries, their bigger international rivals have moved to invest aggressively in their local fabs in China, Kim said.

China's litho equipment market has the potential to generate EUR3 billion (US$3.55 billion), Kim noted. ASML has over 40 customers in China including not only first-tier chip vendors but also small- and medium-size foundries.

Kim disclosed that ASML's sales generated from the China market grew slightly to EUR600 million in 2016. ASML's sales generated from China in the first half of 2017 already topped EUR400 million, said Kim, adding that the sales for all of 2017 are set to see substantial on-year growth.

ASML expects to see its sales from China hit an all-time high in 2018, Kim indicated. Sales will continue to grow in 2019, Kim added.

ASML will continue to expand its operations locally in China, and establish closer ties with local science and technology research institutions, according to Kim. ASML currently has a total of 11 branch offices to service its local customers in China, and is looking to add a new office in Chengdu in early 2018, said Kim.

ASML also has R&D teams stationed in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, Kim indicated. ASML's total workforce in China has reached nearly 600 people, said Kim, adding that the company will continue to expand its local workforce in the region in 2018 and 2019.

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From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 5:10:47 PM
1 Recommendation   of 6718
“4K, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSS, Gen8 i7 HP Spectre 13 coming to lap near you”.........................

Premium contoured design: Built from CNC aluminum and carbon fiber, it is offered in Ceramic White with Pale Gold polished accents or Dark Ash Silver with Copper polished accents featuring micro-edge bezels with Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT displays in up to 4K high resolution2.
  • Sensory experience: Speakers are placed above the full-size edge-to-edge backlit keyboard for clear and crisp sound and a comfortable typing experience.
  • Built for productivity: Fast performance with the latest 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 and i7 processors3, store content with room to spare with up to 1TB PCIe SSD9, and multitask with speed with memory up to 16 GB LPDDR3.
  • More battery power per millimeter: Up to 11.5 hours of battery life5 and charging from zero percent battery life to 50 percent on a 30 minute charge with HP Fast Charge technology6.

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    From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 5:24:31 PM
       of 6718
    "Sonos launches Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker"..............................................

    Who doesn't have a smart speaker would be a better question.

    Soooo many NBTs soooo little time.


    Sonos launches Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker
    Oct. 4, 2017 2:31 PM ET|By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor

    Sonos launches pre-orders for the Sonos One smart speaker featuring Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Alexa integration and multi-room functionality.

    Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant support coming in 2018.

    The One has six far-field microphones to catch voice commands but the voice-activated services are limited at launch to Pandora, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Sirius XM, and iHeartRadio. Spotify support will get added later.

    The Sonos One will ship October 24 and costs $199.

    The price puts the One closer to the recently announced Amazon Echo Plus ($149) than the newly announced Google Home Max ($399) or the expected price for Apple’s HomePod.

    Sonos has previously stayed at the luxury end of the speaker market but now borrows from Amazon’s approach of dominating the market through a wider range of product prices.

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    From: BeenRetired10/4/2017 5:31:01 PM
       of 6718
    Gaggle of Google goodies..."AI + software + hardware"............................................

    Everywhere one looks creative destruction abounds.........................................

    An embarrassment of riches.


    Google Pixel 2 launch event: Live updates
    Oct. 4, 2017 11:58 AM ET|By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor

    Google ( GOOG, GOOGL) will begin its launch event at 12 pm ET. Stream the event live here.

    Check back for live updates.

    Update: Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh says there are now 55M Chromecast devices around the world. Google Wi-Fi is the top selling mesh router in US and Canada. Assistant can now answer 100M new answers.

    "AI + software + hardware" is the event motto.

    Google Home products:

    Update: Home Product Management VP Rishi Chandra says Google Home will launch in Japan later this week.

    Voice Match, the Home's voice recognition and customization feature, will launch to all regions this week.

    Starting today, users can use their own phone number for calling through the Home., taking on Amazon's Echo calling push Hands-free calling coming to the UK later this year.

    Update: As expected and leaked by Walmart pre-orders, Google Home Mini is the new smaller, budget-friendly addition to the Assistant family.

    The Mini, which looks a bit like a fabric-covered hockey puck, comes in three colors and retails for $49. Pre-orders start today with launch on October 19.

    Mini will come to all seven Google Home countries.

    Update: The new smart home Nest products revealed a couple of weeks ago get some stage time to show off how the products can combine with the Google Assistant to create routines.

    Routines can let a user turn on/off smart home features with a simple command like "good morning." Amazon announced a similar setup at its surprise hardware event last week.

    Update: The new Broadcast feature sends the same message to all Google devices in the house.

    Kid-friendly features coming to Home including parental controls for accounts and a partnership with Disney.

    Update: Introducing the Google Home Max, an audio-focused smart speaker meant to take on Sonos speakers, Apple’s upcoming HomePod, and Amazon’s recently announced Echo Plus.

    The 4.5-in woofers offer sound 20x stronger than the Google Home and has "smart sound" that can adjust the sound to the size and layout of the room.

    Home Max costs $399 and launches in the US in December, the same month as the HomePod. Additional markets will come next year.

    The Max comes with a free year of YouTube Red.

    Google Pixelbook laptop:

    Update: Also as expected, here comes the Google Pixelbook laptop, which is 10mm thin and 1kg light.

    Key specs: 12.3-in touchscreen, Quad HD LCD, 235 ppi, Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 16GB RAM and 512GB storage, and 10 hours battery life.

    Pixelbooks can “instant tether” to a Pixel phone, comes with Google Assistant pre-installed, and can run a user’s favorite mobile apps including a custom-built Snap experience coming soon.

    Pricing starts at $999 with three configurations available and the Pen costing an extra $99. Pre-orders start today, available on October 31. Initial launch covers US, Canada, and UK.

    Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL:

    Update: As expected (again), two new Pixel 2 smartphones with a smaller 5-in. device and the 6-in. XL option.

    Update: The all-aluminum bodies feature a glass visor and both include a fingerprint sensor, unlike Apple’s premium iPhone X.

    No headphone jack, but an adapter is included and there is Bluetooth 5.0 support for wireless headphones.

    The Pixel 2 has a full HD OLED display and comes in three colors: Black, Kinda Blue, and Clearly White.

    Pixel 2 XL has a pOLED screen with QHD+ and comes in Black or Black and White.

    ”Active Edge” lets users launch Assistant with a squeeze and can use the Broadcast and routine features through the phone.

    Update: The Lens feature in the phones uses machine learning to recognize and optionally provide information about items and people in the image.

    The phones were also built with AR in mind, like the new iPhones, and the company has some exclusive Star Wars content.

    The Pixel 2 has one camera on the back that’s still capable of portrait mode thanks to machine learning.

    Pixel 2 users will receive free, unlimited photo storage.

    Pixel 2 starts at $649 for 64GB and Pixel 2 XL starts at $849. Pre-orders start today in US, Australia, Germany, India, the UK, and Canada. Exclusive partnership with Verizon in the US.

    Google Home Mini tossed in free with Pixel 2 purchase for limited time.

    VR and Clips camera:

    Update: New Google Daydream View VR headsets with upgraded lenses and over 250 VR titles available. Headsets will cost $99.

    Google Pixel Buds are the new touch-activated wireless headphones with Assistant integration. Cost $159 with pre-orders starting today.

    Google Clips is a small “hands-free camera” that can clip onto things or simply rest on a table. Users can “teach” the camera’s built-in machine learning what people or places are most important to the user. Eventually, the camera will take its own pictures of what it thinks the user wants to see.

    Users can swipe within the app to save images to Google Photos. The images don’t get stored to the cloud automatically.

    Clips is “coming soon” for $249

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