© aleksandr volkov dreamstime.com Business | February 11, 2013
Affordable, high-spec smart devices becoming the standard in 2013
It’s 2013, and now more than ever changes in technology occur in the blink of an eye. But which anticipated trends will take hold this year?
Global market research firm TrendForce has organized the following summary of upcoming trends in the technology industry. Since the end of last year, two main concepts have taken the market by storm, from televisions to smartphones and tablets to PCs: higher specifications and lower prices. One thing is certain – the cornucopia of smart devices on the market will provide great market potential for software developers. 1. Television Displays Grow, Frames Shrink By mid-year, digital LCD TV display sizes will increase noticeably. According to TrendForce research, panel shipments sized at 40, 50, and 60 inches will see greater visibility in the second quarter, with an increase to 12%, compared to 6-8% in 2012. While retail prices are expected to fall, large display televisions are not expected to become universal overnight, mainly due to the fact that larger devices may not be practical for some households. For those that do have the space though, a larger screen at a lower price is undoubtedly attractive. Additionally, televisions with smaller frames and thinner bodies are becoming increasingly popular. According to TrendForce research, in 2013 televisions with ultra-thin frames will see a surge in 2013 – 6 to 8mm products will account for 17.8% of the market, while sub-6mm products will take an even larger 22.2% share. 2. LED Penetration Rate Increases As the use of LED backlight modules in LCD televisions is already an established trend, penetration rate is expected to reach 90% in 2013. In other words, there are very few LCD televisions that still use CCFL backlights, which renders the term “LED TV” more or less superfluous. OLED televisions still have a low penetration rate, with only 0.2% of the market. It is unlikely OLED TVs will pose a threat to its LED counterparts, as its penetration rate is expected to reach a mere 1.15% by 2015. 3. Increased Visibility for 4K Ultra HD Resolution Going along with the expanding television display trend is 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels, vertical resolution approximately 4K2K). 4K provides twice as much resolution as FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels), but in reality, due to high panel cost and a lack of quality viewing material, it is too early to say whether 4K is here to stay. Like the 3D TVs that caused a commotion last year, 4K may be out of most consumers’ range. Regardless, manufacturers are sure to heavily promote 4K products, but it will be a while before the new spec becomes commonplace. 4. Limited Growth for Touch PCs While the smartphone’s distinguishing touch screen has made its way to PCs and notebooks, and the new Windows 8 supports touch functions, there is a US$150-250 price gap between notebooks with touch displays and those without. As notebook prices are plummeting and touch-compatible software is still lacking, the trendy devices have so far only been popular amongst high-end users and consumers that want the latest and greatest. TrendForce expects touch notebook penetration rate will only reach 7.3% in 2013, although an increase is possible if either software improves or touch module supply changes result in lower device prices. 5. Prismatic Batteries to Boost Momentum for Mid-end Ultrabook The relatively high cost of ultrabooks has caused the new product to fall short of expectations, but prismatic batteries may boost ultrabook popularity in 2013. The li-polymer batteries originally used are more suitable to the ultrabook’s ultraslim body, but li-poly comes at a high cost, and cheaper cylindrical batteries are too large. Enter the prismatic battery – cheaper than li-polymer and smaller than cylindrical, prismatic batteries will enable mid-range ultrabooks to hit the market in 2013. TrendForce expects more than 30 million ultrabooks may ship in 2013, representing 17% of the notebook market, of which 5-8% will carry prismatic batteries. 6. PC Brands Struggling on Cutthroat Tablet Market The tablet market will continue to expand in 2013, with brand shipments expected to reach 1.5 million for the year. After the wave of Amazon and Google’s affordably priced tablets, it is likely the world will see more of such devices this year. PC makers especially will be focusing efforts on the production of low-priced tablets with lower specification displays. If such devices are popular, Amazon, Google, and other major makers are sure to follow suit, and traditional PC makers will likely have a hard time keeping up with the competition. 7. Portable Devices Head Towards Four, Eight Cores As smartphones and tablets need fast processing power, quad-core and eight-core processors are a necessity. Mobile processor manufacturers like Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Lenovo are all producing quad-core processors, while Samsung has unveiled the eight-core Exynos 5 Octa. Although technically a dual quad-core processor, the introduction still produced plenty of excitement, and Apple’s next-gen processor will surely be on par. As for Intel, due to architectural differences, Merrifield is a dual-core processor. 8. More Smartphones with Large Displays and High Resolution Samsung’s Galaxy Note led the way into the phablet market, but demand has kept brand manufacturers on the phablet trend, producing bigger phones with higher resolution. However, phablets are not quite universal, as they are dependent on user habits and preferences. Also, there is a limit to display size – 5 inches is about right, while 6 inches appears too large. 5 inches and 1080 pixels is the current mix that strikes the best balance between portability and usability. 9. NFC Technology Gains Ground The NFC (near field communication) standard has been out for a while now. While there is still room for improvement in terms of actual use, the percentage of smartphones equipped with NFC technology is expected to rise in 2013. Apple’s next-gen iPhone may very well have NFC, while Google has paired with Mastercard, Citibank, and Sprint on Google Wallet. 10. Wireless Charging to Continue Improving Although wireless charging is not new technology, fast, powerful wireless chargers are still lacking. There are three major brands when it comes to wireless mobile device chargers, but each has their weaknesses. TrendForce expects 2013 will see an increase in wireless charging products.
Infineon and Fingerprint team up to drive mass deployment of biometric cards With biometric payment cards an integrated fingerprint sensor make contactless payments more convenient, more secure and hygienic; something that the current global situation has highlighted a need for.
Silicon Mitus starts mass-producing automotive OLED PMIC Power management IC (PMIC) specialist Silicon Mitus, has completed the development of an automotive OLED PMIC and says it will start supplying the new products in the global automotive market.
Farnell signs new distribution agreement with KOA Farnell says it has strengthen the depth and breadth of its passive component range with the addition of KOA Europe GmbH.
II-VI with domestic and foreign acquisitions Compound semiconductor specialist, II-VI Incorporated, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares in Swedish SiC epitaxial wafers specialist, Ascatron AB. At the same time, II-VI says it will acquire all the outstanding interests of the owners of the parent of INNOViON Corporation.
Microsoft invests in AI Chip company Syntiant, a deep learning tech company providing AI voice and sensor solutions, has completed a USD 35 million Series C funding round.
Meyer Burger sells its microwave and plasma maker Muegge Meyer Burger Technology is selling its microwave and plasma technology company Muegge GmbH, to investment company HQ Equita.
ON Semi looking to sell Japanese facility ON Semiconductor is exploring a sale of its manufacturing facility in Niigata, Japan. The intended sale of the facility is part of the company’s plan to optimise its manufacturing footprint and sharpen its focus on highly differentiated power, analog and sensor products.
New VP of business development at Smith The distributor of electronic components and semiconductors has appointed Renato Souza to the position of Vice President of Business Development. Renato previously served as Vice President, Latin America of Smith since 2017.
Bosch launches 5G tests at Reutlingen wafer fab The German company believes 5G will be a key building block of digitalization and connectivity in manufacturing and logistics. And for that reason, Bosch is now starting compatibility tests and channel measurements for setting up a 5G network in its wafer fab in Reutlingen.
ACM Research receives orders from two new analog/power IC customers The supplier of wafer cleaning technologies for advanced semiconductor devices, has received purchase orders and final stage bidding activities for a total of USD 36 million from two new China-based customers that manufacture analog and power IC devices.
ClassOne's Solstice plating system selected for advanced MicroLEDs Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology announces the sale of its Solstice GoldPro electroplating system to an unnamed developer of microLED technology for advanced applications.
Jenoptik: order intake down on prior year; order backlog slightly up From January through early March business performance was in line with expectations, but clear impacts of the corona pandemic and increasing uncertainty within the automotive industry became apparent from late March on.
Smiths Detection completes acquisition of PathSensors Smiths Detection has completed the acquisition of PathSensors, a bio-technology solutions and environmental-testing company, based in Baltimore, MD, USA.
Saab divests Dutch-based QPS Saab has divested the Dutch-based company QPS (Quality Positioning Services), a provider of hydrographic software solutions within the global maritime industry. The decision is in line with Saab’s strategy to optimise its product portfolio and increase focus on five core areas.
Eyeing SiC and GaN potential – GlobalWafers team up with NCTU Advancements in 5G and electric vehicle technologies are bringing the mounting demands of power semiconductor. GlobalWafers is teaming up with the National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) to develop the third generation semiconductor material.
Phison expands with new R&D centre Taiwanese NAND Flash controller IC and storage solutions provider, Phison Electronics, broke ground on a new R&D center and inventory management in Guangyuan Science Park in Zhunan township, back in late march.
Infineon swings to loss as the pandemic continues impact target markets “Infineon has so far coped well with the challenging situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As a company, we reacted quickly to the new situation and established a framework that has enabled us to stabilize our business,” says CEO Dr. Reinhard Ploss.
Murata completes new production building The Japanese manufacturer’s subsidiary, Izumo Murata Manufacturing, has completed the construction of a new production facility which started back in August 2019.
Analog Devices team up with Intel to address 5G network design challenges The companies are collaborating to create a flexible radio platform that addresses 5G network design challenges and will enable customers to scale their 5G networks more quickly and economically.
Atlas Copco has acquired the technology and operating assets of iTrap The Swedish company has acquired a technology for process diagnostics and control in the semiconductor industry.Load more news