Tag: samsung

LG might sue over fire breathing snapdragons

dragonLG is behaving oddly over moves by Qualcomm to fix overheating problems in its Snapdragon 810 chip.

Samsung told Qualcomm it would not use the chip for its Galaxy S6 model because of overheating problems and Qualcomm suggested it would make a few modifications.

However LG, which is also using the chip, appears outraged. Its initial response to Samsung’s statement was that the chip never overheated and there were no problems.  Now it is threatening to take legal action against Qualcomm if it modifies its latest Snapdragon 810 chip.

Its argument is that if Qualcomm modifies the Snapdragon 810, it means that the company admits the chipset has a flaw. Then it could trigger legal disputes, a spokesLG said.

So in other words – LG claims there is nothing wrong with the chip, but if Qualcomm admits there is something wrong with the chip then it will sue.

The question here is then why LG did not detect the Snapdragon’s fire breathing qualities.

It has been suggested that Qualcomm will provide a modified chipset to Samsung, something that Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics declined to confirm.

The Snapdragon 810 is designed as a 20-nanometer flagship mobile processor for top-tier smartphones.

The system on chip (SoC) integrates the fourth-generation long-term evolution advanced model (LTE-A), dubbed category 6, and theoretically supports up to 450 megabits-per-second data download speed.

But Samsung was worried that the chipset had a serious “throttling” problem that forcibly limits the graphic processing performance when it overheats, reports said.

Analysts said that a chipmaker could modify a new chip before mass production and Qualcomm may update it if its major client Samsung is uncomfortable with the overheating problem.

Qualcomm has said it will start mass-producing the Snapdragon 810 in the first half of the year.

For Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics is one of the most important partners, so the company is likely to show some reaction to the overheating issue.

 

 

 

Samsung confirmed as Apple’s main chip supplier

samsung-hqApple and Samsung appear to have buried any hatchets they might have had during the legal battle over the shape of the smartphone.

While the legal battle raised over such crucial matters as whether or not Steve Jobs invented the rounded rectangle, Apple moved away from Samsung as its main producer of chips.  In fact analysts believed that in the long term Samsung would lose any Apple production completely.

According to the Maeil Business Newspaper it seems that Apple has changed its mind and Samsung  is back to being the main supplier of processors powering Apple iPhones.

It looks like Samsung will be responsible for around 75 percent of the chip production for the next iPhone, the South Korean newspaper said.

The newspaper did not say how much the contract is worth and what other company will be supplying Apple. Samsung will make the chips from its factory in Austin, Texas, according to the report.

What appears to have happened is that not only has the row between Samsung and Apple cooled, Jobs’ Mob discovered that Samsung’s rivals, such as TSMC were not up to snuff or had capacity problems.

LG denies it has a fire breathing Snapdragon

dragonWhile Samsung has pulled Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 from its new Galaxy S smartphone, because of overheating problems, another customer is denying there is anything wrong with it.

LG said it has encountered no overheating problems with Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and it will be powering a curved screen G Flex2 smartphone later this month.

Woo Ram-chan, LG vice president for mobile product planning, said that he was aware of the various concerns in the market about the (Snapdragon) 810, but the chip’s performance is quite satisfactory.

The comment came after Bloomberg reported a day earlier that Samsung Electronics, the world’s top smartphone maker, decided not to use the new Qualcomm processor for the next flagship Galaxy S smartphone after the chip overheated during testing. To be fair, Samsung and Qualcomm have declined to comment on the record about the reason for Samsung abandoning the chip.  Sources which cite overheating are so far unnamed.

Samsung is widely expected to unveil the new Galaxy S smartphone in early March, and Bloomberg reported that the Korean firm will use its own processors instead.

Woo said on Thursday that internal tests for the G Flex2, powered by the new Qualcomm processor, show that the new product emits less heat than other existing devices. The new phone is scheduled to start selling in South Korea on January 30.

He said he didn’t understand why there is a heat problem with the Galaxy S that his phone does not have.

 

Samsung, Apple, take top semi spots

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picApple and Samsung were the biggest buyers of semiconductors in 2014.
Together, they bought $57.9 billion worth of chips last year, up by $3.9 billion in 2013, according to Gartner.
In terms of the total market for semiconductor, both companies’ accounted for 17 percent of the total market.
Gartner said the two firms have been top of the semiconductor consumption market for four years in a row.
That, said analyst Masatsune Yamajo, means decisions they make “have considerable technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry”.
Samsung was still top buyer but its decision to withdraw from some parts of the PC market as well as losing market share to other vendors meant its growth rate wasn’t as great as in the past.
Gartner estimates that the top 10 companies bought $125.6 billion of semiconductors, accounting for 36.4 percent of the whole market in 2014.
After Samsung and Apple, the remaining eight top ten buyers were HP, Lenovo, Dell, Sony, Huawei, Cisco, LG Electronics and Toshiba.
The entire semiconductor market worldwide amounted to $339.9 billions last year.

 

Samsung snubs Qualcomm

qualcomm-snapdragonSamsung has ruled out using Qualcomm processors for the next version of the South Korean technology giant’s flagship Galaxy S smartphone.

Apparently the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip had a nasty habit of overheating when Samsung came to test it. Samsung will use its own processors instead.

This would be a huge blow to Qualcomm which is the world’s largest maker of semiconductors used in phones, and has been supplying Samsung with chips that run the company’s best-selling handsets for ages.

Samsung is Qualcomm’s second-largest customer, providing about 12 percent of its sales, according to Bloomberg supply chain analysis.

It also gives Samsung a reason to boost its own processor-making division as it spends $15 billion on a new factory outside Seoul.

Samsung is expected to release the next Galaxy S as early as March, and it can’t dare to take the risk to use any of the chips in question for its most important model.

The company has been taking a kicking lately as smartphone sales slow.  Releasing a phone into the market with a hot chip could sink it.

Qualcomm has not commented on the news shares fell on the news.  In Europe they fell to 1.2 percent. Samsung shares rose 1.7 percent  as news got out.

Qualcomm said in April its latest 808 and 810 processors will start appearing in phones at the beginning of this year and will feature more advanced computing, graphics and radio capabilities. Xiaomi and LG are among the manufacturers preparing to release models with the Snapdragon 810.

 

1.167 billion smartphones sold last year

smartphones-genericChinese vendors managed to sell 453.4 million smartphones in 2014 – and total global shipments of the devices amounted to 1.167 billion units.
That’s a growth rate of 25.9 percent, according to market intelligence company Trendforce.
Samsung continued to be the global leader in smartphone market share in 2014, although its growth rate fell, eroded by the Chinese manufacturers at the lower and mid end of the market, and at the high end of the market by Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple managed to grow by 24.5 percent in 2014, shipping a total of 191.3 million units.
Combined, Apple and Samsung shipped 518 million units.
Apple’s success is attributed to the large size smartphone, the iPhone 6 Plus.
LG was the “dark horse”, making progress with its flagship smartphone the G3.

Samsung considers split

axeSamsung is considering a stock split in a bid to keep its investors happy as the outfit experiences sliding profits.

Samsung head of investor relations Robert Yi told reporters the company had been considering a stock split for some time but it was too early to make a decision. A split would make Samsung shares easier to buy and could attract more retail investors.

The world’s top smartphone maker has launched a $2 billion share buy-back program and promised to increase its 2014 year-end dividend by up to 50 percent in a bid to lift its share price and placate investors.

However, Samsung shares are well below last year’s peak of $1,380 mostly because of a string of quarterly profit declines. In fact, the only thing that stopped them sinking lower was the buyback and a planned dividend increase.

Apple saw its shares end up 37.7 percent last year, thanks in part to a seven-for-one split, so it might be another case where Samsung is emulating Jobs’ Mob.

 

Notebook sales flat

notebooksSales of notebooks during the fourth quarter of 2014 amounted to 46 million units.
That’s according to Digitimes Research, which said in a report that shipments were flat compared to the same quarter in 2013.
Of the notebooks shipped, Taiwanese original design manufacturers (ODMs) shipped 36.6 million, representing nearly 80 percent of the total marketplace.
ODMs make notebooks which are then rebranded by multinationals or sold as so called “white boxes”.
The chief ODMs were Quanta with 33 percent, Compal with 31.4 percent, Wistron with 15.8 percent, Inventec with 7.5 percent and Pegatron with 6.9 percent.
Digitimes Research said HP was the number one vendor in the quarter with 23 percent market share, Lenovo second, Dell third, Asustek fourth, Acer fifth, Apple sixth, Toshiba seventh, Samsung eighth and Fujitsu ninth.

 

Blackberry denies Samsung buy out

 blackberry-juicerBlackberry has moved to dismiss claims that it is about to be bought by Samsung.

The source of the rumours was Reuters which claimed that a deal was close and Samsung was  ready to make an offer that John Chen and BlackBerry’s board may be reluctant to refuse. Samsung is willing to pay roughly $7.5 billion for BlackBerry’s assets – including its patent portfolio – Reuters claimed.

Apparently Samsung became interested in Blackberry two months after the two companies entered a strategic partnership to bring BlackBerry’s BES12 cross-platform EMM solution to Galaxy smartphones and tablets that feature embedded KNOX technology. At the time, the two companies indicated that they were looking forward to future ventures together.

The move seems all logical, but it is not quite, but completely and utterly untrue claimed Blackberry.

In a statement the company said it was aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry.

“BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumours or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further,” the phone maker said.

Samsung browses Blackberry

Samsung Browses BlackberryA breaking story  today entails Samsung’s approach to Blackberry Ltd. in talks to buy the embattled smartphone maker for a reported $7.5 billion – Samsung is apparently buffing up their intellectual property portfolio to stave off a continuing onslaught by Apple Inc. The news sent Blackberry’s stock price up 30 percent.

Samsung offered a trading range of $13.25 to $15.49 per share, a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over Blackberry’s current trading price according to Reuters. What’s not clear is the depth of the deal and what it might entail – there’s speculation that the deal has several versions that are currently under discussion. That the story was leaked and by who leaves one wondering whether this is a negotiation tactic or just business as usual.

BlackBerry announced in November a high-profile security partnership with Samsung. The partnership aims to wed BlackBerry’s security platform with the South Korean company’s own security software for Galaxy devices.

Blackberry has been struggling to regain lost momentum in a competitively crowded market. Samsung’s smartphone business is experiencing losses from lower price Chinese competitors which now are affecting their semiconductor division – reports of bargain prices for NAND-Flash smartphone memory devices are widely circulated.

Techeye Take

Analyzing Samsung’s needs, wants and desires indicate the company is obsessing over security – key to the company’s entry into the electronic wallet market space. Secure communications is and will continue to be a premier element of the continued evolution of the smartphone market – even governments demand it.

The question remains, will this set off a bidding war for Blackberry?..,

Update

Both Samsung and Blackberry have denied that they are in talks for Samsung to takeover the Canadian company.

“BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Post Script

Where there’s smoke there’s generally fire – stay tuned…,

GloFo takes aim at China

renesas-chips (1)Abu Dhabi foundry company Global Foundries (GloFo) is seeking to make more partnerships in mainland China.
GloFo, which was spun off by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) some years ago, recently bought IBM’s foundry business, along with a large number of patents for $1.5 billion.
A report in the South China Morning Post quoted senior GloFo VP Chuck Fox as saying the firm would use IBM’s previous presence in mainland China to continue to grow its business in the country.
He said that his company is already in talks with a number of partners in China and is expected to announce deals when they happen.
Competition to win contracts from so called fabless chip companies comes from the like of Taiwanese major TSMC, mainland company SMIC, and even Intel.
Golf already has a partnership with Samsung in a bid to beat TSMC for orders to manufacture chips.

 

Samsung profits slump

samsung-hqSamsung confirmed its first annual profit decline since 2011, but said that a fourth quarter pick up indicated that earnings may have stabilised.

The smartphone maker lost market share for three consecutive quarters up to July-September, and analysts say the trend likely continued in the October-December period.

The Tame Apple press claims it is because Samsung cannot beat the super bendy iPhone 6, but it is more likely that Samsung has seen its Chinese market disappear to locally made brands. It has also suffered from a weak won, which explains its limp.

Healthy memory chip demand and improvements in the mobile business on the back of new mid-to-low tier smartphones are buoying hopes that Samsung has at last staunched the bleeding.

Samsung said its fourth-quarter operating profit is likely to be $4.74 billion, beating what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street had predicted.

The outlook means Samsung’s 2014 profit will probably be the weakest in three years, although it marks a rebound from the third-quarter’s profit which was the firm’s lowest quarterly result in more than three years. The company is expected to release its annual results later this month.

Most analysts expect profits to continue improving through at least the second quarter of 2015 with the outfit’s semiconductor division to do much better than the mobile business in October-December.

The company did not provide a breakdown of its earnings figures in Thursday’s outlook, but a person with direct knowledge of the matter said that components sales picked up across the board, with healthy demand for memory chips and higher liquid crystal display panel prices.

The mobile division’s contribution to Samsung’s profit has slipped from about 68 percent at its peak in 2013 to about 44 percent in the third quarter.

 

Samsung aims at internet of things

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picThe CEO of Samsung has made a bid for his company to become an active player in the internet of things (IoT) by putting uo funding for developers.
In a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, BK Yoon said Samsung will provide $100 million in funding while pledging to keep access to devices open rather than proprietary.
He said all Samsung devices will be open and connect to other devices on the matrix, with 90 percent of Samsung devices have IoT inteconnectivity by 2017.
Soon said that the industry required an open system with collaboration across different industry sectors.
While analysts predict that by the end of the decade there will be 10s of billions of devices from lights to kitchen sinks with IP (internet protocol) abilities, problems not only include connectivity and open standards but also security.
Other vendors, including chip giant Intel want to jump on the IoT bandwagon and so far there is little sign of the whole caboodle agreeing on open standards.

 

Chip sales up in 2014

Sales of semiconductors rose by 7.9 percent in 2013, with Intel continuing to rule the chip roost.
intel_log_reversedA report from Gartner said the top 25 vendors revenues rose by 11.7 percent, with those vendors grabbing 72.1 percent of the entire market revenues.
But it was DRAM sales that really shone last year.  Gartner said the market grew by 31.7 percent during the year and undersupply and stable pricing continued to be the order of the day.
Andrew Norwood, a VP at Gartner, said all device categories grew in 2014 but the memory market outstripped them all.
Norwood said Intel saw a return of growth in 2014 after two years of seeing its revenues decline.
Intel’s Datacenter Group was the most stable of its different business units.
While Intel will reach its target of selling 40 million tablet microprocessors in 2014, they’re being sold at big discounts and with subsidies for vendors buying them.
Intel’s been the number one chip company for the last 23 years and owns 15 percent of the 2014 semiconductor market.
The next four top semi companies are Samsung, Qualcomm, Micron and SK Hynix.

 

LG presses on with OLED

oldtvWhile the rest of the display world abandons plans for OLED as too expensive for the big screen, LG is hanging on to the technology.

LG Display has announced it will increase production capacity of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for TVs.

LG Display and its sister company, LG Electronics, claim OLED TV will give them a competitive edge over rivals once the technology matures.

LG Display said it would more than quadruple the monthly production capacity of OLED TV panels to 36,000 units by the year-end from 8,000 currently.

The companies say OLED is far superior to the mainstay liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, offering better picture quality as well as lower power consumption.

However it admits that costs, however, are much higher, making OLED TVs several times more expensive than LCD sets. LG Electronics’ 65-inch ultra-high-definition OLED TV launched in South Korea last year was priced at $10,874, more than three times the price of a comparable LCD TV by the same company.

Samsung has given up on OLED, saying the technology is not ready yet for mass consumption. It has focused on quantum dot technology instead.

LG Display finished building a $640.58 million factory to increase production of OLED TV panels. The panel maker did not comment on its investment plans for 2015.

It is not as if LG is betting the farm on OLED, it is also launching its own quantum dot TVs alongside OLED products this year in what it says is a two-track strategy.