SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics to Lead Boom in Semiconductor Industry Next Year

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryA paradigm shift to the 4th industrial revolution is fueling investment in big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of things (IoT). As a result, the semiconductor industry, the most important hardware component in the development of these new technologies, entered an uncharted area this year.

In 2017, the global semiconductor market is expected to grow 21% year-on-year to $408.6 billion. Therefore, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rose by 43 percent this year, surpassing the 16% growth rate of the S&P 500.

Memory semiconductors are at the center of the company’s record semiconductor growth. The marketsize of the memory semiconductor industry is expected to show record growth this year. Moreover, the memory semiconductor market is expected to run to $123.5 billion this year, which is 61% higher than last year.

The paradigm shift to the Fourth Industrial Revolution will probably be not a game that will end in a year or two. This is because leading companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent, are expected to steadily expand research and development activities for and investment in data centers, big data, cloud and machine learning.

Only a year ago, AlphaGo knocked humankind for a loop by crushing the best go player, Lee Sedol. However, only one year later, an upgraded AlphaGo won by a landslide (100 to 0) in a go game match with the original AlphaGo.

This means that performances in the fields of big data and machine learning including artificial intelligence in the next two to three years can give rise to gaps among global companies in the next 20-30 years. Slowing investment in big data and artificial intelligence technologies right now can mean giving up on the future.

With Moore’s Law reaching its limitations, the growth of semiconductor supply has significantly slowed down, more than ever before. Moore’s Law that the line width is reduced to a certain level each year and, in other words, bit supply increases as many times as the square of an annually reduced line width. However, as Moore’s Law is practically limited, semiconductor technology is seeking its development in a direction to increase the degree of integration through 3D stacking rather than chip size reduction.

However, increasing the number of layers means that bit supply will stay at a linear increase, which means an increase in accordance with the number of increased layers, not the square of the number of layers. In other words, it should be remembered that the supply growth rate of semiconductors is significantly slowing down compared to the past in 20-nano processes.

 

 

Demand for memory semiconductors became less volatile as price fuctuations declined and supply elasticity dipped as supply grew closer to technical limitations. In conclusion, it is necessary to revise viewpoints on supply and demand cycles of memory semiconductors. If memory semiconductors are understood as a capex-driven industry as was in the past, it can be said that they entered a proportionreduction stage.

However, even if the capex expanded, supply growth is failing to support it and demand is expected to remain stable despite high prices. Accordingly, stable supply and demand situations for memory semiconductors are likely to continue in 2018 against some concerns.

DRAM demand in 2018 is expected to grow to 13.86 billion gigabytes, up 21% year-on-year, despite burdens from rising prices. On the other hand, DRAM supply in 2018 is expected to run to 13.69 billion gigabytes, a 21% increase, despite a surge in CAPEX.

As a result, in 2018, the DRAM supply / demand ratio is expected to remain steady at 0.988, a small increase or a tight level as was the case this year. In 2018, the DRAM market is expected to reach $90.9 billion, up 26% from $ 72.2 billion in 2017.

NAND flash supply hinges on NAND flash makers’ 3D chip yields. However, unlike DRAMs, which have very low price elasticity, demand for NAND flashes is likely to increase significantly if prices fall.

In other words, a change in supply can be a very important variable in changing demand. So, it can be said that it is quite a challenge to forecast demand and supply. However, our forecast for NAND supply/demand is a 37% increase in demand and a 40% increase in supply, which means that supply will increase slightly more than demand.

In 2018, total demand for NAND flashes is expected to reach 235.7 billion gigabytes while total supply remains at 238.2 billion gigabytes. Their ASP per bit is expected to slide about 12 percent next year. In terms of chips, the NAND flash market is expected to grow 23% to $58.1 billion in 2018 from $47.5 billion in 2017.

Accordingly, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which represent the Korean semiconductor industry, are expected to have their banner year in 2018.

This year, Samsung Electronics dethroned Intel, which had enjoyed the No. 1 ranking in global semiconductor sales for 25 years, to become the world’s top semiconductor maker, The securities industry expects its 2018 earnings to reach 280 trillion won in sales, 69 trillion won in operating profit, and 51.7 trillion won in net profit.

SK Hynix’s 2018 earnings are expected to hit 38 trillion won in sales, 18.3 trillion won in operating profit and 14.7 trillion won in net profit. In the global semiconductor industry, its sales and operating profits are expected to stand just below those of Samsung Electronics, Intel and TSMC, but its market capitalization is quite low, standing out of the top 10.

 

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128-gigabyte (GB) Automotive embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS)

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySamsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has embarked on the mass production of the 128-gigabyte (GB) automotive embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) for the first time in the industry.
The eUFS is considered the next-generation NAND flash memory succeeding the embedded Multi-Media Card (eMMC) currently used in mobile devices such as smartphones. It has started replacing eMMC in premium smartphones thanks to its faster processing speed.
The Korean tech giant, which is also the world’s largest chip maker, first ventured into the eUFS market after mass producing the mobile 128-GB eUFS for smartphones in January 2015. Now with the launch of the automotive eUFS, the company has become the first chip maker that can mass produce it, moving a step closer to lead the eUFS sector.
The new eUFS solution by Samsung Electronics meets the standards required for automotive memory, which should last longer than that used in smartphones and be more resistant to heat, shock and vibrations, the company said in a statement.
The company also claimed its eUFS is optimized for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), dashboards and infotainment systems that power smart cars.
The 128-GB automotive eUFS boasts the fastest data transfer speed for an embedded memory. Its sequential reading speed is about 3.4 times faster than eMMC 5.0 solutions at 850 megabytes per second (MB/s), while its random reading speed is about 6.4 times faster at 45,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS). It also offers double capacity while maintaining the same size as the eMMC 5.0, the company said.


Configured on the latest JEDEC UFS 2.1 standard, the Samsung eUFS delivers superior system reliability by supporting advanced data refreshing and temperature notification, features required to meet the next-generation UFS 3.0 standard, according to the company.
Data refreshing is a process of periodically transferring data to new memory cells to extend the storage period. This prolongs the memory lifespan and boosts its reliability, which is crucial for automotive memory applications.
Car engines generate a lot of heat while driving but the new eUFS is equipped with a temperature sensor inside the controller to ensure reliable thermal management, the company said.

 < Source: KITA>

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Korean battery makers to invest 2.6 tn won at home by 2020

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySouth Korea’s top three battery makers announced plans to invest a combined 2.6 trillion won ($2.31 billion) over the next three years to cement leadership in the rechargeable battery industry and received assurance from the government for full support on the external and domestic front.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy met with the chief executives of LG Chem Ltd., Samsung SDI Co. and SK Innovation Co. along with leaders of secondary cell and other parts manufacturers at a battery industry conference on Friday.

“Rechargeable battery is a high-growth sector with massive impact on other related industries,” Trade Minister Paik Un-gyu said. “We need to develop innovative technologies in mid- and large-sized secondary cells to become a leading player in the global market.”

The three major battery makers said they would spend two trillion won to expand production facilities in response to theburgeoning electric car and energy storage system markets.

They pledged another 610 billion won in research and development to build more advanced batteries for electric vehicles.

The large-scale investment is likely to generate many quality jobs, in line with President Moon Jae-in’s campaign that has put job creation at the top of its economic agenda along with clean fuel energy policy.

The government said it would help local battery manufacturers cope with the recent spike in raw material prices and suspension of Chinese subsidies.

Korean battery makers received a blow in recent months when the Chinese government announced it would not subsidize electric cars powered with Korean batteries.

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Steady growth of the world’s market size for wearable devices

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryThe world market for wearable devices is expected to grow from 30 billion dollars in 2015 to 150 billion dollars in 2026.
Wearable devices are smart devices that are attached to the body in order to input, output and process information, such as smart watches, smart glasses and smart bands. It is a fusion technology industry that combines materials and parts such as semiconductors, sensors and displays with IoT, virtual/augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

Currently, the wearable device market is formed around accessories like smart watches, but in the future, experts predict that the devices will be attached to the body or implanted along with growth of VR/AR and health medical devices.

The Fusion device industry such as wearable devices is an industry that requires cooperation among departments more so than in any other field. So far, the Ministry of Science Technology Information and Communication and the Ministry of Industry have made efforts through cooperation for the development of the wearable devices industry. They have come up with ‘Future Growth Power – Industry Engine Comprehensive Implementation Plan’, ‘Manufacturing Industry Innovation 3.0 Strategy Implementation Policy’, ‘K-ICT Smart Device Promotion Measures’.

From the last year, they are working together for ‘Wearable Smart Device Core Parts and Element Technology Development Project’.

In relation to this, the Ministry of Science Technology Information and Communication and the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Resources will host ‘Wearable Device Technology Development Workshop’ at Yangjae L Tower on the 13th to examine and explain the current status of research and development in the wearable device industry and to strengthen cooperation between the two ministries.

At the workshop, recent wearable device trends and market forecasts will be shared. Technology development projects under the two ministries are divided into three sections, health medical, biometric data, and terminal, so that experts from these related fields may get together for in-depth discussions for future technology development cooperation measures.

During the discussions by sections, a total of five projects including ‘Development of Multiple Wearable Software Fusion Module and Application Platform to Support Integrated Management of Body Activities’ from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communication and a total of twelve projects including ‘Development of Core Technologies for Open Type Wearable Development Kit Applicable to Various Services’ from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will be shared among staffs for technology development status to discuss future commercialization and technology cooperation.

These two ministries have declared their common interest for the need to strengthen cooperation for the vitalization of wearable device industry through these workshops.

A government official declared that, “Even in the future, the two ministries plan to make efforts together not only for technology development, but also for personnel training and corporate support, to commonly utilize development results and promote commercialization continuously.”

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Samsung Elec Unveils World’s LargestCapacity V-NAND Chip and New SSD

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryThe world’s largest memory chip maker Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled its new Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory with the world’s biggest storage capacity of 1-Terabit (Tb) along with next-generation solid state drive (SSD) solutions.

At the Flash Memory Summit 2017 recently held at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center, Samsung Electronics presented its new 1-Tb V-NAND chip.

V-NAND is the flash memory technology used in data storage devices including mobile phones and digital cameras. The V-NAND in a stacked structure can provide higher single-die density than those with 2-dimensional (2D) cellarrays, and demand for it is growing rapidly along with rising applications of artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT).

The company said in a statement that with the new 1-Tb V-NAND chip that boasts twice larger storage capacity than the existing 512-Gigabit (Gb) chip, it is possible to construct2-Terabyte (TB) memory in a single V-NAND package by stacking 16 1Tb dies.

Considering that 1 Tb is equal to 128 GB, and a typical two-hour-long HD movie takes up 1.5 to 2 GB of memory capacity, about 60 to 70 movies can be stored in a single V-NAND chip.

 

 

Samsung aims to introduce the world’s largest-capacity SSD applying 1-Tb V-NAND memory technology next year. At the summit, Samsung Electronics also presented its new SSD technology, dubbed Next Generation Small Form Factor (NGSFF) SSD, which is expected to dramatically improve the memory storage capacity. With the new NGSFF SSD, four times larger memory storage capacity can be secured in the same server, so data centers and customers using the server can build more efficient system, according to Samsung, said Samsung. The company plans to begin mass producing it in the fourth quarter of this year.

An SSD is a storage device that can replace a hard disk drive (HDD). It uses high-speed memory semiconductors such as NAND flash memory or dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips for storage that ensure high processing speed, low heating and little noise.

<Source : KITA>

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Samsung Display Unveils 65-inch, Next-Generation Curved Display LCD

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySouth Korea’s Samsung Display Co. recently unveiled nextgeneration curved panels in liquid crystal display (LCD), pushing the rigid display technology to a new level as it has been quickly losing appeal against flexible OLED.

The company presented its 65-inch S-Curved LCD and 65-inch Curved Glass Light Guide Plate (LGP) at the 2nd Curved Forum held at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing, China.

The 65-inch S-Curved LCD is a next-generation display that bends all four sides including above and below. The center of the screen looks as if it is slightly dented, which the company says provides a more vivid viewing experience. The 65-inch curved glass LGP has also applied next-generation technology as it has an edge thickness of only 4.9 millimeters.

A spokesperson for Samsung Display said that a display product that is curved on both sides has already been commercialized in the market but it is the first type in LCD.

 

 

The 65-inch curved glass LGP with an edge thickness of 4.9 millimeters also provides improved light transmittance and thinner display as it replaces plastic light guide panel component that evenly disperses light within LCD with glass.

The spokesperson said that applying glass LGP to televisions provides improved image quality and also more flexible design for living space interior. Samsung Display, meanwhile, plans to enhance its partnership with major TV manufacturers including TCL Corporation and Hisense Co. in China, the world’s largest premium TV market, to boost the overall curved display market. The company is betting on curved products as core technology that will lead to new solutions in the LCD market that has shown sluggish growth recently.

<Source : KITA>

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Hanwha Techwin has released an industrial collaborative robot for the first time in Korea

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryNew markets for industrial collaborative robots have been steadily growing, as it is expected that the market for industrial collaborative robots, compared to the existing industrial robot market, will be the driving force to lead the growth of the industrial robot market, which is saturated in an early stage.

Regarding the already released industrial collaborative robots of global companies, there are UR3, UR5 and UR10 from Universal Robots, Baxter and Sawyer from Rethink Robotics Baxter, LBR iiwa from KUKA, Yumi from ABB, P-Rob from F7P Robotics and CR-35iA from Fanuc.

In March this year, Hanwha Techwin entered this market by releasing HCR-5, an industrial collaborative robot, for the first time in Korea. More companies are directly developing and implementing marketing by importing industrial collaborative robots of overseas brands by establishing a robot business department.

According to the definition by the ISO International Standards, the collaborative robot is an industrial robot fulfilling the collaborative operation conditions for humans and robots to work together in the same workspace. This is the definition that is strictly distinguished from cooperation among robots.

As in the definition of international standards, robots that can collaborate with humans should be obligatorily verified for their safety. Collaborative robots can work with humans side-by-side without a safety fence, according to the International Safety Technology Standard (ISO/TS 15066). These robots should be designed in such a way that the safety of humans should be secured if a robot makes contact with or collides with a human when the robot is actually operating.

In 2017, the Motion Control & Machine Vision Show, held in Hall 7 & 8 of the 2nd Exhibition Center of KINTEX located in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, from April 25 to April 27, a special corner for collaborative robots was established. Its popularity among visitors proved the high interest in collaborative robots.

In the special pavilion, people could examine industrial collaborative robots such as duAro from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. of Japan, UR series from Universal Robot exhibited by Visionsemicon Co., Ltd., and OUR-I (Open Unit Robot) from Smokie Robotics of the USA, exhibited by EOTech Co., Ltd.

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Expansion of the proportion of manpower of new industry from electric/autonomous vehicles to robots

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySince new technology leading the 4th Industrial Revolution is changing quickly and highly unreliable, the demand for future R&D/designing manpower in the field of new industry is rapidly increasing. It is expected that 380,000 new jobs will be created in 12 new industrial fields by 2025.

The number of workers in 12 new industries from electric/autonomous vehicles to smart ships, IoT home appliances, robots, bio health, aviation/drone, premium customer goods, energy new industry, new material, AR/VR, new-generation display, and new-generation semiconductors is predicted to increase by over 11.2% annually from 203,000 in 2015 to 362,000 in 2020 and 585,000 in 2025.

In particular, it is expected that the proportion of work of ‘industrial technical manpower’ possessing professionalism such as R&D/product quality verification/producing technology, etc., among the entire workforce, will increase exponentially from 40% in 2015 to 50% in 2025.

This means that work will be reorganized focusing on high-quality technical manpower with professionalism rather than supporting manpower such as clerical work/service work, according to changes of industrial structures and development of new technology in the era of the 4th industrial revolution. Accordingly, the government will constantly expand business education and training industrial manpower of practical business in accordance with demand from the industrial field.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy recently held an industry-university-institute expert meeting seeking ways to create jobs by promoting future promising new industry. The meeting was intended to mainly discuss job creation prospects and successful cases and difficulties regarding jobs in companies investing in new industry.

Representatives of companies investing in new industry such as big data, telemedicine, driverless vehicles, etc. who participated in the meeting emphasized the need for creating private sector jobs focusing on the industrial field, along with creating public sector jobs by the new government.

As it seems that most jobs (380,000 jobs) willl be created in 12 new industries which have a huge effect of job creation, it was requested that the government should try more, led by the ‘Job Committee,’’ to create an environment that companies can create more jobs. It was also requested that capable expert manpower, be trained to support the flexible transfer of manpower from other industries, expand infrastructure such as laws and systems and support new technology development (R&D) of the government and institutions.

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Kia Motors’ Niro Ranks 4th in U.S Hybrid Car Market in Feb. 2017

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryKia Motors Corp.’s compact hybrid sports utility vehicle (SUV), Niro, ranked fourth in the U.S. hybrid vehicle market based on sales within just a month of its release in America.
According to American hybrid car review website HybridCars.com, Kia’s Niro sold 2,143 units in January to rank the fourth in the U.S hybrid car market based on sales. Japan-based Toyota’s Prius topped the list with 5,418 units sold followed by Ford’s Fusion Hybrid with 4,939 units. Toyota’s RAV4 ranked the third by having sold 3,080 units. Kia’s Niro comprised 7.56 percent in America’s total hybrid car market.
Kia Niro’s quick success comes largely from its outstanding performance and design that were recognized internationally. The eco-friendly SUV sold a total of 50,407 units including 19,683 units at home and 30,722 units abroad until January this year to surpass the 50,000 unit milestone in just 10 months since its launch.
The automaker’s Super Bowl, the most beloved sports event in the USA, commercial for the all-new 2017 Niro crossover also has contributed to the hybrid SUV’s success, industry watchers said. Its TV commercial titled “Hero’s Journey” that aired in the third quarter of the big American football game was selected as the favorite in the 2017 YouTube AdBlitz championship and the 29th annual USA TODAY Ad Meter competition. It also recorded over 20 million views on the global video portal site YouTube.

<Source:KITA>

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Samsung Elec, SK Hynix to Boost 11%, 16% in Capex Spending This Year

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySouth Korean memory chipmakers Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc., which are the world’s largest two players in the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market will boost capital investment by 11 percent and 16 percent, respectively this year, buoyed by recovery in prices of mainstream memory and heated demand for nextgeneration memory to power high-performance computing and mobile devices, according to global market data provider IC Insights.
Samsung Electronics will top the Capex ranking with estimated spending of $12.5 billion, up 11 percent from last year. SK Hynix pledged $6 billion to ramp up capacity to meet burgeoning demand in 3D non-volatile storage (NAND) fl ash. They had cut spending by 13 percent and 14 percent, respectively, last year on the back of a weak DRAM market that ended up in a supply shortage and jump in DRAM prices toward the end of the year.
SK Hynix has already approved a budget for 7 trillion won spending largely to expand cleanroom space at the M14 fab in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province.
The world’s largest memory chipmaker is yet to announce its spending plans for this year. Samsung Electronics is building the world’s largest chipmaking compound in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul. From the latt er half, the facility will turn out NAND fl ash.

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