Chinese makers also made a foray into the 8K TV market

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryTCL, the world’s third-largest TV manufacturer, announced that it would launch an 8K TV next year. It is said that Haier, Changhong, and Hisense have already completed the development of 8K TVs and are pondering when to launch them. The TV industry expects that they will take the wraps off commercial products early next year and launch them within next year.
Sharp, which launched the world’s first 8K TV, plans to launch a second-generation 8K TV this month.
If 8K TV models increase beginning next year, they will compete in terms of various points such as image quality chips, display types, and sizes.
Samsung Electronics uses the Quantum Processor 8K, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based image quality upgrade chip, as its competitive edge. Because of a lack of 8K TV contents, the image quality upgrade function will be the factor that determines the quality of the contents.
“The Quantum Processor 8K is about one year ahead of its competitors’ chips,” a Samsung Electronics official said. “We will continue to take the lead with our competitiveness in QLED 8K core technology.”
LG Electronics is highlighting OLED displays as a strong point. OLED displays are currently receiving the highest evaluation in the premium TV market, so a change will occur in the competition if 8K OLED TVs come out.
The outlook on the 8K TV market is bright. Market researcher IHS Markit predicted that the 8K TV market would grow from less than 20,000 units in 2018 to 430,000 units in 2019 and two million units in 2020. It was forecasted that the TV market would change with a focus on 60-inch or larger TVs.
The TV makers’ shift of focus to 8K TVs may be good news for the display industry too. This is because the green light has been given to the expansion of 8K panels, which are somewhat expensive, and demand for large-sized panels is expected to grow.

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Next Year Will See War Among 8K TVs

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryPremium TV competition will move from 4K TVs to 8K TVs. Next year, global TV makers plan to release 8K TVs one after another. It is forecasted that they will compete in terms of size, display systems, and picture quality chips.
According to recent industry sources, major TV manufacturers such as LG Electronics, TCL, and Haier plan to launch 8K TVs next year.
So far, only Samsung Electronics and Sharp have launched 8K TVs. If other manufacturers join the trend, consumer interest in the 8K TV market will increase significantly.
LG Electronics is planning to take the wraps off an 8K TV with an organic light emitting diode (OLED) panel in June of next year. The LG 8K OLED TV unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show (IFA) 2018 in Berlin, Germany for the first time in the world and will be released next year. Earlier, LG Display announced that it would start producing 8K OLED panels in May next year.
“Standard technology for 8K TVs has not yet been decided, so we have no plan to release it in a hurry,” said an official at LG Electronics. “We showed that we were ready to launch an 8K OLED TV ready through the IFA and will release the product in June next year.”

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Forecasts say that the Memory semiconductor market will continue growing, and NAND DRAM fiashes will maintain oligopoly in the market next year

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryThe memory semiconductor market, such as the DRAM and NAND flashes, will continue to expand next year with the expansion of their applications into AI, big data, the IoT, smart cities, smart homes, smartphones, servers, and cloud computing among others.
Memory semiconductors are largely classified into ROMs (Read Only Memories) and RAM (Random Access Memories). ROMs include EEP ROMs, EP ROMs, flash memories, and P ROMs. RAMs include SRAMs, SD RAMs, M RAMs, and DRAMs.
“Many experts forecast that the memory semiconductor market is expected to grow steadily next year,” said Jang Jun-duk, a researcher at SK Hynix in the Seminar on Semiconductor Market Forecast, held at the COEX Conference Room, held jointly by the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association and the Korea Semiconductor Research Cooperative. “The NAND market has been growing rapidly since 1970, but is highly unlikely to fall to the previous level. Thus, the market will continue to grow next year as it has done this year,”
“The DRAM market has been dominated by Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and Micron, and their oligopoly is continuing,” researcher Jang said. “The memory semiconductor market will be at US$100 billion for DRAMs and US$60 billion for NANDs next year,” he said.
“Most market research organizations such as the IDC, IHS, Gartner, and Goldman Sachs have lowered their forecasts on DRAMs and NANDs to 2% and 3%, respectively. But, they do not expect prices to slide more significantly than the B/G price,” researcher Jang added.

 


Observing B/G projections adjusted by organizations in 2019, DRAMs are expected to grow 20% and NANDs 40% on average.
“Memory semiconductors passed a period of volatility of rapid growth and downturn centered on PCs in the 1990s and early 2000s and underwent supplier oligopoly, then their applications were diversified into smartphones, servers, and cloud computing. Since the 2000s, the volatility has weakened and the market has matured,” researcher Jang said.
“Accordingly, the memory market has focused on productivity improvement rather than building new fab facilities, and new fab facility construction has sharply decreased since 2010. Most of the newly built fabs are NAND or hybrid fabs,” researcher Jang added.

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Samsung leading in the U.S. premium super-large TV market, with 57% of market share for 75-inch or larger

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySamsung Electronics established its ‘sole leading position’ in the U.S. TV market. In the super-large premium TV market, especially, the company extended its lead ahead of 2nd and 3rd runners. The company aims to strengthen its lead by launching QLED 8K TV in the U.S. market in this month.
According to the U.S. market investigation agency’s recent report, Samsung Electronics recorded a 34% share in the U.S. TV market by this August. This figure is more than twice of runners-up LG Electronics (15%), Visio, and Sony (11% for each).
Samsung Electronics widened the gap more, taking almost half of market share in US$2,500 or higher premium TVs.
Samsung Electronics recorded 44% from January to August in this year for 75-inch or larger TV market, which is way above Sony who recorded 33% and LG Electronics who recorded 23%.
Compared to the market share of the same period last year of 27%, the figure was increased by 17% within just a year. More recently, this upward trend of market share has grown higher.
The US$2,500 or higher TV market share was 56%, more than half, in the 3rd week (16~22) of September. The company recorded 57% market share from January to August in this year for the 75-inch or larger TV market. This leads runner-up Sony (25%) by more than double. Compared to the market share of the same period last year of 43%, the figure was increased by 14%. The share for the 3rd week of September this year was 69%, which showed a bigger gap with Sony who took 17%. The company’s market share is upwardly trending in the North American super-large TV market.
Samsung Electronics pointed out that dramatically improving the awareness of QLED TV through various online and offline marketing activities with distribution channels contributed to its market share expansion in the U.S. TV market. It is considered that strategic expansion of its super-large highdefinition lineup had a noticeable effect.
Samsung Electronics expects to compete strongly in the U.S. market for the 4th quarter of this year as well, focusing on premium super larger TV. From October, the company will also launch QLED 8K TV in the USA. Samsung Electronics’ QLED 8K TV features converting even low resolution contents to 8K level high-definition by adopting artificial intelligence (AI) upscaling technology. Because the product lineup is composed of 65-inch up to 85-inch, it is expected that targeting the super-large TV market would be expanded.
A spokesperson for Samsung Electronics declared that “Due to the good publicity in the premium super-large TV market, market share is expanding in the U.S. market.” He added, “We may also expand into the 8K market early while launching QLED 8K TV in the USA.”

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SK D&D, Starting to Make Inroads into the Solar-connected ESS

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySK D&D, a developer of the industrial ESS, will make inroads into the solar-connected ESS. SK D&D has installed and is operating a total of 239MWh of ESS now at 12 sites and will come to commercially operate a total of 408MWh including seven sites additionally contracted. SK D&D plans to secure its position as an ESS developer with a total of 800MWh scale by establishing 600MWh of the industrial ESS and 200MWh of the solar-connected ESS by the end of this year.
Beginning with the photovoltaic power plant (13.3MW) at Jeollanam-do Yeongam F1 grand prix track in 2012, SK D&D has successfully developed and constructed the photovoltaic power generation system, which is installed in the Daegu Sewage Treatment Plant (7.7MW) and Suncheon Sewage Treatment Plant (1MW), respectively.
A related party of SK D&D said, “Based on our experience of longstanding development competence of photovoltaic power plants and experiences of ESS construction & operation, we are providing our customers with a total solution of design, purchase, construction, stable operation and maintenance of 15 years for ESS connected to the photovoltaic power plant.”
He added, “It is difficult to obtain licenses for the photovoltaic power plant due to difficulty in land acquisition or development and projects are delayed frequently on account of civil complaints. However, solar-connected ESS has advantages of reduced licensing period as a small site is utilized within the photovoltaic development site and there are almost no civil complaints.”
As the government grants the new and regenerated energy supply certificate (REC) weight of 5.0 to the solar-connected ESS by the end of 2019, the business owner can secure the profitability stably through this.
In case of the solar-connected ESS developed by SK D&D, Gridwiz will be in charge of installation and operation of PMS (Power Management System), which is key to ESS operation. After concluding a Memorandum of Understanding with SK D&D last year for jointly carrying forward the ESS business, Gridwiz installs and operates PMS for industrial ESS.
According to SK D&D, the relevant solarconnected PMS is designed with a special algorithm that can control charge/discharge in accordance with the characteristics of highly volatile renewable energy.
In addition, SK D&D operates the ESS situation room around the clock, responds immediately to abnormal situations through real-time monitoring, and manages the ESS to maintain the best performance at all times. Kim Haejung, Executive Director of SK D&D in charge of Eco Green, explained, “The market for ESS connected to new and renewable energy is expected to expand in earnest in accordance with the 3020 Policy on Renewable Energy, and we will contribute to expanding supply of ESS which is the core of decentralized power generation.”

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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Changing its Strategy for Mid-range and Low-end Phones

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySamsung Electronics plans to modify its midrange and low-end smartphone strategy, preloading the advanced technology on the mid-range and low-end smartphone including the Galaxy A series and expanding the release of new models.

This means Samsung will apply radical reform and innovation in all fields of smartphone including production, technology development and marketing, and significant changes in strategy of Samsung’s smartphone are thus expected.

Koh Dongjin, President of Samsung’s IT & Mobile Business, said in an interview with CNBC of the United States, “We plan to show new technology and differentiated products starting from the midrange and low-end smartphones. We will introduce mid-range and lower-end smartphones broader than existing ones by working out a new strategy.” President Koh announced that he would apply a mid-range and low-end smartphone strategy different from the conventional one even after the release of Galaxy Note 9 last month.

Samsung’s plan is based on the phenomenon that the premium smartphone market remains sluggish, such as the prolonged flagship model replacement cycle, while the demand for mid-range and low-end phones is growing, particularly in emerging markets. In addition, it seems that Samsung has a willingness to pre-empt the Chinese makers, such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, etc., from expanding their positions in the market of mid-range and low-end phones.
Samsung Electronics has loaded the cutting-edge technologies to its mid-range and low-end smartphones like the Galaxy A series and plans to release new products incorporated with such technologies within the year. In the past, Samsung introduced new technologies to premium smartphones and then expanded them to mid-range and low-end products. However, it will now apply the ‘differentiated technologies’ to the midrange and low-end phones.

As the first case of applying the ‘two-track strategy of new technologies’ to its Galaxy smartphones, Samsung Electronics is expected to differentiate its core technologies by preloading the in-display fingerprint sensor to the Galaxy S10, and triple cameras to the Galaxy A (2019) series, respectively.

It is expected that supply expansion and product diversification of the midrange and low-end smartphone will soon move into high gear when Samsung releases the mid-range and low-end smartphones equipped with customized special functions by market.

In addition to modifying its mid-range and low-end phone strategy, Samsung Electronics has also made clear its target customers. President Koh said, “The strategy organization for mid-range and low-end smartphones will have a positive impact on targeting the millennium generation (the generation born in the 1980s to early 2000s).

Samsung’s plan is based on the awareness that it needs to differentiate itself with mid-range and low-end phones for the millennial generation which feels burdened in purchasing flagship smartphones. Samsung’s strategic move is to lead a potential premium audience from a long-term perspective.
Samsung Electronics intends to actively target the emerging markets with high demand, such as China, India, Latin America, Southeast Asia, etc., by increasing the differentiated mid-range and low-end smartphones. Samsung’s plan is to discover and lead new trends and demands.

In this context, Samsung Electronics reveals its determination to continuously compete with Apple in the premium smartphone market, while also competing with Chinese makers in the mid-range and low-end phone market.

CNBC and other foreign media evaluated that Samsung Electronics revised its mid-range and low-end phone strategy in order to cope with the sluggish global smartphone market.

They added that Samsung’s intention was to reorganize the structure with the ‘demand competition’ centered on mid-range and low-end smartphones, while avoiding ‘profit competition’ depending on the premium smartphones.

President Koh suggested that Samsung had prepared for a strategic change long before, saying “We made significant changes in our mobile R&D organization earlier this year before modifying the strategy on mid-range and low-end smartphones.”

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Samsung Elec Pledges $116bn CAPEX in Korea over the Next Three Years

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySamsung Group’s flagship Samsung Electronics on Wednesday pledged 180 trillion won ($160.7 billion) in capital expenditure – including 130 trillion won in Korea – in its mainstay semiconductor operation as well as new growths of artificial intelligence, automated and connected technologies, and bioengineering over the next three years to help create 700,000 jobs.
The ambitious plan including direct hiring of 40,000 comes as facility investment this year has been in the longest slump in 18 years while job additions are at their worst in a decade to prompt the liberal government known to be hostile toward chaebols to ask for more hiring and investment from the country’s richest and one of the world’s biggest technology companies.
“We have decided to boost new investment and hiring to help revitalize the economy and promote new industries,” the company said in a statement.
Of the total investment, 72 percent or 130 trillion won will be spent in the country, which will have the effect of creating up to 700,000 new jobs.
The spending would amount to 43 trillion won annually, about the same level of Samsung Electronics’ record 43.4 trillion won spending last year – which was the largest-ever annual spending for any publicly trading company in 2017 – after finishing its best-ever year due to the memory chip boom.


The bulk will go to uphold its competitive edge in chips and displays. About 25 trillion won will be spent on new growth areas of artificial intelligence, 5G connection, biopharmaceutical, and automotive electronics.
It will increase payroll by 40,000 over the next three years, nearly doubling from the original plan of 20,000 to 25,000.
The company also pledged to help create a socalled innovative ecosystem by sharing innovative capacity through training opportunities to 10,000 young job seekers over the next five years. It will sponsor 500 venture projects.
Samsung also plans to create a 110 billion won fund with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups over the next five years to help transform manufacturing facilities of 2,500 small and mid-size companies into smart ones and help them advance into other markets at home and abroad. This plan will help create about 15,000 new jobs.

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Samsung SDI and LG Chemicals, Leading Korea’s Global Advance as a Great Power in the ESS Field

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiry

Global ESS Market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 45% through 2025.

Global ESS market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 45% through 2025. As well as the growth rate, the ESS market is anticipated to rapidly grow into a meaningful market for battery makers with a capacity of 17.3GWh and US$4.2 billion in value.
Korea’s ESS market grew from 265MWh in 2016 to 1.2GWh in 2017 with strong policy support, such as strengthening incentives for the ESS-exclusive rate system and weighting five times of REC (Renewable Energy Certification) to ESS linked with renewable energy and, in 2018, will grow almost four-fold to 4.7Gwh. This means Korea will account for almost 50% of the global ESS market.
Korea has the experience of having already contributed to the expansion of the global market even in the ESS market, which replaces the frequency regulation reserve. Korea is expected to contribute to expansion of the global market in the peak-control ESS market or the ESS market linked with renewable energy.
Unlike the forecast of the market research institutes, Korea’s ESS market is expected to grow continuously in 2019 to some extent following the substantial growth in 2018. However, the incentive enhancement of the ESS-exclusive rate system, which is the current growth engine of Korea’s ESS market growth, is scheduled to terminate at the end of 2020. That is to say, even if ESS is installed in 2019, payback can be only on a five-year level, and in case the ESS price drops lower than the current price by 10~15%, it may be reduced to the four-year level. Therefore, sufficient economic feasibility can be secured.
In addition, if you install the ESS linked with renewable energy by 2019, you can receive five times REC weight. As the weight will be reduced four-fold after 2020, the installation demand can increase greatly before the weight goes down. This is because IRR (Internal Rate of Return) will drop by at least 4.0% point if the weight goes down four-fold.
The ESS linked with renewable energy has the highest REC sensitivity. REC price is expected to rise due to change of the REC weight following the recent RPS policy. In other words, it is forecast that the expected profitability of the ESS project will likely become considerably stable and the investment will be able to be boosted accordingly.
The recent growth of the domestic ESS market has been driven mainly by the installation of ESS based on the exclusive rate system. Among them, most of the markets are those where the companies with high electric power demand invest directly in their own funds. However, in the future, it is expected that PEF will be able to contribute to market expansion through investment in the commercial buildings, etc., based on the profitability of ESS so far.
Researcher Lee Hak-mu of Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., Ltd. commented, “The biggest beneficiaries of the faster than expected ESS market growth are Samsung SDI and LG Chem, two leading Korean battery makers.”
This researcher forecasts that Samsung SDI will record KRW1.4 billion in sales of mid- to large-sized batteries for ESS in 2018, growing almost three-fold compared with the previous year. The contribution to sales is about 16%, and the operating profit contribution is 34%. Samsung SDI uses ESS lines mixed with EV lines, making it easy to respond to rapidly growing customer demand and possible to improve profitability by increasing the rate of operation of mid- to large-sized batteries.
LG Chem is also a global top-tier battery maker and has been maintaining good relations with major customers in the United States and Europe, thereby expecting to benefit from the growth of the ESS market in the future.

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Another Speed Battle for ‘Securing the 5G Technology’ in the Wired Communications Equipment Industry

https://korean-electronics.com//inquiryWired communications equipment makers have begun to secure fifth-generation (5G) communications technology. It is a strategy to prepare for advancement of the wired network which will support mobile communications infrastructure such as base stations, etc. It is
expected that they will start tests such as interworking with communications companies as early as the latter half of this year.
Dasan Networks and Ubiquoss Inc. will accelerate the development of 5G wired communications equipment. Dasan Networks plans to commercialize its TSN (Time Sensitive Network) technology. TSN realizes ultra-low latency communications, a core service of 5G, by enhancing the accuracy of packet transmission time. They plan to mount the virtual network functions (VNF) on the switch and router equipment for realizing ultra-high- speed data transmission and 5G service.
Ubiquoss Inc. responds to the 5G communications market by enhancement of its software defined network (SDN) technology, which maximized the network operation efficiency by separating software and hardware. It also started developing the access network backhaul equipment that supports the 5G communications to the subscriber unit.
Considering the characteristics of communications equipment, which is essential for interworking with the communications network, they carry forward equipment development cooperation and network interworking test with mobile communications companies. It is expected that verification of equipment compatibility and performance will begin in earnest from the second half of the year when communications companies will start to invest in 5G communications facilities. As communications equipment is not completed simply with a product development but it has to be linked with communications network to guarantee performance, commercialization of wired communications equipment is expected to be completed in line with facilities investment time of communications companies. As the time for investing in 5G communications equipment is imminent, technological development of wired communications equipment makers is expected to accelerate.
Successive 5G technology developments of wired communications equipment makers should be preceded by advancement of infrastructure for 5G communications at the wired network stage. Construction of 5G communications facilities is concentrated on wireless communications equipment such as base stations and repeaters. However, unless supported by a wired network, 5G services such as ultra-high-speed and ultra-low latency are virtually impossible. This means that it is essential to replace and upgrade the wired network equipment to process large amounts of data quickly.
The differentiation strategy from foreignequipment makers that started the advanced development of 5G wired communications equipment is a problem waiting to be solved. Foreign equipment makers such as Cisco, Nokia, and Huawei have secured a portfolio of 5G wired communications equipment and solutions for several years. As foreign equipment makers have made a massive investment in R&D and manpower, it is generally accepted that their equipment performance is more advanced. Price competition with Chinese telecom equipment makers such as Huawei is inevitable.
An official in the communications equipment industry explains, “Domestic wired communications equipment makers should find ways to survive between the technological prowess of Cisco and Nokia and the price competitiveness of Huawei. They should find ways to differentiate themselves, such as development of 5G equipment optimized for the domestic communications infrastructure market, etc.”

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Super Boom of Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor (MLCC) is Continuing

https://korean-electronics.com//inquirySuper boom of MLCC makes major companies feel happy. Earnings and share prices continue their rising streak. The prospects for future demand are also bright due to price increases continued from last year. The industry expects the MLCC boom will continue at least until 2020.
According to the recent analysis of the securities industry, the operating profit consensus of Samsung Electro-Mechanics is expected be KRW746.3 billion this year, considerably surpassing KRW464 billion of year 2013 which was the biggest of all time. Samsung has already recorded the earnings surprise with its first-quarter sales of KRW2,018.8 billion and operating profit of KRW154 billion, increased by 28.5% and 503.0% respectively, compared with the same period of the previous year. Samsung Electro- Mechanics is No. 2 in the global MLCC market following Murata of Japan.
Samhwa Capacitor Co., Ltd. is also expected to experience its earnings surprise in the first quarter. Last quarter, sales were KRW52.2 billion and operating profit was KRW11.7 billion, increased by 18% and 171.3% respectively, compared with the previous year, thereby being expected to record an all-time high.
Daejoo Electronic Materials, which exclusively supplies the electrode paste for MLCC to Samsung Electro-Mechanics, is expected to recover sales of KRW100 billion this year. Daejoo Electronic Materials exclusively supplies copper paste, a core material used for forming the external electrode of MLCC, to Samsung Electro-Mechanics. This year, they expect sales of KRW30 billion in the MLCC conductive materials business only by adding sales of additives.
Cosmo AM&T Co., Ltd., which produces release films for MLCC, is forecast to renew its record-high earnings this year. As the demand of release film used in MLCC production increases in proportionto MLCC, its market outlook is bright. Cosmo AM&T Co., Ltd. recently expanded the production line for release film, thereby expanding its production capacity from 25 million m2 to 40 million m2 per month. The securities market expects sales of release films of about KRW 100 billion won this year, nearly 50% higher than last year.


MLCC, called “the rice of the electronics industry,” is an essential general-purpose product that allows electronic products to operate normally by storing electricity and then transmitting as much current as necessary. The number of MLCCs in a single smartphone is as many as 800 to 1000. As the era of electric cars and autonomous vehicles opens, the number of MLCCs required in a car is expected to reach 12,000 to 15,000. The unit price of MLCC for electric field is four times as high as that for IT. The upward movement in price continues as demand is rapidly increasing while supply is limited.
Dong-won Kim, a KE Securities researcher, explains, “The recent MLCC industry is very similar to the DRAM market, where oligopoly supply systems and new demand are expanded into the electronics field, resulting in the continuous price rise. The global MLCC market is expected to grow rapidly from KRW8 trillion this year to KRW14 trillion, grown by 75%, in three years.

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