The Queensland government today squeezed in before a self-imposed deadline to offer real-time tracking to bus travellers across the Sunshine Coast, announcing the GPS technology would be available from today. The cash-strapped state in October signed a deal with Cubic Transportation Systems to expand a limited two-year trial of real-time arrival data. The government had previously opted against a wider rollout over cost issues.
TOKYO: Scientists in Japan have developed a sticky sheet of tiny sensors that can be put directly on moving joints, beating hearts or other living tissues. The invention opens up the possibility of implanting almost unnoticeable sensors inside the body, letting doctors keep a close eye on a dodgy heart, for example. “Just by applying to the body like a compress, our novel sheet sensor detects biometric information extremely accurately,” researchers at the University of Tokyo said in a statement on Friday (Dec 19).
Demand for 8-inch fab tools, particularly used equipment, has risen significantly, as foundries are gearing up for their 8-inch fab expansion to grasp the rising IoT opportunity, according to industry sources. Demand for 8-inch wafer capacity has been strong in 2014, buoyed by demand for LCD driver ICs, fingerprint identification sensors, power management (PWM) IC, MEMS devices and MCUs for IoT applications, said the sources.
Qualcomm will contract both Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to manufacture its 1Xnm chips, whereas MediaTek is also likely to have more than one foundry build its high-end solutions in 2015, according to industry watchers. Judging from tight wafer production capacity and persistent high foundry costs in 2014, Qualcomm, MediaTek and other IC vendors will be eager to look for multiple foundry partners in 2015 as their shipments and performance are likely to be affected by TSMC’s supply capacity due to its dominance in the foundry industry, said the sources.
China-based IC foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) is looking to expand production capacity at its 8-inch wafer fab in Shenzhen, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics (UMC) both plan to build additional capacity at their 8-inch fabs in China, according to company sources.
KVH Co. Ltd., Asia’s leading Information Delivery Platform headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and Japan Exchange Group (JPX), the world’s third largest exchange group, today announced a strategic partnership to offer arrownet-Global targeting global participants looking to access JPX’s trading venues in Tokyo from key and emerging markets in Asia, Europe and the US. KVH has been focusing on the capital markets sector since its inception and has a proven track record in providing critical network infrastructure to Japanese exchanges, including Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), Osaka Exchange (OSE) and other key venues, ,,
Wang Juan, chief editor of Tencent’s video business, announced that Tencent is preparing its over-the-top content plans for 2015 by cooperating with license owners and hardware manufacturers. Wang said Internet TV in China is a regulatory focus of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China because smart TVs will become a mainstream platform for video distribution in China.
Public Transport Victoria is set to release long-awaited real-time arrival APIs for the state’s buses and trams by March 2015, meaning Victorian commuters should soon be able to rely on GPS-based arrival information rather than a static timetable. The transport authority is planning to hand over the information to developers via a series of ‘hackathon’ events in Melbourne promoting the data release. It has set itself a target of fostering at least three new or “significantly improved” digital products before 31 May.
Globalfoundries is striving to be among the major contract chipmakers of Qualcomm and Apple, vying for 14nm chip orders from the two vendors, according to industry sources. Globalfoundries has successfully obtained 14nm chip orders from AMD, previously the parent company of the foundry, said the sources. AMD also has 20nm and 28nm chips made at Globalfoundries.
About 12,000 buses in Beijing have completed their Wi-Fi network card upgrades and opened services to all travelers in the nation’s capital. Wireless network bandwidth on the buses can reach 50M per second and the Wi-Fi network on a single bus can be used by at least 40 people at the same time. By accessing the hot spot named “16WiFi”, passengers will be redirected to a website to download a Wi-Fi client.
The next time travelers board an airline in China, they may expect more than just the Chinese government and airline companies to have access to private information as a recently discovered exploit may give flyers more indigestion than an inflight meal. Wooyun.org, a Chinese loophole reporting platform for security manufacturers and researchers, published a loophole in the system of China Eastern Airlines which may cause leaks of customer data to hackers and thieves. According to the platform’s information desk, the hazard rating was high for this exploit.
American semiconductor company Qualcomm recently confirmed that they will sell their Mirasol panel plant in Longtan, Taiwan, to Taiwanese local foundry TSMC. Mirasol panel manufacturing was a business under Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, and it was once considered a breakthrough LCD panel product. However, the related business expansion was not smooth. Early in 2012, the Mirasol panel plant reportedly halted production.
TAIPEI–Google Inc. launched its Chromecast device in Taiwan Thursday, enabling local consumers to beam media content such as movies, music and sports from mobile devices or laptops to a television screen. Google has now launched Chromecast in 24 markets, including Taiwan. The device is priced locally at NT$1,390 (US$44.6) through stores operated by Chunghwa Telecom Co. and Web portal PChome’s online shopping site.
The global IC foundry market is forecast to increase 12% in 2015, outpacing the overall semiconductor sector’s 5% growth, said TSMC’s co-CEO Mark Liu at the company’s 14th annual Supply Chain Management forum held December 4. TSMC is confident that it will continue to outperform the global IC foundry market in 2015, Liu indicated. For 2014, TSMC has predicted the global IC foundry market will log a 14% increase while the overall semiconductor market is set to grow by a smaller 9%.
NAND flash chip controller maker Phison Electronics has seen its sales grow robustly in 2014. And under the leadership of its chairman Khein-Seng Pua, the company has initiated a restructuring plan, dubbed “Phison 2.0″ that will drive it to focus on SSD products for sustainable growth.
SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (“SIMI”) and GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd (“GrabTaxi”) today announced a definitive agreement under which SoftBank Corp. will invest US$250 million in GrabTaxi, making it the largest investor in GrabTaxi. Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi has grown to become the largest and most widely used mobile taxi booking application provider in Southeast Asia.
Nearly five months after the initial tie-up in Singapore, today WeChat and EasyTaxi announced that its partnership is rolling out to Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Starting today, WeChat users in those three countries can flag a taxi inside the messaging app. People can do this by adding EasyTaxi’s official WeChat account inside the chat app (Malaysia: easytaximy; Thailand: EasyTaxiThailand; the Philippines: EasyTaxi_PH).
BEIJING: The founders of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd were among a consortium of investors who purchased stakes in Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd in a HK$36.5bil (RM16.15bil) deal, in one of the largest Hong Kong share offerings of the year. Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma was one of Ping An’s new backers, according to a person familiar with the matter. Tencent chairman Pony Ma also participated, according to domestic financial news magazine Caijing.
SINGAPORE–Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC will buy IndCor Properties, one of the biggest industrial landlords in the United States, from parent firm Blackstone for a whopping US$8.1 billion, the companies said Tuesday. Blackstone said in a statement posted on its website that the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. It said that as a result of the transaction, Chicago-based IndCor will no longer be pursuing an initial public offering.
If China’s top Internet search engine controls Chinese literature the way it delivers Internet search results, be prepared for Baidu.com to censor, misrepresent, and deliver books to Chinese readers in a way only a book-burner could love. Baidu is now extending its government-influenced Internet monopoly into the Chinese literature sector. Baidu Literature announced its establishment and revealed a complete structure covering several sub-brands like Zongheng.com, 91 Panda Book, and Baidu Shucheng.