LG Display to add US$915 million to OLED panel line

2015_01_LGLG Display Co., a global panel maker, plans to spend an additional 1 trillion won (US$915 million) this year on its large-sized organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel production line in South Korea to meet growing demand, industry sources said Wednesday. LG Display has already spent 800 billion won on the OLED panel production line, which produces panels for TVs, the sources said. LG Display is told to have commenced production at the production line starting November 2014, but the detailed capacity has not yet been revealed.

The company aims to expand its monthly production of the eighth-generation OLED input sheets to 26,000 units at the line in Paju, just west of Seoul. When combined with its existing line, LG Display’s combined monthly production of OLED input sheets will reach 34,000 units, the sources said.

LG earlier said it will target the high-end TV market on the back of 77, 65 and 55-inch Ultra OLED models. The OLED technology, more advanced than LCD since it produces light without the backlight unit (BLU), is seen as the company’s future growth engine.

For full article, see Yonhap News.

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Samsung establishes product innovation team

Samsung Electronics has established a team to work on hi-tech innovative business projects, officials said Monday. Its core mission includes projects on virtual reality, robotic telepresence, drones and robots, three-dimensional (3D) printing and unmanned vehicles.”The team will explore how technologies could help people’s daily life for a better future,” an official said.
Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun will lead the team inside the mobile division.

The team, which has no direct links with the company structure and divisions, will operate independently. “Given the significance of the team, members will have more authority and independence because the main purpose of the team isn’t to develop single devices for any imminent results, but to develop solutions to go with Samsung’s manufacturing capabilities,” the official said.

For full article, see Korea Times.

Smartwatch war expected to intensify

2015_02_smartwatches
From top to bottom: Samsung Gear S, LG G Watch R, Apple Watch

The competition among Samsung, LG, Apple and other smartwatch makers is expected to intensify this year, industry watchers and analysts said Sunday. Samsung Electronics plans to unveil a new, round smartwatch, codenamed “Orbis,” at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 which takes place in Barcelona, Spain, next month. Consumers have already applauded the circular displays of the Moto 360 from Motorola and the G Watch R from LG Electronics, so it is no surprise that Samsung has been working on its own round watch, industry insiders said.

So far, Samsung’s 3 wrist watches ― the Gear, Gear 2, and Gear S ― were square-shaped, under the strict concept of smart device rather than traditional wrist watch. Orbis is a Latin word that has many meanings including circle. The project name gives a hint that the company’s next model will be circular.

For full article, see Korea Times.

Ministry to launch new online platform for college courses

The Korean Education Ministry said Tuesday it would launch its first state-run platform for Korean massive open online courses, dubbed K-MOOC, by the second half of this year. It is proposed to develop 20 pilot lectures within this year and gradually increase the number to 500 by 2018, according to the plan unveiled in Tuesday’s weekly Cabinet meeting. The ministry will also use existing lectures provided by Korea Open Course Ware, an e-learning service that provides video lectures and reference materials for higher education that was launched in 2007. As of December, 9,628 classes are provided by 183 colleges and universities across the country.

The government will be in charge of creating the platform, but individual colleges will maintain the respective courses they provide. People who complete the courses can receive certification. A majority of Korea’s top-tier colleges have shown interest in the 2.2 billion won ($2 million) project, according to a ministry official. The government has yet to finalize a plan to actually grant degrees or college credits for K-MOOC lectures.

For full article, see Korea Herald.

SKT, KT, LG U+ to invest US$ 6 billion in 5G, IoT

2015_02_korean telecomsThree Korean mobile carriers will make a full-scale investment this year in facilities for next-generation technologies for 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and GiGA Internet. According to industry sources on Feb. 5, three carriers announced that they will make a nearly 6.5 trillion won (US$6.0 billion) investment in facilities this year during their briefings on results for Q4 2014. SK Telecom is planning to do 2 trillion won (US$1.8 billion), KT 2.7 trillion won (US$2.5 billion), and LG U+ 1.7 trillion won (US$1.5 billion). Although KT’s investment in 2015 is expected to go up 7 percent from the previous year, the number for SKT and LG U+ is a year-on-year decline of 6.8 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

The total investments by the three carriers are projected to decrease this year, as they were around 7 trillion won in the past. The phenomenon is due to the fact that they do not heavily invest in LTE facilities anymore, following a rapid increase in investment over the last four years. In other words, competition between mobile carriers to build LTE networks nationwide, which started in 2011, is coming to an end.

For full article, see Business Korea.

Techology developed to make lighter, stronger, more flexible steel

The new type of steel (left) and titanium (right) on a scale.
The new type of steel (left) and titanium (right) on a scale.

A Korean research team has successfully developed a technique to produce a new type of steel that is 50 percent stronger, better processed, and much lighter than conventional steel used to make cars. A research team consisting of professors Kim Nak-joon and Kim Han-soo from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) announced on Feb. 4 that they have succeeded in developing a technique to make strong, light, and flexible steel, which is second only to titanium. It was done so by adding aluminum to iron and controlling the crystal structure formed.

So far, many studies have been conducted in the global auto industry to lower the weight and augment the strength of steel by alloying it with aluminum in order to increase mileage. However, an increase in the amount of aluminum weakens the structural strength of the resulting alloy, and it shears easily rather than bend. To address the problem, the research team was able to develop a technique that enabled them to make an alloy with a small enough amount of aluminum that it did not break easily. They were also able to evenly distribute the aluminum throughout the structure of the alloy using the method.

For full article, see Business Korea.

Computers can now imagine narration and dialogue based on video

A video segment inspires this computer program to create a sentence of narration based on what happens.
A video segment inspires this computer program to create a sentence of narration based on what happens.

Korean research team announced on Feb. 3 that they have successfully developed an imaginative computer program that can acquire information contained in videos and make up words or dialogue suitable for each scene shown on the screen. A research team headed by Jang Byung-tak, professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Seoul National University, entered the 1,232 minute long Korean animation Pororo into the computer program. They found that the program was able to teach itself to recognize scenes, lines, stories, and characters using associative memory that resembles a human brain’s neural network.

After entering specific scenes, the program can create dialogues appropriate for each character. The dialogues may differ from the original ones. It is also possible to see different versions created depending on whether 100 minutes or 10,000 minutes of the cartoon are entered into the program. The phenomenon is attributable to the possibility that the nature of characters may change as time goes by.

For full article, see Business Korea.

Samsung to mass-produce healthcare device chips

2013_08_samsung_officeA senior executive at Samsung Electronics said Wednesday that it plans to mass-produce chips to be used in various healthcare devices within the next three years. “Samsung is in the process of developing chips to be used in wearable devices. We aim to mass-produce such chips in the next two or three years,” said E.S. Jung, executive vice president of the firm’s semiconductor research center. He made the remarks in a keynote speech at the SEMICON Korea conference in the COEX Convention Center, southern Seoul.He said memory chips will play critical role in the Internet of Things (IoT) as every single product from leading manufacturers will be connected.

Samsung Electronics has said that all its appliances will be connected by 2020.
“Samsung is looking toward wearable memory chips,” Jung said. The company is betting on healthcare, and is collaborating with IBM, Microsoft and SAP to put their health platforms on Samsung devices. Jung said semiconductors are the basis of its healthcare products.

For full article, see Korea Times.

Samsung puts priority on IoT

Yoon Boo-keun, Samsung Electronics' consumer electronics division president. Source: Yonhap News.
Yoon Boo-keun, Samsung Electronics’ consumer electronics division president. Source: Yonhap News.

Samsung Electronics said Tuesday a new order prevails in the global consumer electronics industry with the Internet of Things (IoT) leading the way, prompting it to search for new business opportunities in the field. “There’s no question that IoT is the next key driver for Samsung,” Samsung Electronics co-CEO Yoon Boo-keun said at a news conference in Seoul. Yoon said Samsung wants IoT to be totally open. “By 2020, every single product that Samsung sells will be connected,” he said. He said IoT will significantly change everyone’s life and Samsung is positioned to become a leader in a more connected era.”Samsung aims to closely collaborate with industries to really make IoT happen. We will continue pursuing a human-centric business philosophy,” he said.

He made the remarks at an event to unveil new home appliances at the company’s Secho Tower in southern Seoul. Yoon said consumes are embracing IoT, which will be relevant across all segments from industry to wearables, smart homes, cars and more, with multiple devices from different parts of people’s lives being connected.

For full article, see Korea Times.