A 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.
A Korean developed battery that can be recharged using body heat has won a Netexplo Award, Unesco’s list of the top 10 digital innovations of the year, the organization said Thursday. A research team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) led by electrical engineering Prof. Cho Byung-jin demonstrated the technology in April.
Netexplo Awards are given annually to tech inventions worldwide that have had a major influence on human lives in areas such as energy, environment and education. About 200 IT experts vote to pick 10 winners.
The battery, which Kaist said can be installed in a wearable device, is the first of its kind that recharges automatically when worn. The battery is made of fiberglass with a thin piece of thermoelectric film and must be attached to the part of the wearable that comes in contact with skin. It can be used in pedometers or smartwatches. After the battery is removed from the heat source, on a simple activity tracker, the Kaist battery will last twice as long as batteries that are currently used. But in a smartwatch, which has a larger display and more functions, the Kaist battery will last up to 30 percent longer once it is not being worn.
Samsung Electronics is ready to soon market its “one-chip” solution in a bid to snatch the lead in the next generation of wearable and flexible devices. “In September, we started to mass produce the one-chip, which is a combination of the AP and modem chips. We believe the chips will be fitted into actual devices in the near future,” said Woo Nam-sung, head of Samsung Electronics System LSI unit at Samsung’s investor relations session last week.
The name of the one-chip will be “ModAP,” a term combining the words modem and AP to indicate that both the application processor and modem capabilities are offered on a single chip. Once the ModAP chips become commercialized ― Samsung has yet to say when ― it will have significant repercussions throughout the industry and at Samsung, experts say.
“In the short term, the chip would help cut costs, but in the longer term, it’s going to help Samsung prepare for the next generation device battle that will inevitably involve wearable devices and truly flexibly displays,” said Noh Geun-chang, a senior analyst for HMC Securities. Samsung’s biggest mistake in the device war was allowing Apple to take the lead in smartphones. The Korean tech giant is determined not to be outdone this time.