Yet at the back of our mind has been the question of who will be the first to launch 4K touch-screen smartphones and tablets?
One of the market leaders – Apple, Samsung, LG? Or will it be a startup such as Xiaomi? And when will they launch? And, what will the impact be on the amount of 4K content as a result of the ready availability of 4K smartphones and tablets? And how will that impact the sales of UHD TVs, all of which increases the demand for faster broadband and home networking?
Synaptics, which makes technology called “display driver integrated circuits” (DDIC) for such things as touch screens, has developed what it said is “the industry’s first DDIC supporting Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) resolution.”
That means 4K-capable touch screens can soon be in smartphones and tablets.
The company said the 4K technology, and other products it announced simultaneously, will add to its industry leading portfolio of DDICs that it supplies to the world’s makers of smartphones and tablets that range from flagship products to mid- to low-end models.
Synaptics is promising the technology to enable 4K touch-screens on phones
It did not name any of those customers but its Web site lists Samsung, Dell, HTC, LG, Sharp, Sony and other well-known makers of mobile devices as customers of some of its technology.
Synaptics said the new products use the industry’s smallest chips that have the lowest power usage (making for longer usage between battery charges) and need the fewest external components because of its single chip design. The result it said is “the absolute highest image quality.”
We report this development because a coming avalanche of 4K capable smartphones and tablets will cause a surge in the demand for 4K content, initially by makers of 4K products because they want 4K content to help sell their 4K products, and then by users who will want to see 4K content on their shiny new 4K devices.
Increased quantities of 4K content will increase sales of UHD TVs. All of that will increase the need for faster residential broadband and home networking, both wireline and wireless.
Successful cutting-edge technology companies such as Synaptics typically only spend millions to develop products for which it knows there is market demand, which in this case indicates that there is growing demand by equipment makers for 4K capable smartphones and tablets.
It makes The Online Reporter wonder where Apple is on the 4K horizon because its launch of 4K capable iPhones and iPads would instantly make the 4K industry a success in a way that no other company can.
What with Apple’s increasing presence in China, it has surely seen that 4K TVs have become a hot market there.
China is currently the world’s largest market for 4K TVs. Apple rival, the China based Xiaomi, already offers a 4K TV and will undoubtedly become one of the first with a 4K smartphone.
Apple can’t afford to let Xiaomi, and either Samsung or LG, both of which make 4K displays, get too big of a jump on it in the 4K market in China – or in the US and Europe.
In 2014, Synaptics acquired the sole supplier of display driver chips for the iPhone, Renesas SP Drivers from Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics. Reportedly Apple had also tried to acquire Renesas SP and may be developing its own touch screen technology to obtain control over the quality and performance of its displays and reduce their power consumption. Synaptics competes against Atmel and Cypress Semiconductor.
The SVP and general manager of Synaptics’ smart display division Kevin Barber said, “Our broad portfolio of DDICs, coupled with our first-to-market UHD leadership puts Synaptics in a unique position to take advantage of key trends in the smartphone industry, positioning our LCM partners to lead the market by delivering the highest quality display technology.”
Surely 4K is one of the “key trends” …
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