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DECEMBER 2018 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 89 According to The Future of Smartphone Era Webinar by WitsView, a division of TrendForce, the global smartphone market has been approaching saturation, with less room for product differentiation. Thus, smartphone makers have shifted their focus to next-generation foldable mod- els. WitsView expects the first foldable smartphone to be launched in 2019, accounting for only 0.1% in the global smartphone market. The penetration rate is estimated to reach 1.5% in 2021. According to Boyce Fan, the research director of Wits- View, a few manufacturers tried to develop foldable mod- els in the past using a dual-screen design, but most of them failed. However, as breakthroughs continue to be made during the development of flexible AMOLED panels, single-screen foldable smartphones gradually emerge. Among the makers, Samsung takes a leading role with its advanced display technology. Although foldable phones have become the focus of the market, they still remain in the early stage of product development, so manufacturers are bound to improve the designs continuously, says Fan. Meanwhile, there is also room for improvement in terms of the thickness of the phone and the border, as well as the battery life. WitsView believes that the initial demand for foldable smartphones will not be very strong, considering the need for product optimization, lack of flex- ible AMOLED panel suppliers other than Samsung, and the looming demand in the market. The seg- ment of foldable smartphones will not have a chance to expand until the second half of 2019 or after 2020, when more manufactur- ers follow suit to launch foldable models and get more feedback from the market. (Source: TrendForce) Foldable Smartphones to Be Launched in 2019 The Next Step From past experience, we believe that the most successful form of fractal development would a single company that can take the existing IP from our engineering team, fully develop the IP, do design to product testing, implement it through products in its current supply line, and then relicense the developed IP to its competitors and customers. A single entity should own the rights and license or use them as they see fit. Obviously, we cannot carry the discussion fur- ther without an NDA in place to enable the shar- ing of patent protected information. But if you're interested in increasing the ability of a PCB to operate at a higher frequency while reducing edge noise without adding any cost, fractals may be just the technique you need. DESIGN007 Greg Lucas began his PCB career at Cinch Graphic in 1963 while earning his bachelor's degree in chemistry. He went on to run PCB engineering at Storage Tech, Zycon, and Pragetzer. He is now retired, but still involved in exploring new ideas such as the use of fractals in PCB design. James Howard is a principal research engineer who has served Silicon Val - ley and foreign firms as a technology director and innovator for 40 years. He holds a BSEE and eight basic patents relevant to high-speed PCBs utilizing distributed capacitance fields and fractal mathematic design features.

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