Samsung exec: Smartphone of the future is bringing a technical design revolution

The smartphone of the future is going to require a "revolution" in thinking about technical design

AUSTIN, Texas -- The smartphone of the future is going to require a "revolution" in thinking about technical design and "not enough people are prepared" for the challenges coming in here years, the president of Samsung Electronics said in his keynote at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) here today.

Based on the chip and electronic design automation (EDA) in existence today, the industry has done well with smartphones so far and will roll along for the next two or three years, said Dr. NamSung ("Stephen") Woo, president of Samsung Electronics and general manager of the System LSI business. But the smartphone of the future is going to be one that has a flexible screen that can be folded like a handkerchief, plus better and new applications and high-end cameras that demand a profound design overhaul.

[ ANALYSIS:Why BlackBerry's tepid tablet strategy could be its fatal flaw]

Putting forward a vision of the future smartphone, Woo suggested the broader semiconductor industry and the electronic-design automation industry, the audience he was addressing, and Samsung, too, need to do things a lot differently than they do today.

"We still have to use over a dozen chips to build a smartphone," said Woo. But smartphones are being asked to perform more services, such as voice command, location-based services, Web browsing and applications like gaming, as display-screen resolution and camera sensors improve dramatically. The basic engineering design challenge that relates to space, battery, low-power and heat level is soon going to hit a sort of crunch time.

That's because of the advent of "flexible display," a bendable screen that can fold up like a handkerchief and be unfolded again for use, Woo said.

Flexible screens, an innovation first shown by Samsung, is clearly a "disruptive technology," said Woo. It not only "requires a new look" for a smartphone, it calls for the need of a "system on a chip" which doesn't really exist today, he pointed out. "Still what we have is a system on a dozen chips, not a system on a chip."

It's going to require new technologies for three to five years from now to meet the challenges of the smartphone of the future. But today, the industry is not yet pointed toward it. "We are not there. We are walking one way that's good so far," said Woo, but Samsung, like others, "may have to shift our direction to address this challenge."

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: emessmer@nww.com.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsemerging technologyNetworkingsecuritywirelesssmartphonesiPhoneLSIBlackberrysamsung

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?