Some key take aways:
1. Windows 8 dramatically expands market opportunity for larger screen touch solutlions
2. Intel announcement that all fourth-generation Haswell chips for Ultrabook designs must have touch as a standard feature.
3. ATML achieved Windows 8 design wins with Dell for several tablets and ultrabooks
4. In the past month ATML was selected by a new Tier I customer for multiple tablet designs
"2012 also marked the introduction of the Windows 8 operating system, which features the use of capacitive touch as a key-enabling technology. This dramatically expands the market opportunity for larger screen capacitive touch solutions beyond tablets to the entire PC marketplace, particularly for Ultrabooks, notebooks and all-in-one computers. We are pleased to be the leading touch provider at the beginning of the ramp of Windows 8, which is a multiyear trend.
During 2012, we introduced XSense, our breakthrough touch sensor product, targeting the multibillion dollar market of touchscreen sensors. XSense is based on innovative metal mesh technology, which is a superior alternative to the existing market for ITO sensors. We reached a significant milestone during the fourth quarter with XSense, being selected by a Tier 1 customer for a production rescheduled for the first quarter of 2013.
Moving to our touch products. In a marketplace for tablets and other large-screen devices, Windows 8-based products contributed significantly to our maXTouch revenue for the fourth quarter. And while we anticipate a seasonally soft Q1, we expect Windows 8 shipments to grow rapidly during 2013.
At the Consumer Electronic Show in January, Intel mentioned that all fourth-generation Haswell chips for Ultrabook designs must have touch as a standard feature to be called an Ultrabook. This means that all Ultrabooks coming later this year will feature touch as a requirement. Based on market research estimates, shipments of touch-enabled tablets, notebooks and Ultrabooks are expected to grow at over 50% annually over the next 2 years from approximately 125 million units in 2012 to over 200 million units this year and nearly 300 million units in 2014. As the largest touch supplier for Windows 8 products and offering the highest capacity of node count product available with Windows 8 certification, supporting touchscreens up to 17.3 inches, Atmel is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth of Windows 8.
Recent Windows 8 design wins for tablets and Ultrabooks include ASUS with multiple designs, Dell for several tablets and Ultrabooks, Fujitsu, HP with a number of both tablets and Ultrabooks, Lenovo, LG, Samsung with a plethora of tablets and Toshiba.
Continuing our large screen momentum, Atmel has new reference designs with Intel for Windows 8 Ultrabooks and Qualcomm and NVIDIA for Windows 8 RT tablets. Atmel is currently Win 8 certified for approximately 40 different tablets and Ultrabooks and is actively engaged in well over 50 different Windows 8 programs.
In the Android community for large screens, Atmel continues its leadership position in the market for Android-based tablets as maXTouch is now powering the touch in the new 10-inch Google Nexus tablet.
Turning our discussion to XSense. Atmel's XSense flexible touch sensors are ushering the new era of industrial designs for consumer electronic displays. We have qualified our second customer, ASUS for the XSense product. ASUS has selected XSense for a next-generation tablet product which is scheduled for release to the market in the first quarter of this year. ASUS is one of the first companies to integrate XSense with our maXTouch controllers to bring to market the improved performance and better noise immunity offered by the combined solution. Customer enthusiasm for XSense is strong and continues to build as our most recent product offerings provide several performance advantages and optical quality which is comparable to ITO. XSense has been sampled to several customers and in the past month was selected by a new Tier 1 customer for multiple tablet designs. XSense enables thinner sensor stacks with superior performance to enable OEMs to develop larger, lighter, sleeker, curved and edgeless designs for smartphones, tablets, Ultrabooks and a multitude of next-generation touch-enabled products.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, we announced our collaboration with Corning, demonstrating XSense's functionality on curved Corning Gorilla Glass, along with their ultrathin 0.55-millimeter glass. This work attention enables innovative and cost effective capacitive touch modules. Notably, the flexible touch sensor allows capacitive touch to be wrapped around the side of a device, potentially eliminating the need for mechanical buttons that can wear down when exposed to moisture and dirt.
Also at CES, we were pleased that XSense won the Innovations Award in the Embedded Technologies category, which recognized Atmel for delivering breakthrough performance for a new generation of touch-enabled products. The adoption of metal mesh technology as a replacement for traditional ITO sensors is just beginning. And this represents an over $5 billion market opportunity today and continues to grow rapidly. With XSense, Atmel is at the forefront of leading this technology transition"
This is great news for UNXL. Huge total market size. Also, very interesting that Atmel has design wins with Dell... Perhaps they are providing the touch controller's for UniBoss? There have been many rumors that Atmel and Unipixel might start working together (hence why Carclo is #$%$).
This would be huge if true.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
The most insightful tidbit was that as far as XSense was concerned, smartphone share was a dead end... ITO has little to worry about in the short term... not enough price advantage. 10" is where the action (profit) is.
What's INTC's enforcement mechanism for that rule about including a touch screen? They've tried rules like this before and I do not know any that wound up being binding on device makers as at the end of the day, INTC just wants to sell more chips.
You have to parse out the Xsense info since that is the Uniboss competition. By my read, it has sampled to customers, Asus has a design (which we know about) and they claim one other tier 1 win. All that other stuff re: maXtouch I believe is ITO based product.
They have a head start, but it is a big market and UNXL will get more than it's fair share. The point of my post is to educate yourself to what the competition is doing and to view the touch sensor market from a different perspective.