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:

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

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How can a brand remain human in a digital world?

Some commentators estimate that by 2020, 85 per cent of buyer-seller interactions will happen online through social media and video*. That’s only two years away, and pertinent for any marketer.

James Kyd

Global head of brand strategy and marketing, Xero

​Relevance and substance are the keys to marketing’s future

Marketing’s evolution and increased value-add to organisations is making headway in one essential direction: Driving brands to achieve maximum relevance in the heart and minds of customers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Why doing your job well is the key to innovation

The words ‘power company’ and ‘innovation’ probably don’t seem like a natural combination. In fact, when I first went for a marketing role with an electricity company, I semi-dreaded the work I thought I’d be doing.

Catherine Anderson

Head of marketing, Powershop Australia

Lok knocks it out the park and predicts the future...“People are starting to understand they own their own data, and this will come to a ...


Data regulation key to marketing innovation

Read more

It needs to come from the top. It's not just about buy-in from the leadership team, leadership should be part of the development process ...

Stephen Houraghan

Why getting intimate is key to creating a great customer experience and optimising customer value

Read more

When was this article posted?


Report Reveals the Channels That Really Influence Consumer Purchase Decisions

Read more

sorry, I did not see that my first attempt already posted.


5 ways Australian Unity is driving innovation

Read more

Examples of their "innovation": have had problems with them in their "innova...


5 ways Australian Unity is driving innovation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in