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Auto IC Sales Only 7.4% Of Semi Market

Communication and computer systems will be two of the three largest system applications for IC sales this year, says IC Insights. Communications applications are expected to capture nearly 43% of IC sales in Asia-Pacific and 39% of the revenue in the Americas region this year. Communications and computer applications are forecast to tie as the largest end-use markets in Japan ...

The Transformative Effects Of The Transistor Radio

Sony’s TR-55 transistor radio had a major effect in encouraging the Japanese electronics industry to focus on consumer goods, but it also had a transformative effect on the career of one of Japan’s most distinguished semiconductor men. In 1955, the same year as the launch of the TR-55, Tsugio Makimoto was in his first year at Tokyo University as an ...

The Pride Of Europe

Imec had a great success this week. Over a thousand delegates attended the Imec Technology Forum – ITF2016 – in Brussels. It is an acknowledgment, if one was needed, that Imec is the world’s pre-eminent nanoelectronics research centre. Imec, for instance, handles all the major companies’ DRAM development and is the world leader in a swathe of technologies from RF ...

ST Becomes A Farce

Earlier today, the French unions showed a similar disdain for the 40% dividend cut set by ST, as was shown yesterday by France’s economics minister. “We demand a total suspension of the payment of dividends to devote all the resources of the company to a strong revival of investment in R & D and in factories,” said Eric Potard, CFDT ...

Fable: The Nice Way To Defect

There was once an Intel engineer who did the start-up thing the nice way – he bought a licence to the technology he wanted to use from Intel. Then, with one of the ‘Traitorous Eight’ he started a company whose name bore a hidden reference to the fact that it had emanated from Intel. The company set out to develop ...

Teasing The Credulous

When I was in Brussels yesterday, I saw a dog driving a car. It was on a video shown by Audi. “If pets can drive that’s truly autonomous driving,” cracked the Audi guy showing the vid and it made me wonder do I have a deficient sense of humour or should not Audi be showing this kind of thing? The ...

French Economics Minister Slams ST Management

ST announced a quarterly dividend of 0.06 eurocents which was 40% down on the last quarterly divi of 0.10 eurocents. Recently the French unions criticised ST management for paying out too much in divis while depriving the company of necessary investment. The dividend policy is designed to keep the share price up. Today France’s Economics Minister Emanuel Macron said that ...

GloFo Looks For 7nm Leadership

A pretty big shift could be about to happen in the semiconductor industry – IBM’s scientific prowess could be about to be unleashed on the market. GlobalFoundries is aiming to take industry process technology leadership at the 7nm node. For the first time, GloFo now reckons it can take industry process leadership using a proprietary, in-house developed process technology , ...

Gordon Moore’s Three Heroes

Gordon Moore was presented with Imec’s lifetime achievement award at ITF2016 in Brussels this morning. Imec CEO Luc van den Hove went over to Hawaii to talk to Moore and extracts of their conversation were shown to ITF delegates. Modest as always, Moore said Moore’s Law had little effect on the industry. He was observing an already established pattern, he ...

Sounds Like Plessey

To specify Plessey loudspeakers is to ensure outstanding reliability. So, 55 years ago, ran an ad in Electronics Weekly’s edition of April 26th 1961. The ad continued: Careful design, up-to- date manufacturing methods and stringent tests together provide a service unsurpassed in the industry. Outstanding features of the latest types include a choice of motor units giving three alternative values ...

T.J.

The best description of T.J Rodgers, the founding CEO of Cypress, is that he’s “an engineer’s engineer’. An engineer’s curiosity took him into areas like optical networking and solar power, buying optical specialist HiBand Semiconductor in 2001 and investing $8 million in Sun Power in 2002. In 2005 Sun Power had an IPO in which 13% of the company was ...

Marriages Made In Heaven

The partnership between Arrow and Indiegogo seems an inspired idea. What is the good of an idea if the originator doesn’t have the means to implement it? Arrow has both the design capabilities and the supply chain mastery to turn any idea into a product. And Indiegogo is a master generator of product ideas. So it looks like a marriage ...

Intel Lay-Off Letters Spark Rio Rancho Closure Rumour

According to the Albuquerque TV station KOAT there are rumours going around that Intel will close its Rio Rancho fab site in New Mexico. The rumours have arisen because, in the letters sent to some employees notifying them of their ‘involuntary separation’, it states that the reason being given is ‘site closure or consolidation’. When laid off workers have asked ...

The Back-Packer

Hans Snook, who founded Orange, got offered his first job in telecoms while back-packing in Hong Kong. It was with a local paging and computer company called Young Generation. “At the end of the year they convinced me to stay on one more year,” recalled Snook. As the second year came to its close, he gave notice to end the ...

Hand-Set Market Not Saturated

Maybe the handset market isn’t as saturated as everyone thinks it is._ Digitimes Research reports that a surge in hand-set IC demand will see Taiwan chip design house revenues grow 6.7% in Q2 over Q1 to $4.35 billion. That’s 14.6% more than in Q2 2015. In March Chinese headset makers saw a pick-up in demand and started to replenish inventories. ...

Fable: The Bold Engineer

There was once an Intel engineer who quit the company to form a start-up based on a new kind of memory chip. Intel’s writ was delivered to his home in the middle of the night. Undaunted, the KP-backed company raised $50 million (plus another $18 million in an IPO). The engineer built a fab with a ski-lift type roof based ...

Roll Up, Roll Up To Bid For Intel’s Investments

First bids for Intel Capital’s VC assets are expected next month, reports Bloomberg. It is expected that one buyer will bag up the lot. They are valued at $1 billion. The reason for the sale, it it is being said, is to reduce Intel’s debt of $25 billion which is off-set by cash of $15 billion. It is in the ...

If At First You Don’t Succeed . . . . .

China is taking to heart the old maxim: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. It has found another route into the DRAM business. UMC is to help China make DRAM in an agreement which has been approved by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs. China has a problem with its huge trade deficit in chips – principally memory ...