Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.


Computer Accepts Two Languages

Burroughs Adding Machine Company in America have announced a new general-purpose computing system, the B5000, which has been designed to accept the two machine languages, Cobol and Algol, developed for easier programming.

So, 54 years ago, started a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of March 1st 1961.


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China Eyeing Up GloFo.

China is talking to Abu Dhabi about buying GloFo, reports Digitimes.

China’s Hua Capital Management fund which manages China’s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund is talking to GloFo’s owner, the Advanced Technology Investment Corp (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi, about buying GloFo.

China recently allocated $19 billion…

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Wobbly Wearables

Wobbly Wearables

Hard on the heels of its report that interest in home IoT fell off a cliff in the first half of the year, Argus Insights, has produced a report saying wearables are also taking a dive.

“The rate of wearable demand is slowing post Holiday 2014,” says Argus.

Fitbit still…

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When The Prince Of Wales Met Akio Morita.

45 years ago The Prince of Wales met Akio Morita at the British Embassy in Tokyo,

He asked Morita if, were Sony ever to build a factory in Europe, he would “remember my Wales.”

The boss of Sony UK, Hiroshi Okochi, was, in fact, already scouting around for a UK…

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Lenovo Grows Server Revenues 500%+

Q2 server shipments grew 8% y-o-y year while revenue increased 7.2% from Q1 2014, says Gartner.

“x86 server shipments increased 8.3% in the second quarter of 2015 and revenue grew 9 percent,” says Gartner’s Jeffrey Hewitt, “RISC/Itanium Unix server shipments declined 18.7% globally…

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Car Cop-Control

The good news is that Yankee think tank Rand regards it as “the lowest-ranking need overall was to develop an interface for officers to directly take control of unmanned vehicles.”

The bad news is that Rand even thought about it in the first place.

If cop-control was to…

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Tsinghua-Micron Still on

The Tsinghua bid for Micron has gone quiet but it hasn’t gone away.

Asked about the deal by Forbes, Zhao Weiguo, boss of Tsinghua, tells his interviewer:

“I can’t discuss that at the moment. All I can say is Tsinghua Unigroup is very interested in the memory chip…

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Fable: Growing Pains

98 years ago a company was founded to take advantage of the skills of one man – a German engineer who had been interned at the start of World War 1.

The company was named after an illegitimate son of one of the founders.

A couple of years later an American…

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The Professor And His Elderly Students

A weird yarn has unfolded in Taiwan’s Supreme Court.

Apparently a senior director of R&D at TSMC resigned to become a Professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea.

It turned out that the university was sponsored by Samsung.

It further turned out that the students in the former…

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Connected Home Loses Its Appeal

Connected Home Loses Its Appeal

Home IoT is turning out to be a chimaera with demand dropping off sharply in the first half of the year, reports Argus Insights.

Consumer demand for DIY connected home products, such as the Nest thermostat, wireless security cameras and lighting control systems, dropped dramatically in the first half of…

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Top Ten Analogue Companies

Thanks to IC Insights for this one – the top ten analogue companies:


TI 8.10

ST 2.83

Infineon 2.77

ADI 2.62

Skyworks 2.6

Maxim 2.04

NXP 1.73

LTC 1.44

ON 1.30

Renesas 0.910…

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IDT's Anxiety Cure

IDT tells me that wireless charging is a NBT (next big thing) driven by a ubiquitous disease called ‘battery anxiety’.

Battery anxiety sounds a bit like WiFi anxiety – a fear of deprivation.

Whenever we’re loafing around in pubs, planes, restaurants, cafes, hotel rooms, waiting rooms, offices, coffee shops, betting…

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The Challenges Of Instrumentation In Space

How electronics engineers are meeting the technical challenge of instrumentation in research space vehicles was described by a number of speakers last week at the Rocket and Satellite Instrumentation Symposium organised jointly by The British Interplanetary Society and The Society of Instrument Technology.

So, 55 years ago, opened a story…

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Foundry Rates Falling

Good news for fabless companies is that foundry rates are on the way down.

28nm on 300mm is now 10% cheaper, and 0.18 micron on 200mm is 20% cheaper at the second tier foundries, reports Digitimes.

Driving down prices is low utilisation rates. Q4 rates are expected to be…

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Band Backs Tech

Recently a post here about Bing Crosby investing in tech companies, notably the magnetic tape pioneer Ampex, attracted attention.

Now the investment fund of a band called Linkin Park has set up VC arm to invest in high-tech.

The name of the investment arm is Machine Shop Ventures.


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New York Shows How To Publicly Fund Fabs

Europe, sweating a little over how to fund chip manufacturing, should look across the pond.

A public-private funding deal will see New York State pay for the building of a fab designed to an AMS spec with AMS leasing and operating the fab for 20 years.

The beauty of…

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Happy Days

A decade ago, in the happy days before the 2008/9 crash, we were basking in a kind of benign economic glow unaware of the impending storm.

In 2005, Lord Digby Jones (at that time Sir Digby) told me: “The UK has the most successful economy in the world and…

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Grit At The Oval

At last, a decent day’s cricket. Not much happened.

There were hardly any wickets and not a lot of runs.

Instead of ‘excitement’ we got a gritty, hard-fought-out contest between bat and ball. Cricket is said to show character and yesterday showed Aussie guts.

Any fool can…

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Super Slime

Denso, Toyota’s parts organisation, is about to start making automotive fuel from algae, reports the Nikkei.

So far Denso has been concentrating its efforts on the growing of algae or Pseudochoricystis as it is called.

Feasibility tests for using it in cars are scheduled to begin in the autumn…

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Fable: The Genius Who Invented A Fridge

There was once a Nobel Prize winning genius who invented a fridge.

The fridge was novel in that it had no moving parts.

He and his partner in the enterprise were awarded two patents on the fridge.

Although the fridge was never built as a commercial product, Electrolux bought one…

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