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


Trimming Lords

They say that, at 800, the House of Lords has too many peers.

Well now there’s a simple way to trim it.

The precedent has been established that a Lord who has sex with a prostitute has to resign.

Hands up all you Lords who’ve had sex with…

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Transitron Seeks Engineers


Electronic Engineers

The rapid expansion of the European operation of the
Transitron Electronic Corporation, the world’s largest
manufacturer of quality semi-conductors has created
many interesting vacancies and applications are invited
for the following posts:

So, 55 years ago, opened an advertisement in Electronics Weekly’s edition of…

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Go East Young Man

Complaining about slow mobile networks the Premier told his Cabinet: “Our information infrastructure is backward.”

Great, now something may get done about slow and problematical mobile network service.

Trouble is, it’s not our Premier who said it, it’s China’s Premier.

What’s more the Premier’s remarks…

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It’s a funny old world when the US government considers a bill to stop car hacking while a Las Vegas convention tells everyone how to hack cars.

In a week when 68000 Land Rovers and 1.4 million Fiat Chryslers have been recalled because their vulnerability to hacking has…

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Ignorance Is Bliss

Dick Skipworth founded Memec and drove it to become the third largest distributor in the world.

In the 1970s he devised a novel formula for a distie: Once a group had more than half a dozen product lines, the Memec business model recognised that it had reached the limit of…

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Car Hacking Village

As examples of the vulnerability of cars to hackers proliferate, next month will see a convention with a dedicated car hacking event.

At the DEF CON 23 Hacking Conference in Las Vegas from August 6-9 there will be a Car Hacking Village.

The blurb for the village reads:


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“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” said Arthur C. Clarke and any sufficiently advanced technology throws up amazing stats.

There are, according to Strategy Analytics, 1000 makers of smartphones but, according to Canaccord Genuity, one of them makes 92% of the smartphone industry’s profits.

That, of course…

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Weakening DRAM Threatens Micron.

Bad news for Micron, as it struggles to counter Tsinghua’s bid, or at least get the Chinese to improve the $23 billion offer, is that DRAM prices are expected to fall.

Excess smartphone inventory means that mobile DRAM prices are set to drop, reports Digitimes.

This is compounded by…

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Fable: Ship The Shit

There was once a semi CEO whose middle initial was S.

He was known for shipping parts which, not to put too fine a point on it, didn’t meet spec.

He once joked that the S in his name stood for ‘Ship the shit’.

Moral: Know thyself…

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Sequential Growth At ST

ST saw Q2 net revenues improve sequentially to $1.76 billion with net profit slightly down at $35 million and operating profit of $12 million compared to $98 million in Q2 2014.

Gross margin was 33.8%. Q3 gross margin is expected to be about 35%, plus or minus 2…

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Australia beats Germany in RoboCup Final.

The 2015 RoboCup has been won by a team from the University of New South Wales.

It was the 19th RoboCup and took place in Hefei City in East China. The first RoboCup was held in 1997 in Japan.

The robots for this part of the RoboCup are standard with…

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US To Legislate On Car-Hacking

Earlier this week US Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts introduced The Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act.

“Rushing to roll out the next big thing, automakers have left cars unlocked to hackers and data-trackers,” says Blumenthal.

The intention of the…

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Qualcomm Hits The Panic Button

Beset with problems on many fronts, Qualcomm is taking drastic steps.

It will sack 15% of its workforce, cut spending by $1.4 billion and consider whether to split its chip selling business QCT from its licensing business QTL.

Qualcomm expects revenues to be down 25-40% this year on…

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Hackers Crash Car

Hackers have caused a car to crash. A Cherokee jeep was remotely hacked using a laptop and a mobile phone and forced into a ditch.

The car was using Uconnect software which has been installed in Fiat Chrysler cars for the last couple of years.

Hackers into Uconnect can affect…

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The Biggest Wireless Operators By Subscriber Numbers

China Mobile has more subscribers than anyone else, reports Ovum, followed by Vodafone and Bharti Airtel.

As China Mobile, with 633 million proportionate subscriptions at end-1Q15, and China Unicom, with 299 million, only operate in China, Vodafone and Bharti Airtel are the largest and second largest international mobile operating…

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FD-SOI Gets ARM Thumbs-Up

FD-SOI is becoming an interesting technology for the mobile SoC market, reckons ARM.

I think it’s very interesting,” ARM evp Pete Hutton tells me, “if you look at low-power/low-cost a lot of people are sticking at 28nm and not moving to 16nm finfet because it…

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ARM Sparkles

ARM saw Q2 revenues rise 15% to $357 million and profits rise 32% to $192 million.

“Q2 2015 has been a strong quarter for ARM with a highly diverse range of leading companies choosing to license ARM’s latest processors and physical IP for their future product developments,” says CEO…

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SEMI b-to-b 0.98

The SEMI bok-to-bill was 0.98 in June. So far this year the b-to-b has been January 1.04, February 1.03, March 1.10, April 1.04, May 0.99.

June bookings were $1.51 billion – 2.6% down on May’s $1.55 billion…

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Bookie Backs Tech Start-Ups

Somehow you don’t expect a bookie to back tech start-ups but what could be more logical? Silicon Valley places the planet’s biggest bets.

William Hill has initiated an accelerator for start-ups which have technology which can improve its business.

The William Hill accelerator is called WHLabs…

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