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


Fable: The Singer Who Invested In Technology

There was once a famous American singer who was fed up with having to do dual shows – one for the West Coast and one for the East Coast – whenever he sang on radio.

So he invested money in a 6-man start-up developing recording tape based on technology brought…

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Infineon Goes From Strength To Strength

Infineon is looking to grow 34% this year. It had calendar Q2 revenue of €1,586 million – up 7% on calendar Q1 – for a profit of €245 million at a margin of 15.4%. Infineon expects a 1% revenue increase in calendar Q3.

Between its four main operating units, revenues…

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Daft Strategies

One of the bad things about being a CEO is having to pay lip-service to daft trends.

Analysts repeatedly ask CEOs what they’re doing about the latest craze, be it IoT, wearables or consolidation.

To reply “nothing” is to depict oneself as behind-the-times. Not with it…

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A Good Time To Raise Start-Up Money

There is a change in the air in financing start-ups. There seems to be more money chasing entrepreneurs than vice versa. There are anecdotal reports of activist potential investors – both angels and VCs – aggressively scouting opportunities.

One reason is there’s more money around, another is that there aren…

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Ten Richest Guys

Thanks to Bloomberg for this one – the ten richest people:


Bill Gates 85

Anancio Ortega 70

Warren Buffett 68

Carlos Slim 65

David Koch 50

Charles Koch 50

Jeff Bezos 47

Larry Ellison 43

Mark Zuckerberg 43

Ingvar Kamprad 43…

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Intel, Micron To Sample 128GBit Cross-Point Memory By Christmas

Back in the Wild West days on the Silicon Frontier, when your share price needed a boost you announced a ‘breakthrough’. Sometimes this would be a ‘revolutionary’ device sometimes it would be a stunning process tweak that delivered more speed and density.

Usually the analysts fell for it, they knew…

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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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