ISA WINWire April 15 - 24 2011

Japan earthquake: Aftershocks in India as prices of appliances may rise, auto output to suffer

Source: Chanchal Pal Chauhan, Pramugdha Mamgain & Writankar Mukherjee, The Economic Times, April 14 2011

The aftershocks of last month's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan will rattle Indian consumers next month when prices of televisions and home appliances increase, and the wait to drive home popular Japanese cars possibly gets longer. Top carmakers Maruti Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar and Honda Siel have agreed that shortened supply of critical spares may hit their production in May. Consumer electronics firms, including market leader LG, plan up to 8% increase in prices of flat panel televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and air-conditioners due to severe shortage of semiconductor supply, officials said.

Applied Materials taps IIT Bombay for semiconductor material innovation

Source: EEHerald, April 14 2011

Semiconductor equipment vendor Applied Materials, Inc. and IIT Bombay have announced the state-of-the-art "Applied Materials Chemistry Laboratory for Energy and Nanoelectronics" (CLEAN) at the IIT Bombay (IITB) campus. The new lab to develop semiconductor and other materials for use in both electronic and solar cells. This collaboration has also resulted in atleast India's engineering institute having a 200mm semiconductor fab. The lab was launched today at a ceremony attended by Mike Splinter, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Applied Materials, Omkaram Nalamasu, chief technology officer of Applied Materials, and Prof. Devang Khakhar, director, IIT Bombay.

Sling Media launches Slingbox

Source: The Hindu Business Line, April 15 2011

Sling Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed EchoStar Corporation, has launched Slingbox, where people can watch their home television on laptops, smartphones and tablets range of video placeshifting products. The company unveiled a range of video placeshifting products — Slingbox 120, Slingbox PRO-HD, SlingPlayer and SlingLink — that change and enhance the way consumers watch television. A Slingbox makes it simple to watch and control live TV content from a cable box, satellite receiver, DVR or video camera on any remote device such as a mobile phone, PC, laptop located anywhere in the world via a broadband Internet connection.

BRICS to trade in own currencies

Source: IBEF, April 15 2011

China: The settlement in local currencies will be subject to national laws. India on Thursday agreed to an arrangement to facilitate and expand the system of settling in local currencies all trade transactions among members of the BRICS group of countries. The agreement followed consultations among development banks representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, held here with a view to strengthening the BRICS inter-bank cooperation. At $4.6 trillion, the five BRICS countries account for almost 15 per cent of global trade volume, but trade among them is only about $230 billion a year. The expanded system of settling trade in local currencies would boost intra-BRICS trade, a senior Chinese government official said. While the China Development Bank led the discussion at the meeting, held concurrently with the BRICS Summit, the Exim Bank represented the Indian side. A key element in the new arrangement, a senior Indian government official explained, was that the settlement in local currencies would be subject to national laws.

VLSI: IC billings, ASPs down

Source: Mark LaPedus, EETimes, April 15 2011

It was a soft week for ICs, according to VLSI Research Inc.'s ''Semiconductor Analytics'' report. For the week ended April 8, IC billings were $5.01 billion in the period, down 7 percent from the previous week, but up 13 percent from the like period a year ago, according to the report. Chip ASPs were $1.31 in the period, down 5 percent from the previous week, but flat from a year ago, according to the report. IC units were 3.82 billion in the period, down 2 percent from the previous week and up 13 percent from a year ago, according to the report.

Chip market on 9% CAGR to 2013, says analyst

Source: Peter Clarke, EETimes, April 15 2011

The global semiconductor industry will grow at a CAGR of around 9 percent from 2011 to 2013, driven by sales of computers and mobile phones according to market research firm RNCOS E-Services Pvt. Ltd. (Noida, India). The computer market remains a major consumer of ICs, according to RNCOS and increasing sales of laptop, notebook and netbook computers will drive sales of semiconductors over the period. RNCOS states that considerable growth is taking place in such countries as China, India, Latin America, and the Middle East, largely due to first time purchases. This, in turn, will drive major growth in microprocessor and DRAM unit sales.

Inflation in China poses big threat to global trade

Source: David Barboza, The New York Times, April 17 2011

As the United States and Europe struggle to get their economies rolling again, China is having the opposite problem: figuring out how to keep its revved-up growth engine from generating runaway inflation. The latest sign that things were moving too fast came on Sunday, when China’s central bank ordered the biggest banks to set aside more cash reserves. The move essentially reduces the amount of money available for loans, and is an attempt to cool down the economy. It follows the government announcement on Friday that China’s economy was growing at an annual rate of 9.7 percent, by far the strongest performance by any of the world’s biggest economies.

Japan nuclear crisis to benefit solar markets in Europe, says iSuppli

Source: Anne-Françoise Pele, EEtimes, April 18 2011

"Reaction to the Fukushima nuclear crisis has been swift in Germany and Italy," commented Henning Wicht, senior director and principal analyst for photovoltaic systems at IHS. "Germany responded quickly by shutting down seven of its oldest reactors, potentially boosting the prospects for renewable energy in the country. Meanwhile, Italy indicated it might upgrade the role of solar within the country and accept higher volumes of sun-powered energy." IHS iSuppli noted that, by the third quarter of 2011, it will be clearer whether the German government is likely to proceed with a rapid exit from nuclear power. In that case, renewable energy is expected to be promoted more strongly. Wind dominates current public discussions, but solar energy possibly could benefit as well. One possible course of action that could benefit the solar industry would boost the annual PV installation forecast, HIS iSuppli noted.

Broadcom enters top 10 chip rankings

Source: Mark LaPedus, EETimes, April 18 2011

Broadcom Corp., Micron Technology Inc. and the new Renesas Electronics Corp. jumped into the top 10 chip rankings for 2010, according to Gartner Inc. Falling off the top 10 list were Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Infineon Technologies AG, according to the research firm. Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $299.4 billion in 2010, up $70.7 billion, or 30.9 percent from 2009, the largest dollar increase for the semiconductor industry in any one year, according to Gartner.

Conexant CEO steps down

Source: Mark LaPedus, EETimes, April 20 2011

Golden Gate Capital and its affiliate, Gold Holdings Inc., have announced the appointment of Sailesh Chittipeddi to the positions of president and chief executive of Conexant Systems Inc. Chittipeddi succeeds Scott Mercer, who became Conexant’s chief executive in April 2008. Since November 2010, Chittipeddi previously served as the company’s president and chief operating officer responsible for engineering, operations, quality, and marketing. From 2009 to 2010, he was the company’s co-president, with responsibility for global engineering, operations, quality, IT, and associated infrastructure-support activities.

NXP teams up with I2IT to set up Automotive Centre of Excellence in India

Source: Paul Buckley, EETimes, April 20 2011

NXP Semiconductors N.V., has founded the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Pune in association with the International Institute of Information Technology (I2IT). Located at I2IT Pune Campus, this Center of Excellence will provide infrastructure and collaboration of the Industry and academia. NXP and I2 IT have jointly decided to establish ACE for teaching and working on industry projects in the fields of High Performance Mixed Signal (HPMS) solutions for application in automotive electronics and other industrial domains. ACE at I2IT will foster talent, facilitate technology absorption, knowledge generation and focus in chosen domain to develop application and solution for specific markets like India.

Indian engineers in Bangalore's Intel labs developing world-beating products

Source: The Economic Times, April 21 2011

It seems the success stories of many tech giants are often written just around the corner in Bangalore. As the Santa Clara-based Intel attempts to become a more broad-based chipmaker and ventures into mobile phone territory after conquering desktops, the Bangalore centre is playing a crucial role in the transformation. The centre accounts for 3% of Intel's global R&D strength. It is Intel's biggest non-manufacturing centre outside the US and employs nearly 80% of engineers, who are either PhDs or masters, with different specialisation. Among them is Ravishankar Kuppuswamy, engineering director at Intel Architecture Group, who led the design efforts behind company's newest Xeon E7 high-end processor for servers. The processor is the second major chip to be designed by the India development centre, after the Dunnington in 2008. Released worldwide in April and launched this week in India, the processor delivers 40% better performance than the previous generation of processors, according to Intel.

India cabinet oks setting up panel to seek investors for semiconductor industry

Source: Nasdaq, April 21 2011

(Dow Jones)- India's federal cabinet Wednesday approved setting up a panel to identify technology and investors to establish two semiconductor wafer fabrication manufacturing facilities in the country. The panel will also assess and recommend the nature and size of government support such as equity, grants, subsidies in physical and financial terms to set up the facilities, a statement issued after the cabinet meeting said. The panel will submit its recommendations by July 31.

Fabless sector under-performs

Source: David Manners, Electronics Weekly, April 22 2011

There was a Magnificent Seven and a Duffers’ Seven in the 2010 Fabless Semiconductor League Table, compiled by IC Insights of Arizona. The Magnificent Seven, with growth above the overall semiconductor market growth rate of 31% were:

  1. Mstar 605 - 1,067 76%
  2. Altera 1,196 - 1,954 63%
  3. Broadcom 4,271 - 6,589 54%
  4. Novatek 819 - 1,149 40%
  5. Avago 858 - 1,187 38%
  6. Xilinx 1,699 - 2,311 36%
  7. Marvell 2,690 - 3,592 34%

Taiwan’s semiconductor industry may top US$69 billion by 2014

Source: Aaron Hsu, Taiwan Today, April 22 2011

Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is on track to surpass NT$2 trillion (US$69.3 billion) by 2014, according to the Taipei-headquartered Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute April 21. This is based on forecast growth of 13.09 percent and 11.64 percent year on year for Taiwan’s wafer foundries and integrated circuit packaging firms, respectively, MIC Research Director Sam Shen said. Shen made the comments at an investment seminar organized by Taiwan’s over-the-counter bourse GreTai Securities Market.

Compiled by ISA Research

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