ISA WINWire April 1 - 8 2011

Japan disaster puts historic hurt on chip industry

Source: Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld, April 1 2011

No other disaster has hurt the worldwide computer chip industry more than last month's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, according to analysts. Japan is struggling to get back on its feet and back to business after the country was devastated by a series of disasters that hit the country starting on March 11. The disaster, including the earthquakes, a tsunami and an ongoing crisis they caused at the country's nuclear power plants, has not only damaged semiconductor manufacturing facilities, but also affected Japan's electrical supply and transportation infrastructure.

MindTree board appoints new chairman

Source: CIOL, April 1 2011

Mid-tier IT firm MindTree said on Friday its board has elected a new chairman, after its executive chairman resigned from the company. Albert Hieronimus, currently the chairman of Bosch Ltd , will step into the role of the non-executive chairman of the board effective immediately, MindTree said in a statement to the exchange. Earlier, Ashok Soota, a co-founder, had resigned as the executive chairman from the company, but said he does not have any immediate plans for divesting his stake in the firm.

Texas Instruments to buy National Semiconductor for $6.5 Billion

Source: Matt Richtel, The New York Times, April 4 2011

Texas Instruments said Monday that it planned to acquire National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a deal that places a big bet on the increasing need to translate the physical world of humans into the digital form of computers and then back again. Both companies specialize in making “analog” processors, a particular kind of computer chip that converts data from the real world — temperature, light intensity, dust concentrations, shifting magnetic fields — into digital data that a computer can interpret and then back again, if need be, into visual or aural information that a human can understand.

Indian chip design industry to reach $10.2 bn in 2012

Source: Business Standard, April 4 2011

ISA, the apex trade body representing the Indian semiconductor industry released the ISA-DIT Study on semiconductor design, embedded software and services industry. The study was released by Shri. Kapil Sibal, the Honorable Minister of Communications & Information Technology at ELITEX 2011. Commenting on the report, Poornima Shenoy, ISA President said, “India ranks in the top few countries in the world on the availability of relevant talent plus colleges and the ability for high end design companies to scale up. If we are able to fix the issues of sector specific skills and quality, India could become a world leader in this space. DIT’s support to this study underlines the importance that the Government of India accords to this industry.”

New ISA chief to focus on research

Source: Balaji Narasimhan, The Hindu Business Line, April 4 2011

While the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) wants to ensure that the taskforce recommendations on ESDM (Electronic System Design and Manufacturing) evolve into policy formulations, the industry body is also keen on pushing ahead with research. Speaking to Business Line, Dr Pradip K. Dutta, who has taken over as the new chairman of the ISA for 2011-12, said, “Our primary focus has so far been the growth of the industry but I fully agree that we need to pay close attention to the research aspect as well.”

Patent Office's revenue up at 250 Crores; to hire 257 examiners

Source: Silicon India, April 4 2011

The Indian Patent Office, which has seen a significant revenue growth in 2010-11, will be hiring 257 patent examiners in the next two to three months. Rising patent activity reflects pickup in research and innovation in the country, which is on the path to clock over 9 per cent growth this fiscal. Boosted by increased number of filings, the Indian Patent Office saw its revenues rising to nearly Rs 250 crore in financial year 2010-11, according to sources in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The revenues stood at Rs 214 crore in 2009-10 fiscal.

Infineon expands manufacturing in Malaysia

Source: EETimes, April 5 2011

Infineon Technologies has announced it will invest $160 million this year to expand its production capacity, research & development and to upgrade its manufacturing facilities in Malacca, Malaysia. The investment will mainly increase the capacity to produce power semiconductors for energy efficiency applications and will add 350 jobs in Malacca in 2011. Today, Infineon employs nearly 7,000 employees in Malacca.

The emerging market for LEDs and general lighting

Source: evertiq, April 5 2011

While still prohibitively expensive on a cost per watt or lumen basis, LEDs are expected to reach parity with traditional forms of lighting (incandescent, flouresent and halogen) sometime around 2015. However, because LEDs have lifetimes up to 50 times longer than the standard bulb, they naturally appeal to a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications where fixed costs are high. Replacement for general lighting by LEDs if often views as the largest and last bastion of traditional lighting. Governments are legislating changes which seek to ban or phase out inefficient and chemically toxic technologies.

Chip design industry may grow 17% to touch $10.2 b in 2012

Source: The Hindu Business Line, April 4 2011

The Indian chip design industry is expected to touch $10.2 billion by 2012, a 17.3 per cent growth from $7.5 billion in 2010. But issues such as quality and maturity of talent, absence of semiconductor ecosystem, and lack of policies as well as ‘implementable incentives' continue to be a drag on growth prospects, according to a report on Semiconductor Design released by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) on Monday. The semiconductor design industry employed around 1.60 lakh workers in 2010, nearly 82 per cent of them in the area of embedded software, the report said. This report comes at a time when the Government is finalising a new revamped policy for semiconductor manufacturing to give the much-needed push to the industry.

Xilinx acquires optical transport IP developer

Source: Peter Clarke, EE Times, April 6 2011

Recent reports reveal that Xilinx Inc. has purchased Belfast-based telecommunications startup Omiino Ltd for an undetermined price. The FPGA vendor follows in the footsteps of AppliedMicro and Altera Corp., who have both acquired companies formerly engaged in the development of optical transport intellectual property and its implementation in FPGAs. Based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, Omiino was formed in 2007 by engineers from such companies as Amphion Semiconductor, Flextronics and Nortel. In 2008 the company raised a seed funding round of £1.05 million (about $2.1 million) to be used for the development of FPGAs programmed for use in telecommunications network equipment.

Ajai Chowdhry, HCL Awarded Padma Bhushan

Source: egov news, April 6 2011

Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL & Chairman, HCL Infosystems, was awarded the Padma Bhushan, by the President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil. Ajai Chowdhry is one of the six founder-members of HCL, India's original IT garage start-up founded in 1976, is today a global enterprise of over 24,000 crore with a global headcount of 79,000 people.

Chip of new block needs govt help

Source: Goutam Das, The Financial Express, April 8 2011

The semiconductor design industry in India, which has done reasonably well, now needs the right conduct from the government to continue with its growth story. From its tentative beginnings in the mid-1980s, the industry has grown to $7.5 billion in 2010 and is now expected to touch $10.6 billion in revenues in 2012. But growth rates appear to be dipping and the industry desperately needs policy interventions. India is a happy host to the sector with the top 10 global ‘fabless’ companies (which design chips but aren’t into fabrication) and the top 25 semiconductor companies having their operations here. The industry currently employs 160,000 people and will absorb 70,000 more by next year. A benchmark study from the industry lobby body India Semiconductor Association (ISA) points out that India stacks up well on most parameters against countries such as the US, the UK, Germany, Sweden, China, Taiwan and Israel, — which are strong in semiconductor design. In terms of revenues, India is second only to the US. India ranks third among other countries in terms of the relevant engineering talent pool currently available and is second only to China in annual additions of engineers with relevant skills. India remains highly competitive in operating expenses — the average salary cost in India is $29,246; only China with an average compensation of $16,900 pays lower remuneration. Even in terms of space, with the average annual rentals of $278 per sq m per annum for grade-A office space, India has one of the lowest rentals among competing countries.

HCL founder Shiv Nadar to head IIT Kharagpur’s board

Source: India Education Review, April 8 2011

The founder of HCL Shiv Nadar has been appointed as the chairman of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. The announcement was made through a statement released from the software major. "It is an honour to be entrusted the responsibility to further advance the global stature this great institution has built already," said Nadar.

Compiled by ISA Research

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