ISA WINWire April 8 - 15 2011

Several Japan fabs halted by aftershock

Source: Dylan McGrath, EETimes, April 8 2011

Fujitsu suspended operations at its chip fab in Iwate prefecture, according to a report by Bloomberg news service. Fujitsu had reported Monday that partial operations had resumed in the Iwate fab on Sunday for the first time since the original 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan March 11. Bloomberg reported that Fujitsu was checking on the status of its back-end semiconductor packaging facility in Miyagi prefecture, which had partially resumed operations March 23. Bloomberg, which cited a Tokyo-based Fujitsu spokesperson, said Fujitsu was also checking on the status of a production facility that makes products for computers and printers in Fukushima prefecture.

Smartphones surging, Nokia to tumble

Source: CIOL, April 8 2011

Growing demand for phones running on Google's Android platform will help the smartphone market grow in 2011, boosting companies like HTC and Samsung Electronics who are betting on the platform. Android's popularity has helped the Asian manufacturers to rise fast in smartphone rankings, and HTC overtook Nokia in market capitalisation for the first time on Thursday. Shares in HTC were worth $33.4 billion at their Thursday close, with Nokia stock worth $33 billion.

Intel, on the outside, takes aim at smartphones

Source: Laurie J. Flynn, The New York Times, April 10 2011

With an “Intel Inside” sticker affixed to their PCs, computer buyers in the 1990s could hardly avoid knowing whose microchip was making their machines work. The campaign made Intel one of the most recognizable brands and cemented its position in the PC industry. As long as PCs were dominant, Intel was dominant. But it’s now a new world in which tiny hand-held computers, more commonly known as smartphones, are outselling personal computers. And usually, there is no Intel inside. Instead, the processors in smartphones and tablets these days are more likely to be made by companies that few consumers would recognize, like Qualcomm, Nvidia and Marvell. And those companies are fighting to gain market dominance in much the same way Intel did with chips for personal computers: by making what’s inside the phone matter to consumers.

BHEL firms up JV with BEL for solar PV plant

Source: Mahesh Kulkarni, Business Standard, April 11 2011

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), the state-owned power equipment major and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the defence PSU, have firmed up plans to float a joint venture company (JVC) during the present fiscal for setting up an integrated 250 Mw solar photovoltaic modules plant. They have also shortlisted two locations in Karnataka and one in Andhra Pradesh for setting up the plant at an investment of Rs 2,000 crore, a top BHEL official said. Both companies had signed a memorandum of understanding two years ago to work out the possibility of a joint venture for solar photovoltaic business, setting up manufacturing facility for silicon wafer, solar cells and modules, and to identify suitable vendors/partners for the supply of raw materials including polysilicon for solar photo voltaic business.

'India still 2nd best FDI spot, recent dip temporary'

Source: SiliconIndia, April 11 2011

Nomura India has said despite the recent massive slump in FDI inflows, India remains the hottest investment destination in the world after China and inflows will return to the pre-crisis peak levels by early 2012. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows plunged 25 per cent in April-January period to $17 billion year-on-year. The figure was more alarming in January when it nosedived 48 by per cent to $1.04 billion. Attributing the recent decline to primarily global factors, Nomura India Vice-President and economist Sonal Varma said following the 2008 crisis, other emerging markets too saw sharp drop in FDI inflows but picked up steam after two years unlike India.

Sibal announces new licensing framework

Source: CIOL, April 11 2011

Union Telecommunications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal unveiled on Monday the broad framework of a new telecom policy. While addressing the media during a press briefing to announce the broad framework of a new telecom policy, Sibal said, with the phenomenal growth in data services and cellular sites, the telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) will be announcing the new National Telecom Infrastructure Policy, the minister said. The said policy is expected to address the issues pertaining to right of way (RoW) and keep a check on infrastructure providers, equipment manufacturers.

New prescription to boost electronics manufacturing

Source: The Hindu Business Line, April 11 2011

Electronics and hardware manufacturers may have a reason to cheer. Almost a year after an IT taskforce submitted its recommendations to spur hardware and electronics manufacturing, a full policy prescription is in the works. It touches areas such as creation of National Electronic Mission, a modified package for electronics manufacturing and creation of a committee to oversee India's semiconductor wafer fabrication prospects. Outlining the progress made with regard to his 100-day agenda set out in January this year, the Communications and IT Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, said that a modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (SIPS) for ‘electronics eco system' units has already been drafted and “approval process on the same has been initiated”.

Design your career on a tiny wafer

Source: EFY Times, April 12 2011

The $10-billion electronics and chip design global market is growing at a rate of 6 to 10 per cent annually. With India evolving into one of the major players in this sector, job opportunities are tremendous. Are you a budding electronics engineer confused about which stream will help you get your dream job? If technology is your forte, chip design is one of the many options you can consider to ensure a fast-track career. From your personal computer to your mobile phone to your brand new digital camera, almost every electronic gadget has a tiny silicon wafer called ‘chip’ behind its intelligent functions. Chip designers across the world strive to make faster and cheaper chips that can automate part of or the entire function of mechanical devices. Let’s figure out the opportunities in chip design and what all you need to secure a job in this sector.

Top 50 contract manufacturers ranked

Source: Peter Clarke, EETimes, April 12 2011

Manufacturing Market Insider, a paid-for newsletter focused on contract manufacturing, has ranked the top 50 electronics manufacturing services based on 2010 revenue in its March edition. We list the top 20 below. It is notable that there are no European- or Japan-headquartered companies in the top 10.

Renesas heading to normal operation in Japan

Source: evertiq, April 12 2011

Renesas Electronics Corporation, Naka Factory (Front-end line) - the last one to go back to normal production - is currently "working to restore manufacturing equipment at both 300mm and 200mm wafer fabrication lines". The facility has resumed part of its operation of the clean room from April 10. The three back-end manufacturing sites, Renesas High Components, Inc., Renesas Northern Japan Semiconductor, Inc., Yonezawa Factory and Renesas Eastern Japan Semiconductor, Tokyo Device Division, have resumed normal production.

We need local manufacturing to reduce import bill

Source: Ajay Sukumaran, The Financial Express, April 14 2011

The Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA) expects the semiconductor design industry in India to reach $10.6 billion in revenues in 2012, growing at 17% annually. Pradip K Dutta, who took over as chairman of the ISA last week, tells FE’s Ajay Sukumaran that he expects much of ISA’s focus this year to be on getting crucial support from the government for promoting domestic manufacturing.

Cabinet clears solar policy among other decisions

Source: The Times of India, April 14 2011

The state cabinet on Wednesday took a number of decisons. At a meeting presided by chief minister Asok Gehlot it cleared the Rajasthan State Solar Policy 2011 along with a new policy on land allotment at concessional rates. Apart from making the immovable assets of all the officers of the civil services in the state public, Gehlot said the same may be implemented for the state cadre officers too.

Compiled by ISA Research

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