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ISA WINWire July 29 – August 5 2011


An entrepreneur’s open letter to venture capitalists in India

Source: Mukund Mohan, VC Circle, July 28 2011

Hello my friend (can I call you a friend),
I meet you at several conferences, events and other meetings, where we have informal discussions around this topic. So I thought I would gather my thoughts and share some ideas I have on how we can work well together. Mostly though, this is about what my ideal investor would be like.

Morris Chang slashes foundry industry forecast

Source: The China Post, July 29 2011

The head of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) yesterday slashed his forecast for the growth of the global foundry industry this year, due to slowed demand in the second half. Morris Chang, CEO and chairman of TSMC and a high-tech guru whose predictions for the industry often draw attention from investors, yesterday said the global contract chip manufacturing market will grow seven percent this year, a reduction from his original estimate. As for the global semiconductor industry excluding memory, Chang said its growth will be four percent over last year. Demand will not be strong in the second half, Chang said, adding clients are no longer “waiting in line” to get their orders fulfilled.

Google buys more than 1,000 IBM patents

Source: CIOL, July 30 2011

Google, which last month failed to grab a huge portfolio of Nortel patents, has bought more than 1,000 patents from IBM. The new purchase boosts Google's intellectual property portfolio which currently has just 700 patents. The loss of Nortel patents was a big blow to Google as the search engine was willing to pay any price to beef up its bank of patents - which is the smallest among major wireless players. Since Nortel-patented technology is also used in Google Android smart phones, the Apple-led consortium have not only got the rights to license this technology to secure royalties but also gain market influence vis-a-vis Google in the multi-trillion-dollar technology field. As Google is involved in more than 45 patent lawsuits - the biggest against any major player - it is consolidating its patent bank to avoid future litigations.

Progress hits snag: tiny chips use outsize power

Source: John Markoff, The New York Times, July 31 2011

For decades, the power of computers has grown at a staggering rate as designers have managed to squeeze ever more and ever tinier transistors onto a silicon chip — doubling the number every two years, on average, and leading the way to increasingly powerful and inexpensive personal computers, laptops and smartphones. Now, however, researchers fear that this extraordinary acceleration is about to meet its limits. The problem is not that they cannot squeeze more transistors onto the chips — they surely can — but instead, like a city that cannot provide electricity for its entire streetlight system, that all those transistors could require too much power to run economically. They could overheat, too. The upshot could be that the gadget-crazy populace, accustomed to a retail drumbeat of breathtaking new products, may have to accept next-generation electronics that are only modestly better than their predecessors, rather than exponentially faster, cheaper and more wondrous. Simply put, the Next Big Thing may take longer to arrive.

Key exec, EDA 360 author, leaving Cadence

Source: Dylan McGrath, EETimes, August 1 2011

The sudden departure of John Bruggeman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Cadence Design Systems Inc., was hastened by a reorganization of marketing functions within the company that a longtime analyst believes could signal a coming change in CEO at the EDA vendor. Cadence (San Jose, Calif.) said is in a regulatory filing made late Friday (July 28) that Bruggeman is leaving Cadence to pursue other opportunities. Bruggeman has agreed to remain with Cadence as a non-executive employee through Aug. 14 to assist with transitional matters, Cadence said. The departure of Bruggeman, a former Wind River Systems Inc. executive who joined Cadence in August 2009, comes as a surprise to most observers. Bruggeman has been a very visible part of Cadence's turnaround and strategic direction over the past two years.

IC Insights cuts 2011 chip forecast

Source: EDA Café News, August 1 2011

As described in IC Insights' soon-to-be-released Mid-Year Update to The McClean Report, the worldwide semiconductor industry growth forecast for 2011 has been lowered from 10% to 5% and the 2011 IC market forecast from 10% to 4%. The primary cause for this downgrade is the weak performance of the worldwide economy in the first half of this year. Some of the unexpected economic "headwinds" the worldwide economy faced in the first half of 2011 are shown in Figure 1. These events caused quarterly worldwide economic growth to slow significantly in the first half of 2011 as compared to 2010 and in turn served to slow worldwide electronics and semiconductor industry market growth. While any of these negative events by themselves may not have had a serious impact, combined, they served to noticeably slow the worldwide economy in the first half of this year.

The worldwide semiconductor market will surpass us$300 billion by the end of 2013

Source: EDA Café News, August 1 2011

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Semiconductor Industry Market Analysis & Future Trends Worldwide (2010-2013)" report to their offering. Today the semiconductor industry serves as driver, enabler and indicator of technological progress. Semiconductors have entirely changed the outlook of the world we live in today. The PCs we work on, the cars we drive, the phones we communicate with, the electronic gadgets we use for watching movies, listening to music and playing games, the planes and weapons used to transport or protect us, all use semiconductor devices. In other words we can say that semiconductors are being used for an entire range of industries from consumer electronics, automotive, communications infrastructure to computer industries and many more.

TCS to invest Rs 1,000 crore for global academy

Source: The Hindu Business Line, August 2 2011

The Kerala Government and Tata Consultancy Services have signed a memorandum of understanding for setting up a clutch of facilities in the State, involving big-ticket investments. TCS will invest Rs 1,000 crore to set up its global training academy at Technocity here, the TCS chief executive officer and managing director, Mr N. Chandrashekharan, said. As part of the MoU, TCS will also set up software development SEZ campus at Technopark here and at Infopark, Kochi. The MoU was signed between the Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and IT), Mr T. Balakrishnan, and Mr Chandrashekharan, in the presence of the Chief Minister, Mr Oomen Chandy, at the golden jubilee celebrations of Kerala State Industrial Development Centre in Kochi during the weekend.

Auto testing, research hubs in Chennai, Indore by next year

Source: The Hindu Business Line, August 3 2011

The National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP), which envisages setting up testing and research centres at automotive hubs in the country, hopes to complete its initiatives in Chennai and Indore by the end of next year. The main objective of NATRiP is to create automotive testing and validation infrastructure to usher in global vehicular safety, emission and performance standards.

Commercial vehicle sales show growth

Source: Swaraj Baggonkar, Business Standard, August 3 2011

The commercial vehicle (CV) segment, which is often regarded as the barometer of economic health of a nation, has posted growth in July even as sales of the car segment slumped, its worst performance in over two years. The country's top commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Tata Motors, Eicher Trucks and Buses, Mahindra & Mahindra and Asia Motor Works (AMW), which command a share of 83 per cent of the domestic CV market, have together posted a growth of 28 per cent selling over 60,000 units in July. Chennai-based Ashok Leyland is yet to issue its sale numbers for the month. The rise in CV sales is a result of a favourable mix of several reasons such as planned execution of scheduled infra-related works sponsored by the government and private parties, imposition of anti-overloading law by some states and new product introduction.

Samsung acquires STT-RAM vendor

Source: Dylan McGrath, EE Times, August 4 2011

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has announced that it has bought Grandis Inc. Grandis is a spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM) vendor. The companies did not disclose the terms of the acquisition. Grandis will be integrated into Samsung's R&D operations focused on developing next-generation memory. Here, new semiconductor materials and structures are reviewed for their long-term commercial value. According to Samsung, Grandis will contribute to its development of memory technology and become a key part of the company's global R&D network.

SureWaves MediaTech gets Rs 10 crore venture capital funding from IIF, Accel

Source: The Hindu Business Line, August 4 2011

The India Innovation Fund (IIF), an early stage venture capital fund, has invested in SureWaves MediaTech, a Bangalore-based start-up operating in the digital media-technology space. IIF and Accel Partners have invested Rs 10 crore as part of Series A investment. Mr Raj Khare, CEO, SureWaves, said in a press statement, “We are creating a new category and are excited at joining hands with India Innovation Fund who literally share our DNA together with Accel Partners who are known for having driven some of the most significant revolutions globally in technology driven businesses.”

Global mobile connections to hit 5.6 bn in 2011

Source: CIOL, August 4 2011

Worldwide mobile connections will reach 5.6 billion in 2011, up 11 per cent from 5 billion connections in 2010, according to information technology research and advisory company Gartner, Inc. The research also projected the mobile data services revenue to total $314.7 billion in 2011, a 22.5 per cent increase from 2010 revenue of $257 billion. "Mobile data traffic will increase significantly as more people will have access to mobile data networks, there is a migration toward smartphones and an increase in sales of media tablets," said Jessica Ekholm, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Compiled by ISA Research

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