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ISA WINWire June 17 - 24 2011


“Mobile is the only medium which can reach out to 850 million people”

Source: e-Governance, June 2011

R Chandrashekhar, Secretary, Department of Telecom & Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication & Information Technology talks about the noble responsibility that he is shouldering, and the road ahead in the Department of Telecom in a freewheeling interview with Dr Ravi Gupta and Dr Rajeshree Dutta Kumar The rural areas though have the mobile connectivity, the data connectivity is abysmally low. So, what is the roadmap or vision for the rural data connectivity?

ARM acquires Obsidian, becomes part of validation team

Source: Phil Ling, EETimes, June 17 2011

The privately owned verification and validation company, Obsidian Software, used in the design of increasingly complex processors, will become part of an ARM processor validation team in Austin, Texas. ARM says the acquisition augments its drive in matching its verification strategies with the rate of change in its high performance, complex SoC IP components.

Lessons in longevity, from I.B.M.

Source: Steve Lohr, The New York Times, June 18 2011

AS it turned 100 last week, I.B.M. was looking remarkably spry. Consumer technologies get all the attention these days, but the company has quietly thrived by selling to corporations and governments. Profits are strong, its portfolio of products and services looks robust, and its shares are near a record high. I.B.M.’s stock-market value passed Google’s earlier this year. Not bad for a corporate centenarian. Yet, not so long ago, I.B.M.’s corporate survival was at stake. In the early 1990s, it nearly ran out of money. Its mainframe business was reeling under pressure from the lower-cost technology of personal computing.

Investors provide millions to risky start-ups

Source: Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times, June 19 2011

What if you threw a $41 million party and nobody came? A start-up company called Color knows how that feels. In March, Color unveiled its photo-sharing cellphone application — and revealed that it had raised $41 million from investors before the app had a single user. Despite the company’s riches, the app landed with a thud, attracting few users and many complaints from those who did try it.

Within the industry, an urge to cash out

Source: Miguel Helft, The New York Times, June 19 2011

While Silicon Valley and Wall Street debate whether a new technology bubble is in the making, some early Facebook employees are not taking any chances. They’re leaving the company to cash out on millions of dollars in stock options while Facebook’s valuation continues to soar. “If you’ve seen the world blow up once, you just don’t know what’s going to happen a year from now,” said one former Facebook employee, referring to the dot-com crash a decade ago. He joined the company in its early days, and left a few months ago so he could sell some of his shares. A company policy bars current employees from selling stock. “It seemed very risky to stay in a situation where all of your liquidity was tied up in what I consider a high-risk company,” he said, declining to make his name public when discussing a financial decision, and also because he did not want to upset Facebook.

New manufacturing policy likely to give impetus to the sector

Source: The Economic Times, June 20 2011

Emphasising the need to boost growth in the manufacturing sector, industry veteran Baba Kalyani on Monday expressed hope that the soon-to-be-announced manufacturing policy would give an impetus to the sector. "If India has to achieve exponential growth, it would have to be on the back of strong growth in the manufacturing sector. Recognising this, the government is about to announce a new manufacturing policy, aiming to increase the share of the manufacturing sector from about 15-16 per cent to 20-25 per cent (of GDP) in the next 10 years," Baba Kalyani, chairman and managing director of Bharat Forge said at an event.

Analog expert Bob Pease dies in accident

Source: Bill Schweber, EETimes, June 20 2011

Legendary analog IC designer Bob Pease of National Semiconductor died in a car crash over the weekend after leaving a memorial service for another analog luminary, Jim Williams of Linear Technology. Another sad loss for the analog-design community, and the engineering world as a whole: Bob Pease, analog circuit-design expert, was killed in a car crash Saturday (June 18), after leaving a private service for Jim Williams, who passed away a week before.

Four hardware manufacturing hubs to come up in State

Source: The Hindu, June 20 2011

To achieve the goal of becoming a leading destination for electronics hardware manufacturing industries, the State will set up four electronic hardware manufacturing hubs (EHMH) that will be notified as Special Economic Zones. According to the new Karnataka Electronics Hardware Policy 2011 unveiled on Monday, each EHMH will be granted 500 acres of land on a 30-year renewable lease “for a very low, attractive fee”. The hubs will be set up on a PPP basis, with State support in the form of a viability gap funding of 20 per cent of the project cost.

Semiconductor industry is still chipper- Despite Japan earthquake

Source: Andrea Petrou,, June 21 2011

The semiconductor market is booming, with analysts claiming that this year it will generate $315 billion, a 5.1 percent increase from 2010 revenue of $299 billion. However, despite it's growth, Gartner has admitted that this is a drop of 1.1 percent from its previously predicted 6.2 percent growth this year. It also pointed out that despite fears that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan would have an impact on the supply of silicon wafers, batteries, crystal oscillators, it has not succeeded in derailing the electronics industry.

STMicroelectronics named Laureate in Computerworld Honors Awards

Source: IT News Online, June 21 2011

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has been selected as a Laureate in the 2011 Computerworld Honors Program for its iNEMO™ smart multi-sensor technology. Founded by International Data Group (IDG) in 1988, Computerworld Honors is the longest running global program to honor individuals and organizations that use information technology to promote positive social, economic and educational change.

SanDisk eyes manufacturing base in country

Source: Vivek Sinha, Hindustan Times, June 22 2011

SanDisk, the company that leads the world in USB drives and ultra-thin flash memory cards that go into smartphones, digital cameras and tablet computers, is mulling a manufacturing base in India, which, apart from already housing a technology centre, is also a hot market for the US-based company. With revenues of around $5 billion SanDisk commands roughly a quarter of the total storage device market globally. Both its chief executive officer Sanjay Mehrotra and chief strategy officer Sumit Sadana are Indian-born. IIT Kharagpur-educated Sadana told HT that the proposed manufacturing facility will mainly be an assembly unit for digital storage products.

Three months on: Japan’s semiconductor industry recovers from quake

Source: Isaac Leung, Electronics News, June 22 2011

WITH typical Japanese efficiency, the country’s semiconductor industry has bounced back quickly after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011. Immediately after the earthquakes and tsunamis which devastated parts of the industry, Electronics News reported on a bleak situation in which many facilities were offline. Damaged power plants meant the country was subject to rolling blackouts, further disrupting production capabilities. While the electricity situation has improved with time, the Japanese government is still implementing 15 percent power cuts. However, many semiconductor companies now report production has reached pre-quake levels. Additionally, the semiconductor industry both locally and globally have successfully lobbied to have the semiconductor fabs and many chemical plants providing raw materials for electronics excluded from the power cuts.

Tech venture investing in India has a powerful future

Source: Deepak Gupta, VC Circle, June 22 2011

As an investment manager in India, I am frequently asked to share my observations on how the tech VC ecosystem has evolved over the past decade. Having made a comeback to the VC industry with Intel Capital last year, after being out of action for almost six years, it is interesting to see how the ecosystem is maturing progressively.

Govt invites EoI for semiconductor fabs

Source: Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee, The Hindu Business Line, June 23 2011

The Government has invited preliminary Expression of Interest (EoI) from technology companies and investors for setting up semiconductor fabs in India. The move comes at a time when the Centre is looking to unveil a policy to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent by 2025, and attract foreign investments in manufacturing. Incidentally, this is India's second attempt at attracting large investments in semiconductor wafer fabrication plants or fabs which manufacture chips that go into electronic devices.

Compiled by ISA Research

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