ISA WINWire March 18 - 25 2011

Silicon Valley backs effort to help foreign entrepreneurs

Source: Evelyn M. Rusli, The New York Times, March 17 2011

A New Zealand entrepreneur seemed to have everything lined up for the start of his social networking venture in the United States. He had raised $430,000, hired 14 employees and leased an office just a few miles away from the famed Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley. He had everything — except a visa. With his application still pending in December, he had to leave the country. Since then, many of his employees have quit, and his money has been depleted. “The continual waiting is frustrating,” said the entrepreneur, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because his visa application was being reviewed. “I don’t know when I’m going to get approved — it could be in two or three months, or more.”

Japan’s automakers expect more delays

Source: Nick Bunkley, The New York Times, March 18 2011

A week after catastrophe struck Japan in the form of an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear crisis, manufacturers that rely on Japanese factories are concluding that their operations will be affected more severely — and for a longer time — than they had initially hoped. Nissan, for example, has at least nine Japanese vehicle and parts factories and 35 suppliers that have been disrupted by the disaster. The company’s engine plant in Iwaki, damaged by the quake, could take so long to get back to normal production that Nissan is considering the extreme step of shipping engines made at its Tennessee plant to Japan to go in cars there, the chairman of Nissan Americas said in an interview Friday.

GE Healthcare to invest another $50 million in India

Source: News in msn, March 18 2011

Global medical equipment major GE Healthcare will roll out more innovative diagnostic devices for the growing wellness market in the country, a senior executive said Thursday. "We will invest an additional $50 million (Rs.225 million) to set up more facilities for making nine-ten new products every year for diagnostic services, including anaesthesia, ventilation, CT (computer tomography) systems and molecular imaging," GE Healthcare Systems chief executive Omar Ishrak told reporters here.

Stress test for the global supply chain

Source: Steve Lohr, The New York Times, March 19 2011

TONY PROPHET, a senior vice president for operations at Hewlett-Packard, was awakened at 3:30 a.m. in California and was told that an earthquake and tsunami had struck Japan. Soon after, Mr. Prophet had set up a virtual “situation room,” so managers in Japan, Taiwan and America could instantly share information. Mr. Prophet oversees all hardware purchasing for H.P.’s $65-billion-a-year global supply chain, which feeds its huge manufacturing engine. The company’s factories churn out two personal computers a second, two printers a second and one data-center computer every 15 seconds.

Inverting power cuts

Source: Times of India, March 19 2011

When he was 15, and studying in standard X, he would go around localities in Delhi on a bicycle selling pens. Today, he's the reason why many households in India, and especially those in north India, find their summers bearable when power breaks down. Kunwer Sachdev is the man behind Su-Kam, the inverter brand that's become a household name in many parts of the country. Till Su-Kam came, it was impossible to depend on an inverter because inverter quality was terrible. So people had generators, which was more expensive and also fouled the air, or had both an inverter and generator, so that they could switch to the latter when the former failed.

Govt earmarks Rs 1.5k cr for solar projects over next 2 yrs

Source: The Economic Times, March 21 2011

The government would dole out Rs 1,500 crore over the next two years to banks and finance companies to lend money to solar energy projects at a generous 5% interest rate, a top government official said. The money would be lent to small solar projects adding up to 200 mw by companies like Sidbi, Nabard and National Housing Bank. These lenders would be provided interest-free loans by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), an arm of the renewable energy ministry.

Women lag in race for tech jobs

Source: Kumar Shankar Roy,, March 22 2011

Women have, traditionally, been underrepresented in science and technology fields the world over. In India too, women scientists and technologists are a minority. In fact, women comprise less than 10 per cent of the workforce in the electronics sector in the country. The India Semiconductor Association's Women in Technology Forum organised a panel discussion on success, challenges and growth strategies for women in the technology sector on March 22 in Bangalore. The panel shared opinions on strategies to increase contribution of women in the electronics industry.

NetLogic to buy fabless chip firm Optichron

Source: CIOL, March 23 2011

Chipmaker NetLogic Microsystems Inc said it will buy a privately held fabless semiconductor provider for an initial $77 million in cash, to expand its footprint in the 4G long-term evolution (LTE) market. Optichron Inc's advanced processors will support wider signal bandwidth, spectrum maximization and power efficiency for carriers deploying next-generation LTE, NetLogic said. "The exponential growth in mobile data traffic in the next five years, coupled with global spectrum scarcity, are forcing service providers and operators worldwide to push the limits on capacity and throughput for their limited spectrum," NetLogic said in a statement.

IBM to acquire Tririga to enhance its real estate portfolio

Source: CXOtoday, March 23 2011

IBM (NYSE: IBM) recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire Tririga, a Las Vegas, Nevada-based provider of facility and real estate management software solutions. The move aims to accelerate IBM’s smarter buildings initiatives, which are estimated to drive $10 billion in revenue for IBM by 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed. “The combination of Tririga and IBM smarter building solutions will deliver the industry’s most comprehensive capabilities that span the needs of all industries for managing facilities and real estate portfolios,” remarked Florence Hudson, energy and environment executive, IBM.

Automakers charged up for green drive

Source: Business Standard: March 23 2011

With Budget concessions in place to propel the Indian automobile industry on a green drive, manufacturers are planning electric and hybrid variants of cars and two-wheelers. However, stakeholders say, infrastructural bottlenecks, lack of affordable technology and high operating costs could make the commercial introduction of eco-friendly vehicles unviable in the near future. Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicle (SMEV) Director Sohinder Gill said: “In the Budget, the finance minister reduced the import duty on batteries from 26 per cent to four per cent. This would directly translate into reduction in running costs of electric vehicles by a fifth. This, coupled with the incentive scheme announced in November last year, would double the sale of electric two-wheelers in the organised sector in the coming financial year.” While the sale of two-wheelers is projected to increase from 40,000 units to 80,000 units, electric car sales are expected to rise three-fold to 3,000 units in the year. The numbers are minuscule, considering around 1.9 million scooters and 2.3 million passenger vehicles have been sold in the domestic market between April and February this financial year.

Wipro to expand chip services unit by 10-15%

Source: Mark LaPedus, EE Times, March 24 2011

Semiconductor firms have had to juggle two tall orders over the past years—cut costs and speed up device development and shipment. These demands have created the need for fabless ASIC houses such as eSilicon, Faraday, Global Unichip, Open-Silicon, among others, which are tasked to handle IC projects for chipmakers lacking the necessary resources. These ASIC houses offer various kinds of IC design services, supply chain management and other services. One such vendor is India's Wipro Ltd, which provides IT solutions and services, including systems integration, information systems outsourcing, software application development and maintenance, and R&D services to corporations.

Broadcom expands into microwave backhaul

Source: EETimes, March 25 2011

Broadcom Corp. announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Provigent to bring in engineering expertise in microwave radio products that will expand its reach into the Rs.22,740.45 crore ($5B) microwave backhaul equipment business. Provigent, a privately-held fabless SoC provider of mixed signal semiconductors for microwave backhaul systems has offices in Israel and California.

Electronics, IT sector to need 3.2 million workforce by 2022: NSDC

Source: The Economic Times, March 25 2011

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has estimated that the electronics and IT hardware industry will require an additional 3-3.2 million skilled employees till 2022 and 70% of them will be absorbed into manufacturing and servicing support. NSDC had engaged IMaCS (ICRA Management Consulting Services) for the study. It revealed that the electronics and IT hardware industry has the potential to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 17% till 2022 if we consider that the GDP will grow at the rate of 7.5% to 8% over this period.

Compiled by ISA Research

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