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ISA WINWire October 07 - 14 2011


Strong analog growth bucks semiconductor industry trend

Source: Electroiq, October 7 2011

Analog semiconductors, within the computing, consumer, and communications markets, will buck the trend of contraction in the overall chip industry, growing 13.8% in 2011, 8.6% in 2012, then 12.8% in 2013. The overall analog forecast covers standard linear, amplifiers, interface, voltage regulators and reference circuits, data conversion circuits, comparators, application specific analog ICs (Small Scale, Medium Scale, and Large Scale Complexity). All of these categories combined will reach $61.9 billion, a 7.9% increase over 2010's $42.4 billion. In 2010, the consumer market accounted for 33.3% of the analog market. This will shrink to 23.4% in 2015. At the annual Analog Semiconductor Leader' Forum, October 13, South Korea, Jim Feldhan will present "High Performance Analog IC: The Catalyst for Electronic System Success," addressing this shift.

Synopsys acquires Extreme DA

Source: EDA Café News, October 7 2011

Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS), a world leader in software and IP used in the design, verification and manufacture of electronic components and systems, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Extreme DA™, a privately held company headquartered in Santa Clara, California that develops software to improve integrated circuit (IC) design performance, power consumption and manufacturing yields. The acquisition extends Synopsys' expertise in static timing analysis and multicore software development by adding technology and engineering talent to accelerate advancements in Synopsys' timing analysis solutions. In addition to having access to technology that can help them address Giga-scale design challenges, customers will benefit from a world-class sales support team. The terms of the acquisition, which closed October 6, have not been disclosed.

New telecom policy may ring in cheer to mobile users

Source: Sandeep Joshi, The Hindu Business Line, October 9 2011

The draft National Telecom Policy-2011, to be unveiled by Communications Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday, is likely to bring more cheer to over 85-crore mobile users. If DoT insiders are to be believed, mobile users will not have to pay roaming charges while travelling outside their telecom circle. Today, a mobile user (leaving his telecom circle and travelling to other States) pays Re.1 a minute each on all incoming calls and outgoing local calls in the circle he is travelling in, while he is charged Rs.1.50 for outgoing STD calls. But with the draft NTP-2011 likely to do away with the national roaming charges, the user will be able to bring down his monthly bill. The idea is to help people talk more while roaming, which would also help mobile operators who are under pressure to earn more revenues, say officials of the Department of Telecommunications.

India claims Rs.1,569.51 tablet computer

Source: Kariyatil Krishnadas, EE Times. October 10 2011

The Indian government launches a tablet computer for students priced at a subsidized rate of Rs.1,569.51 ($35) and made by a hitherto unknown manufacturer, Datawind Ltd, a developer of wireless Web access products based in the U.K. The same gadget will be sold to the general public at a retail price of Rs.2,690.58 ($60). The gadget named "Aakash" (or sky) features Wi-Fi connectivity, cloud-based storage, 256MB RAM, 32GB expandable memory slot and two USB ports. The tablet has a 2,100mAh battery which can reportedly last for two to three hours depending on the type of usage. The version for students will not have an embedded cellular modem or SIM card, but both versions will run on Google's Android 2.2 (Froyo) platform. Both will feature a 177.8mm resistive touch screen with 800x480 resolution, weigh about 350grams and include Wi-Fi connectivity for internet access and cloud storage. The tablet claims to support formats such as DOC, DOCX, PDF and PPTX and has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind, told a television channel that the product will be made in India and go through extensive product testing. "This is a made-in-India product, with the screen coming from a South Korean company and the chip from a U.S. company. It has 800 components and the screen cost the most, under Rs.448.43 ($10)." Tuli was quoted as saying.

India Inc hiring up 20 per cent

Source: IBEF, October 10 2011

As the Western economies continue to remain in deep freeze, more and more foreigners, mostly from the US and Europe are looking at India for jobs, a trend that has seen up to 20 per cent spurt this year, according to headhunters. According to industry estimates, there are as many as 40,000 expats working in various industries in the country today. "Hiring of expats has picked up by 15-20 per cent at all levels since last year, mainly on account of India being one of the fastest growing economies offering huge job opportunities," as per Ratnesh Kumar, Consulting Manager for International Practices, recruitment process outsourcing firm Elixir told PTI.

Apple's ecosystem incomparable: TSMC chairman

Source: Taiwan News Online, October 10 2011

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) Chairman Morris Chang said Monday that Apple Inc. has built a unique ecosystem that has helped to consolidate its lead over its competitors. In a special column of the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, Chang said Apple has not only created many milestones with its sales of iPod, iPhone and iPad, but has also introduced innovations to enhance user experience. The iPod changed the way people listen to music and altered the face of competition in the music player industry, he said. The iPhone, which has sold more 100 million units in the past four years, expanded the functions of a mobile phone from just voice calls with the addition of a touchscreen, he noted.

EDA revenues top Rs.6,000 crore in Q2 11

Source: Dylan McGrath, EE Times, October 11 2011

According to EDA Consortium (EDAC), the EDA segment revenue attains Rs.6,448.43 crore ($1.438 billion) in Q2, a growth of 17.6 per cent compared to Q2 last year, gaining its highest YoY increase in any Q2 for the past decade. While the annual growth was the highest in Q2 in 10 years, sales turned down 0.6 per cent compared to Q1. Only two quarters have shown stronger growth in EDA revenue, the Q4 06 and Q4 10, EDAC added. EDA growth typically lags behind semiconductor industry growth by about a year, according to Walden Rhines, chair of EDAC. During a downturn and its immediate aftermath, chip companies sometimes put off investment in EDA software. This leads to pent up demand that translates into increased sales after chip companies are certain that they are in an upswing. EDA is now benefitting from a 2010 that saw the semiconductor industry bounce back from recession to growth by more than 30 per cent, Rhines explained.

IBM to acquire system software company Platform Computing to extend reach of technical computing

Source: EDA Café News, October 11 2011

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Platform Computing, a privately held company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Platform Computing is a global leader in cluster and grid management software for distributed computing environments. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed. From departmental clusters to enterprise grids, Platform Computing management software helps clients create, integrate and manage shared computing environments that are used in resource-intensive applications such as simulations, computer modeling and analytics. These technical and high performance computing (HPC) applications fuel product development, critical business decisions and breakthrough science in financial services, manufacturing, digital media, oil and gas, life sciences, government, and research and education.

Singapore launches manufacturing tech hub

Source: EETimes, October 12 2011

The government of Singapore has shown its commitment to improving the country's level of manufacturing yield and performance. Lee Yi Shyan, minister of state for trade and industry at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), has unveiled the Manufacturing ProductivityTechnology Center (MPTC) and the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Operations Management and Innovation (OMNI) program for this purpose. The MPTC consolidates SIMTech's technologies and capabilities developed throughout the years under one roof. It will serve as a rich and valuable resource for companies planning to adopt SIMTech-developed technologies, tools and capabilities in automation, processes and systems to gain 'step-change' improvement. Among those that the center aims to innovate are companies that have yet to get on the innovation bandwagon. MPTC will also equip professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) with the expertise to deploy these technologies to develop high-value products, according to the center. By allowing access to interdisciplinary research capabilities, technologies and providing avenues for technological training, the center targets to be a knowledge hub for manufacturing innovations that will enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the industry.

Thailand fabs close due to flooding

Source: Dylan McGrath, EE Times, October 13 2011

Companies at Rojana Industrial Park, Ayuttha, Thailand have suspended their operations due to massive floods that reportedly killed at least 269 people. The industrial park is located just 40 miles north of Bangkok. Among the companies that closed are disk drive component supplier HutchinsonTechnology Inc. and chip makers Microsemi Corp. and On Semiconductor Inc. Microsemi has announced that one of its subcontracted manufacturing facilities at the Rojana Industrial Park was damaged and forced to suspend operations due to the flooding. "As we assess the impact of our operations in the region, we will continue to focus on the safety of our team and the community," said James J. Peterson, Microsemi's president and CEO, in a statement. "We are working on a recovery plan to identify solutions that ensure our customers' needs are met in an appropriate fashion, and are evaluating a variety of options including shifting production to other facilities," Peterson added.

Compiled by ISA Research

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