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ISA WINWire September 16 - 23 2011


New policy to earmark purchases from domestic electronics firms

Source: Surabhi Agarwal, Mint, September 14 2011

India is considering a move that would make it mandatory for all government departments to make at least one-third of the annual purchases of computers and other electronic equipment from domestic manufacturers, according to an official at the department of information technology (DIT) who did not want to be identified. The move is aimed at giving a boost to electronic manufacturing in India. While parts of the initiative may be in breach of international trade rules, the government is looking at ways of ensuring compliance, the official said. The government is one of the biggest buyers of hardware in India. According to market research firm International Data Corp., 6-8% of the $10 billion ('47,000 crore) that will be spent on computers, servers and other hardware in India in the current fiscal to March will be accounted for by the government.

Gartner: Current semiconductor inventory at worrisome levels

Source: The Times of India, September 20 2011

Semiconductor days of inventory (DOI) are forecast to plateau in the third quarter of 2011 at worrisome levels given current conditions and the likelihood that consumer and business spending will be weaker than expected, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner expects the semiconductor industry to begin an inventory correction in late 2011. "The semiconductor industry entered the third quarter of 2011 with moderately high levels of inventory," said Gerald Van Hoy, senior research analyst at Gartner. "Current levels are too high given the weakening economic sentiment, and the industry must rein in production growth and take action to reduce accumulated inventory. We expect that these actions will occur during the next few quarters with production and sell-through expected to return roughly to balance by the second quarter of 2012."

Minister of IT and Communications for Andhra Pradesh speaks at press conference commemorating Microsemi's two-year anniversary in Hyderabad

Source: Dallas South News, September 20 2011

Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, today held a press conference at its facility in Hyderabad, India, to discuss the company's commitment to the region and to mark its second anniversary in the country. Highlights of the event included comments from Mr. Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Minister of Information Technology and Communications for Andhra Pradesh. The Minister acknowledged the important role Microsemi has played in many of the country's space and defense programs. In the space sector, he noted that Microsemi's technology has been deployed in various satellite programs including series IRNS, INSAT, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite system and a variety of remote sensing (agriculture/weather) communications satellites. The Minister also praised Microsemi for its contribution of radiation-hardened technology for use in Chandrayaan-1, India's first scientific mission to the moon, and for its upcoming deployment in the 2014 launch of the Chandrayaan-2 lunar rover.

India to topple Japan as world's 3rd-largest economy

Source: Rishi Shah, The Economic Times, September 20 2011

India might become the world's third largest economy in 2011 by overtaking Japan in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) measured according to the domestic purchasing power of the rupee, otherwise called purchasing power parity. India is now the fourth-largest economy behind the US, China and Japan. Numbers from 2010 show that the Japanese economy was worth $4.31 trillion, with India snapping at its heels at $4.06 trillion. But after March's devastating tsunami and earthquakes, Japan's economy is widely expected to contract while India's economy will grow between 7% and 8% this fiscal. "India should overtake Japan in 2011 to become the third-largest economy in the world at purchasing power parity," said Sunil Sinha, head of research and senior economist at Crisil.

In India, nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs

Source: Nida Najar, Dealbook In The New York Times, September 21, 2011

Teacups in hand and butter biscuits within reach, a handful of local technology titans debated the future of some young Indian entrepreneurs on a summer Saturday. After grilling five teams over several hours, the group, the Indian Angel Network, put two promising start-ups on the short list for potential financing. “The Angel Network is really trying to help breed innovation,” said Padmaja Ruparel, the president of the organization. “Our efforts are really going into driving the economic engine of India.” Even though India is famous for its software industry, it hasn’t been a conducive environment for up-and-coming technology companies. Unlike in Silicon Valley, start-ups here cannot easily access capital, tap into a network of serial entrepreneurs or hone their ideas through incubators. Wealthy individuals and organizations like Indian Angel Network are increasingly filling the void, providing initial capital to young companies with strong prospects.

Women achievers like Nandita Luthra of Bharti-Walmart and Geetu Verma of Hindustan Unilever marking a change in India Inc hiring trends

Source: The Economic Times, September 21 2011

When Hindustan Unilever hired Pepsi executive director Geetu Verma to head its Rs 3,000-crore foods business earlier this month, sources from the industry and search firms swear they heard the glass ceiling crack. HUL is known to prefer lifers who have worked their way up in key marketing and operational roles and no woman has done that yet. Verma, an outsider, will be the first woman business head at HUL. And if search firms are to be believed, Verma's appointment is the first among many such woman leaders the company is now looking to hire. "HUL has always recruited on the principle of meritocracy," a company spokesperson said. Coca-Cola India, unlike its rival PepsiCo India, had no women executives for about six months in its top management till it found Sonu Grover and Anupama Ahluwalia this year. The latter, a former Idea Cellular executive, is now heading the beverage maker's high-profile marketing team.

Qualcomm takes majority share of application processor market

Source: Phil Ling, EETimes, September 21 2011

According to a report from Strategy Analytics, Qualcomm took 51.5% revenue share in the smart phone applications processor market in Q2 of this year. Qualcomm, Samsung, TI, Marvell and Nvidia featured in the top 5 in both shipment and revenue, and despite TI’s strong OMAP family it fell to number three in the rankings overall. Strategy Analytics believes this reflects the weakness of TI’s major customer, Nokia: “Qualcomm took over 50 percent revenue share in Q2 2011 on the strength of its dominant market position in the Android ecosystem and Snapdragon processor momentum. Strategy Analytics estimates that Qualcomm’s applications processors powered over 60 percent of Android smartphones shipped in Q2 2011,” noted Stuart Robinson, Director of the Handset Component Technologies service. He added, “In contrast, despite their similar integrated approach Qualcomm’s competitors Broadcom and ST-Ericsson so far failed to capitalize on smartphone growth to build a strong position in the applications processor market.”

National Automotive Board to be set up soon

Source: The Hindu Business Line, September 22 2011

A National Automotive Board (NAB) to look into policy and certification-related issues of the automobile industry will soon be in place. It is expected to come into force in the next two to three months. “The NAB will mainly be the co-ordinating authority for the upcoming seven automotive centres of National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP). All certification such as mileage and pollution check will come under its scanner,” said the Department of Heavy Industry Joint Secretary, Mr Ambuj Sharma. The board is also considering formulating guidelines regarding recall of vehicles. “Currently, the guidelines for recalls are being deliberated. We are also discussing imposition of penalties if the auto maker does not recall vehicles despite faults,” Mr Sharma said.

Microsemi Corporation to acquire Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

Source: D&R, September 22 2011

Microsemi Corporation (NASDAQ: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, and Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (TSX: ZL), a leading provider of mixed-signal chip technologies for a broad range of communications and medical applications, announced today that they have entered into a Support Agreement pursuant to which Microsemi, through a wholly-owned subsidiary (the "Offeror"), will amend its existing offers to increase the price offered for all of the issued and outstanding common shares (the "Shares") and 6% unsecured, subordinated convertible debentures maturing September 30, 2012 (the "Debentures") of Zarlink by 19% to CAD$3.98 in cash per Share and CAD$1,624.49 in cash per CAD$1,000 principal amount of Debentures plus accrued and unpaid interest to the date Debentures are taken up (the "Amended Offers"). The Board of Directors of Zarlink, after receiving fairness opinions from its financial advisors.

Broadcom closes DTV, Blu-ray chip units

Source: Junko Yoshida, EETimes, September 22 2011

Broadcom has quietly shut down its digital TV operations, including offices from Toronto to Pennsylvania to China. The closures began earlier this week (Sept. 19), EE Times has confirmed. More than 100 of Broadcom’s DTV engineering and marketing staff based in Toronto and a team of more than 30 employees in Yardley, PA., have lost their jobs. An internal company memo stated that Broadcom plans to exit the DTV and Blu-ray business, according to industry sources. Broadcom neither confirmed nor denied the decision. Asked to confirm the move, a Broadcom’s spokesman initially said he was not authorized to speak. Several minutes later, he replied with an official “no comment” response from the company’s management. Broadcom’s DTV operation had a checkered history of acquisitions.

Compiled by ISA Research

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