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Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2017


From the editor's desk: More of the same, but hopefully better
31 January 2017, News

I don’t often say this at the start of a new year, but if 2017 carries on more or less where 2016 left off, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Last year wasn’t perfect for the local electronics sector by any means, but there were signs of renewed optimism both in the official news being put out and also in the tones of private conversations being had.

In this first issue of 2017, we get off on the right foot with exciting news from across the electronic engineering spectrum. Firstly, our students are doing us proud by participating once again at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany. Chosen from the Universities of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch, six students will compete in the International Student Cluster Competition, an event which South Africa has won three out of the four times of trying.

On the research front, too, we are making waves at the cutting edge, with Wits (University of the Witwatersrand) researchers having made a breakthrough in quantum electronics that could significantly further the development of carbon-based high-frequency devices.

At the level of industry, we are not far from seeing the wide-scale deployment of the Sigfox network in South Africa. Sigfox has already been deployed in 25 other countries, and is designed specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT) market, which is projected to be worth more than $2 billion locally by 2020. Unsurprisingly, the rollout will focus on the major metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban initially, but full national coverage is planned for 2018. Sticking with wireless communications, local company Poynting Antennas has scored an overseas design win, its antennas having been designed into a network of high-tech weather stations across Norway to assist the country’s air ambulance services.

It appears that major changes are on the horizon for Altron, with the news that the technology group has secured major funding, but may be one step closer to having its management wrested from the control of the Venter family. With all due respect to Dr Bill Venter and what his company has contributed to the South African technology sector over decades, it is probably about time the beleaguered company has a shake-up and look to rebuild under new management.

Whether for good or bad, manufacturing will continue to be a key topic in the local electronics sector. On this front, we have produced our third annual Electronics Manufacturing & Production (EMP) Handbook, which you will have received a copy of together with this, the year’s first issue of Dataweek.

On behalf of the whole Dataweek team, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers the very best for a memorable and productive 2017.

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Further reading:

  • Electronics news digest
    19 April 2017, News
    Overseas    Companies • Apple dealt a blow to Imagination Technologies, and to its share prices, by announcing that it will no longer use Imagination’s intellectual property in its new products in 15 months ...
  • arei - from the chairman's desk
    19 April 2017, AREI, News
    The rumours were confirmed on 31 March 2017, but one has to wonder if this is just a lead up to a sick April Fool’s joke. Alas, there are no Zapiro cartoons in the Sunday papers with the words “Heh, Heh, ...
  • Company profile: Solve Direct Electronics
    19 April 2017, News
    And so it happened that, in 2014, he started Solve Direct Electronics as a 100% black owned (40% black women) business operating from Saab Grintek Defence’s premises in Highveld Techno Park, Centurion, ...
  • Mteto Nyati chosen to lead Altron
    19 April 2017, News
    Nyati was previously the CEO for MTN South Africa, having taken up the role in October 2014 after working at Microsoft South Africa since 2008. At Microsoft, he served as managing director for the South ...
  • From the editor's desk - Out with the old
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    I once mistakenly credited President Jacob Zuma with having an underrated, though diabolical, sense of humour. That was back when he decided to split the former Department of Communications into a new, ...
  • Microchip pushes direct e-commerce via mobile
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    Microchip Technology has débuted its updated, feature-rich and mobile-optimised e-commerce platform for purchasing microcontrollers, mixed-signal, analog, Flash-IP solutions and more. microchipDIRECT, ...
  • Low-cost IoT breakthrough
    19 April 2017, News, Electronics Technology
    “A wireless technology breakthrough from product design and development firm, Cambridge Consultants, is bringing the vision of ‘smart dust’ a step closer to reality,” claims a recent statement by said ...
  • DesignSpark nets half a million users
    19 April 2017, RS Components (SA), Design Automation, News
    DesignSpark, an online electronics engineering community launched in 2010 by RS Components, recently welcomed its 500 000th member. The DesignSpark ecosystem offers online design resources and free ...
  • Electronics news digest
    22 March 2017, News
    Overseas    Business • For the first quarter of its fiscal year 2017, Analog Devices announced revenue totalling $984 million, down 2% sequentially but up 28% year-over-year. Revenue in its B2B markets ...
  • Online ordering is advancing, but not yet the norm
    22 March 2017, News
    Two local electronic component distributors and a leading security OEM share their insights on the popularity of online ordering platforms.
  • Training and facility upgrade at KZN solar module plant
    22 March 2017, News
    ARTsolar has implemented a certified training and facilities upgrade programme at the only South African owned photovoltaic manufacturing plant.
  • Chronicles of DesignCon 2017
    22 March 2017, Cirtech EDA, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services, News
    Cirtech EDA’s Nechain Naicker was appointed to DesignCon USA’s technical programme committee, and reports back on the conference.

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