• President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the COVID-19 Information Centre, a data centre set up to monitor and track the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The centre, which is housed in a secure facility at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in Pretoria, provides close to real-time analytics and dashboards on the coronavirus outbreak per province, district, local municipality and ward. It was shortly after this visit that Ramaphosa announced the extension of South Africa’s lockdown from 17 April initially, to what is effectively the end of April – an announcement which was presumably prompted by the data he was shown during his visit.
• Texas Instruments reported first quarter revenue of $3,33 billion (down 7% compared to 2019 figures), net income of $1,17 billion (down 4%) and earnings per share of $1,24. With a COVID-19 recession likely upon us, the company’s second quarter outlook is for revenue in the range of $2,61 billion to $3,19 billion, and earnings per share between $0,64 and $1,04.
• STMicroelectronics reported first quarter net revenues of $2,23 billion, gross margin of 37,9%, operating margin of 10,4% and net income of $192 million or $0,21 diluted earnings per share. This represented a 7,5% increase in net revenues year-over-year, led by higher sales of the company’s imaging products and growth in analog and microcontrollers, partially offset by lower sales in automotive, power discrete and digital.
• The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced worldwide sales of semiconductors were $34,5 billion for the month of February 2020, a decrease of 2,4% from the January 2020 total of $35,4 billion, but a jump of 5,0% compared to the February 2019 total of $32,9 billion. Regionally, month-to-month sales increased in Japan (6,9%) and Europe (2,4%), but decreased in Asia Pacific/All Other (-1,2%), the Americas (-1,4%) and China (-7,5%). Sales increased year-to-year in the Americas (14,2%), Japan (7,0%) and China (5,5%), but were down in Asia Pacific/All Other (-0,1%) and Europe (-1,8%).
• Trusted Firmware, the open governance community project hosted by Linaro Community Projects Division, announced that Renesas Electronics and NXP Semiconductors have joined the Trusted Firmware Project. Members to date include Arm, Cypress, Data IO, Futurewei, Google, Linaro, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments. The project is designed to reduce porting and integration work across the ecosystem by creating reusable reference implementations for SoC and Trusted OS developers. The project collaborates on the development of Trusted Firmware-A (TF-A), Trusted Firmware-M (TF-M) and OP-TEE.
• IC Insights forecasts that worldwide IC unit shipments will register their first-ever back-to-back annual decline in 2020. From 2013 through 2018, IC unit shipments were on a respectable growth path with an 8% increase logged in 2013, a 9% jump registered in 2014, a 5% increase displayed in 2015, a 7% increase shown in 2016, a double-digit growth rate of 15% in 2017 and a 10% increase in 2018. In contrast to the double-digit increases in 2017 and 2018, 2019 marked only the fifth time in the history of the IC industry that IC unit shipments registered a decline. IC Insights’ baseline forecast for global IC market growth for 2020 now stands at -4% with total IC unit shipments expected to decline by 3% this year. If this forecast comes to fruition, IC Insights believes it would be the only back-to-back annual IC unit shipment declines in the history of the IC industry.
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