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Electronics news digest

28 October 2020 News

South Africa

• The Department of Defence (DoD) has appointed a special team, called ‘Save Denel’ to investigate Denel’s financial struggles, and the impact they might have on SA National Defence Force (SANDF) projects. Denel is struggling with liquidity and this affects its ability to pay salaries as well as complete projects for the SANDF. The Save Denel team comprises industry body AMD’s executive director Sandile Ndlovu, Armscor non-executive director Dr Moses Khanyile, the chief executives of Denel (acting, at present) and Armscor as well as representatives from the departments of Public Enterprises and Defence.

Overseas

Companies

• NVIDIA and SoftBank Group announced a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited in a transaction valued at $40 billion. The combination brings together NVIDIA’s leading AI computing platform with Arm’s vast ecosystem to create the premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence, accelerating innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets.

• According to the Wall Street Journal, AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) is in late-stage discussions to acquire FPGA maker Xilinx in a deal that could be valued at more than $30 billion. AMD’s main products include microprocessors, motherboard chipsets, embedded processors and graphics processors for servers, workstations, personal computers and embedded system applications. The news follows a slew of new product releases by AMD, and inroads made by Xilinx in penetrating the data centre market with its ACAP (Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform) technology.

Industry


• The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced worldwide sales of semiconductors were $36,2 billion in August 2020, 4,9 percent more than the August

2019 total of $34,5 billion and 3,6 percent higher than the July 2020 total of $35,0 billion (as shown in figure). “Global semiconductor sales increased year-to-year in August for the seventh consecutive month, demonstrating the global market so far has remained largely insulated from ongoing global macroeconomic headwinds, but there is still substantial uncertainty for the months ahead,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. “Sales into the Americas stood out in August, increasing by nearly 24 percent year-to-year.”

• 2020 is on track to become at least the second-largest year in history for semiconductor merger and acquisition (M&A) announcements, according to data released by IC Insights. 2015 holds the all-time record at $107,7 billion, while 2020 currently stands at $63,1 billion, thanks mainly to the mergers between Analog Devices and Maxim Integrated Products, and between NVIDIA and Arm. Importantly, this data was compiled prior to the speculative news about AMD and Xilinx as detailed above, which would take the 2020 M&A; total to around $93 billion.




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