Electronic News Digest


Electronics News Digest

23 November 2022 Electronic News Digest

Financials

• The semiconductor has moved rapidly from a shortage of chips to a glut of chips, as the economy has hit the brakes on worldwide demand. TSMC, the largest player in the semiconductor world, announced a drastic cut in spending of 10% for 2023, despite reporting a good financial quarter. This cut translates to an amount of US$8 billion being removed from suppliers’ coffers.

• Third quarter 2022 data on PC and smartphone shipments has been released and shows a continuing year-on-year decline. IDC estimates PC units in Q3 2022 were down 15% over the previous year, matching the decline in Q2 2022. IDC’s forecast for PC units for September was a 12,8% decline for the year 2022, which is in line with the latest quarterly data. Canalys estimates Q3 2022 smartphone shipments declined 9% year-over-year, matching IDC’s estimate of an 8,7% decline in Q2 2022. IDC’s August projection was a 6,5% drop in smartphone units in year 2022, but the final number will likely be closer to a 9% decline based on the latest data. IDC expects the PC decline to moderate to a 2,6% decline in 2023, but expects smartphones to recover to 5,2% growth.

• Silicon Labs has announced a healthy growth in revenue for Q3 2022. The robust financial results for the period ending 1 October 2022, saw profits up 3% sequentially and 46% year-on-year. The company saw revenue growth across both its Industrial & Commercial and Home & Life businesses. The 3% increase translated to a total revenue of $270 million, with Industrial & Commercial taking the lion’s share of that at $146 million, up 56% YoY.

• Following on from this, Silicon Labs’ board of directors has authorised an additional $50 million to the existing share repurchase program. The company’s common stock repurchase programme now has a remaining authorised amount of $300 million and remains in effect until December 2023.

• Mycronic announced positive Q3 results, starting with an increase in orders of 30%. This was, however, on the back of a relatively weak preceding quarter. Net sales for Q3 increased 23%, but was largely caused by fluctuations in the exchange rate. Based on constant exchange rates, the reported net sales increased by 10%. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased to SEK203 million with all units reporting a double-digit EBIT margin.

• In a report published by Berg Insight, it was announced that more than 4,5 million cellular IoT gateways were shipped globally in 2021. This was a total market value of $1,15 billion. In welcome news, annual sales grew at a rate of 14% as demand recovered following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the industry experienced a constrained supply of key components, resulting in extended delivery times.

• Berg Insight also reported that sales growth in cellular IoT gateways has continued into 2022, but will likely slow down in 2023 as economic conditions tighten across the main regions. Until 2026, annual revenues from the sales of cellular IoT gateways are forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14%, to reach $2,18 billion at the end of the forecast period.

Companies

• Volvo has announced that its truck plant in Ghent, Belgium will start to produce battery modules in 2025. The investment decision to install battery module manufacturing capacity is an important step for the group to shape its future EV aspirations. The manufacturing line will be able to use battery cells both from partners and from the planned battery cell plant in Sweden.

• DuPont has announced that it has joined the Semiconductor Climate Consortium (SCC) as a founding member. The SCC is an outgrowth of the SEMI Sustainability Initiative and is the first global, ecosystem-wide effort to advance the semiconductor industry’s response to the challenge of climate change. Its vision is to accelerate progressive climate action in support of the Paris Agreement, with the goal of limiting global warming potential to 1,5°C.

• RS Group has announced the formation of RS Safety Solutions as a new brand within the group. RS Safety Solutions brings together the existing RS personal protection equipment (PPE) capabilities with the operations of both Needlers and Liscombe, which are based in the UK. RS Group acquired Needlers Limited in 2020 and John Liscombe Limited in 2021. The combination of the two businesses within RS Safety Solutions will enable the leveraging of their respective strengths to serve customers in industrial and food processing markets and address their requirements for PPE and safety and hygiene equipment.

• In a joint press release, Siemens and Eplan have announced a strategic partnership. Eplan is a provider of software and service solutions in the fields of electrical, automation and mechatronic engineering. The partnership will seek to strengthen collaboration in the area of software solutions for the industry and to provide optimised solutions for switchgear manufacturers and electrical planners. Siemens will join the Eplan Partner Network as a strategic partner.

• Vicor has expanded its manufacturing capacity by 2,5-fold with the opening of its new 8400 m2, state-of-the-art converter housed in a package (CHiP) fabrication facility in Andover, USA. The new fab is a first, leveraging a highly scalable approach similar to what semiconductor wafer fabs do. This fab will allow Vicor to set the standard for high-quality, low-cost power module manufacturing.

• Senior vice president of Mycronic and member of its group management, Michael Chalsen, has announced his retirement. He will stay on in the same role until at least 31 December 2022, while a recruitment process to find his successor takes place.

• Systems used in many high-reliability commercial aviation, space, defence, automotive and industrial applications require certification to the IEC 61508 Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3 functional safety specification. Microchip has now added IEC 61508 SIL 3 certification packages for two more of its System-on-Chip FPGA families. These certifications have been added to the low-power-consumption SmartFusion 2 SoC FPGAs and IGLOO 2 FPGAs, SoCs widely used for applications in smart grid, automation controllers, process analysers and other safety-critical applications.

• Africa’s largest vendor-neutral data centre and interconnection platform provider, Teraco has announced the completion of the first phase of JB4, its new hyperscale data centre addition to the Bredell Campus, Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg. The new facility supports the growing demand by enterprises and cloud providers for data centre capacity. JB4 offers highly resilient and secure colocation facilities in line with Teraco’s long-term vision of enabling digital transformation across Africa.

• Eskom has reported that unit 1 flue gas duct at Kusile power station has failed and could remain off for months. This is the section of duct exiting the sulphur dioxide absorber. The bad news is that this duct feeds into the same reinforced concrete chimney that houses flue gas ducts from units 2 and 3, which means that these units may need to be off to assess the damage and carry out repairs. While the timing is uncertain, it is anticipated that repairs may take a few months.

Technologies

• The EU has officially approved the common charger directive that has been on the table for the past few months. This law will make it compulsory for all electronic devices sold in EU countries to have an integrated USB-C port for charging and communications by late 2024. The rules stipulated by the legislation will only apply 24 months after coming into force, providing companies with a period in which to transition away from proprietary ports.

• The time frame for this newly signed law covers all electronic devices with one major exception. Laptops sold in the EU will only be required to sport a USB-C port by early 2026. While many companies have already made the switch to USB-C, one notable exception with its mobile devices is Apple which is likely to be the company most significantly impacted by this change. The iPhone has stubbornly stuck with the proprietary lightning port but will now be forced to change if it does not want to lose out on this huge market.

• Indium Corporation has earned a Global Technology Award for flux-cored wire. The fast-wetting, no-clean cored wire with spatter control was presented at SMTA International, hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

• In a new report by Bishop and Associates, the military ground vehicle market has seen a drastic change over the last few years, as new technology is increasingly incorporated into these vehicles. Hi-Rel connectors are required for this application. The report forecasts that the market for military ground vehicle connectors will have a CAGR of 4,2% over the next five years.




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Electronic News Digest
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