Electronic News Digest


Electronics News Digest

22 November 2023 Electronic News Digest

Financial

• Taiwanese chipmaker TSMS posted a 25% fall in the third quarter net profit, beating expectations and saying that the semiconductor industry is poised for recovery. For the year ahead, the company is predicting healthy growth and a drop in industry inventory levels. Demand for personal computers and smartphones, two of TSMC’s main drivers, is expected to lead the recovery, with AI growth also increasing demand for its advanced chips and advanced packaging.

• Mycronic has released its interim report for the January to September 2023 period, noting a net sales increase of 3%, and an order intake increase of 14%. Earnings per share for this period were $5,03. A third quarter net sales increase of 5% helped the overall 2023 period to date, but the outlook does not look strong, with the order intake for Q3 decreasing by 9%. The increase in net sales was largely driven by Mycronic’s Pattern Generators. September saw the delivery of the first Prexision system equipped with a solid-state laser, which reduces laser energy consumption by up to 99% compared with a gas laser – traditionally the gas laser accounts for most of the energy consumed by a mask writer.

• A new report by TrendForce states that inflation has impacted demand for consumer electronics, causing DRAM module makers’ revenues to fall 4,6%. Global DRAM sales in 2022 reached only $17,3 billion, a 4,6% YoY decline. Kingston maintained its dominant market share of 78%. Raxamel, ranked second, was the only supplier to experience an increase, with an impressive growth of 90%.

• Global SSD shipments are down 14,7% YoY, to 114 million units in 2022. The top three SSD shipment leaders were Kingston, ADATA, and Lexar, with Kingston and ADATA maintaining solid growth in market share during 2021. Lexar’s growth can be attributed to its aggressive push for revenue in anticipation of the company trading publicly. Although a smaller player, Netac was another company that maintained its competitive edge in the SSD market.

• In a recent press release, TrendForce says that new sanctions will cause a large slump in China’s demand for high-end AI servers, down to a mere 3-4% in 2023. In the ongoing chip war between the US and China, the Department of Commerce has issued another update to its export control regulations. The update is targeting sectors like the semiconductor manufacturing equipment and HPC (primarily AI) chips. The inclusion of the NXT:1980Di into the list of controlled items is a significant change. The current ban expands control over the A800, H800 and L40S series of AI chips, which will see a decrease in appetite for NVIDIA’s high-end AI servers.

• The start of Q4 2023 has seen a significant rise in the price of NAND Flash, with an anticipated hike of between 8 and 13%. This increase is largely due to stringent production controls implemented by suppliers. The continuation of this rise remains to be seen, as it hinges on the suppliers consistently reducing output and the resurgence of demand for enterprise SSDs within the server market.

• According to latest research by Berg Insight, rapid growth for the cold chain tracking solutions market is on the horizon. Shipments of remote tracking systems with cellular or satellite communications capabilities for refrigerated cargo carrying units reached 725 000 units worldwide in 2022. Growing at a CAGR of 9,8%, this number is expected to reach 1,2 million units by 2027. Annual device shipments in this category will grow from 5,9 million units in 2022 to 22,5 million units in 2027.

Companies

• A network connectivity solution, Wirepas Click, has become the 1500th member of MIKROE’s fast-growing development board range. Wirepas Click enables engineers to implement the Wirepas Mesh wireless connectivity stack. The platform provides large scalability with the technology, therefore, ideal for extensive IoT networks. This new addition to the Click range makes the perfect solution for developing long-life battery driven IoT networks, supply chains, asset tracking, and other smart applications.

• Infineon has announced that it has acquired GaN Systems, an Ottawa-based company with a broad portfolio of gallium nitride-based power conversion solutions and leading-edge knowledge in the field. GaN is rapidly becoming a key material for power semiconductors and is set to play an important role in applications like mobile charging, data centre power supplies, residential solar inverters, and onboard chargers for EVs. The acquisition will further reinforce Infineon’s position as a global leader in power systems.

• Dimension Data is undergoing a name change next year to reflect the company’s buyout by the Japanese ICT business NTT Group. The name change to NTT Data will take effect on 1 April 2024, with current CEO, Alan Turnley-Jones, continuing to lead the company in Africa and the Middle East. The company was acquired by NTT in 2010 in a R24,4 billion cash deal and merged with NTT Communications and NTT Security. The combined business will be an $18 billion revenue IT services company, the fifth largest in this category worldwide.

• Mouser Electronics has partnered with Siemens on a distribution agreement for their industrial automation solutions. Siemens’ operations encompass factory automation and digitalisation in the process and manufacturing industries, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, rail transport solutions, and health technology and digital healthcare services. Mouser will be stocking parts from Siemens in a variety of product categories, including networking devices, human-machine interface (HMI) solutions, circuit protection and power supplies.

• South African systems integrator, BCX, has announced its recent achievement of the ‘Most Valuable Partner’ award at the Alibaba Cloud Middle East & Africa Partner gala event. The criteria for this award were based on BCX’s achievements in the field of cloud computing, including its commitment to promoting Alibaba Cloud solutions and products.

• The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) has announced that Dr Rick Tsai is the 2023 recipient of the Dr Morris Change Exemplary Leadership Award. Dr Tsai is currently CEO and vice chairman of MediaTek, and oversees worldwide businesses, product strategies, technology, engineering, R&D, manufacturing operations, and information technology.

• Private equity firm, RMB Corvest, in partnership with BEE Investment vehicle Shalamuka Capital, has acquired a minority stake in Switch Telecom, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunications service provider. Switch Telecom designs, develops, customises and maintains fixed line voice services using VoIP technology for residential, corporate and wholesale clients, mainly in South Africa.

• TDK will develop tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) dies for LEM, who will incorporate these TMR dies into their integrated current sensors (ICS), a critical component used in rapidly expanding electrification applications like onboard chargers in EVs. This collaboration will further position TDK’s TMR technology to succeed in the automotive and industrial markets, two sectors in which LEM brings deep expertise, especially in booming segments such as energy storage, motor drives, and solar inverters.

• In a bid to focus on their systems integration business, Bosch is looking for a buyer for its Building Technologies division which includes the video, access and intrusion, and communication units. Their fire-alarm systems unit, however, is to be kept because of its importance for systems integration, and will be merged with the integrator business.

Technologies

• NVIDIA Corporation has started using Arm Holdings Plc technology to develop chips to rival Intel’s ubiquitous CPUs used in most personal computers. NVIDIA’s AI accelerator chips already dominate the AI market, and they will now use their expertise to make CPUs that will run Microsoft’s OS without modifications. This comes after the failed attempt by Microsoft to recode their OS to run on ARM-based processors. The news caused Intel shares to drop over 3% overnight when the news broke.

• Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a superconducting camera containing 400 000 pixels, 400 times more than any other similar device. Superconducting cameras allow scientists to capture very weak light signals, and having more pixels will open many new applications in science and biomedical research. The NIST camera is made up of grids of ultrathin electrical wires, cooled to near absolute zero, in which current moves with no resistance until a wire is struck by a photon. In these superconducting-nanowire cameras, the energy imparted by even a single photon can be detected because it shuts down the superconductivity at a particular location (pixel) on the grid. Combining all the locations and intensities of all the photons makes up an image.




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