Electronic News Digest


Electronic News Digest

30 April 2024 Electronic News Digest

Financial

• Despite DRAM suppliers’ efforts to reduce inventories, the overall demand outlook for this year remains poor. Significant price increases by suppliers since Q4 2023 are expected to minimise inventory restocking, and as a result, prices of DRAM for the second quarter 2024 are projected to see an increase of between 3 and 8%. However, it is reported that significant capital investments have occurred in the memory sector due to the high ASP and profitability of HBM. It is predicted that by the end of 2024, HBM’s revenue share within the DRAM industry will increase to around 20%, with an annual supply growth of 260%.

• The global installation volume of EV charging stations reached 7,14 million units in Q4 2023, a 12% increase from the previous quarter. This growth is largely due to the increase in EV sales, with the inverter’s main market driving force coming from battery EVs which accounted for 53% of all EV inverter installations in the fourth quarter. According to TrendForce, a key factor in this growth is the technological advancement from traditional Si-IGBTs to SiC chips in inverter power components. This shift enhances the inverters’ voltage breakdown capability and conversion efficiency, improving vehicle range, and enabling the introduction of high-voltage EV models for more efficient charging.

• The installed base of wireless IIoT devices in the oil and gas industry is predicted to reach 18,8 million by 2028. This includes devices using cellular, satellite or LPWA connectivity, and represents a CAGR of 19,3%. Since many of the remote monitoring applications require limited bandwidth, it is predicted that non-3GPP LPWA technologies, such as LoRa, will have a significant influence on this sector.

• Solar silicon prices in China have plunged to a three-year low due to overcapacity and fierce competition. Average prices of polysilicon, the ultra-refined form of silicon used as a key material in solar panel manufacturing, has seen a 20% drop during April. This has resulted in heavily reduced profits in the industry.

• According to the latest research by Berg Insight, the smart waste sensor technology is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 22,8% until 2028. Currently the number of waste collection sites worldwide, excluding China, that are fitted with smart sensors equal 1,25 million. Using the CAGR, this number will increase to a total of 3,5 million by the year 2028. Europe accounts for 45% of this total market.

Companies

• China’s Longi Green Technology Energy Company, currently the world’s largest solar manufacturer, is cutting almost a third of its workforce as it tries to slash costs in an industry that is dealing with overcapacity and huge competition, according to people familiar with the matter. Longi plans to trim as much as 30% of its staff that last year totalled about 80 000 people at its peak. The move signals an acceleration of job cuts that Longi began in November 2023, when it started laying off thousands of people.

• Mycronic’s Global Technologies division has signed an agreement to acquire Vanguard Automation, a company headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, which has developed a technology and automated equipment for 3D microfabrication of optical interconnects. Vanguard’s area of expertise is adjacent to and complementing that of the die bonding business line in the Global Technologies division. With this acquisition, Mycronic can offer a wider range of die bonding and optical packaging solutions to its customers.

• Vertiv has become a Solution Advisor: Consultant partner in the NVIDIA Partner Network (NPN). This provides wider access to Vertiv’s full portfolio of power and cooling solutions. NPN provides access to a range of benefits, including technical support, training, and collaboration opportunities, helping partners deliver innovative solutions to their customers.

• Nampak recently announced that it had suffered a cyberattack, where an unknown third party had gained access to its IT systems. In a statement, the company said that it had retained local and global cybersecurity experts to work with its in-house IT team. It said the breach did not impact its manufacturing facilities and operations as it had switched over to its backup manual controls.

• EOH Holdings has reported a loss per share of 11c for the six-month period ending 31 January 2024, a slight improvement over the 17c loss reported a year ago, under outgoing CEO Stephen van Coller. Group operating profit was reported as R9 million, down from R142 million for the same period last year.

• Tarsus has signed a distribution deal with Samsung Electronics Co., which marks a significant advancement in its growth. Clients in southern Africa will gain easier access to items that fall under Samsung’s Brand Memory and LCD Monitor range.

• Transnet National Ports Authority has awarded a R60 million contract to build a solar-powered desalination plant at the Port of East London, which it will then continue to operate for seven years. This will improve the reliability of freshwater supply to users of the port. The project contract has been awarded to a joint venture; Norland Civil Engineers and Contractors and Impact Water Solutions, trading as Sun Water East London.

• Africa Data Centres has broken ground on a 12 MW solar farm in the Free State, in collaboration with DPA Southern Africa. This first phase of development will be used to power its Cape Town data centre, with subsequent phases expanding to its Johannesburg data centres, and will be used as a step in achieving the company’s goal of carbon neutrality.

• Microchip recently announced the completed acquisition of VSI, a pioneer in providing high-speed, asymmetric, camera, sensor, and display connectivity technologies and products based on the Automotive SerDes Alliance open standard. This acquisition will boost Microchip’s offering of in-vehicle networking solutions.

Technologies

• NVIDIA’s H100 chips are currently at the forefront of AI model training and are used by nearly every AI company world-wide. NVIDIA has now announced its successor to the H100 named Blackwell. This next-generation platform uses 25% less power but are, depending on the application, between seven and 30 times faster than its predecessor. Blackwell can handle up to 20 petaflops thanks to the 208 billion transistors (compared to the 80 billion in the H100). To achieve this speed, NVIDIA interconnected two chip dies that communicate at speeds of up to 10 TB/s.

• NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference spotlighted the Blackwell AI server architecture as 2024’s standout hardware innovation. Enhanced by the second-generation Transformer engine and fifth-generation NVLink technology, Blackwell supports AI training and real-time inferencing for models with up to 10 trillion parameters. Leveraging this foundation, NVIDIA is set to launch AI chips like the B100, B200, and GB200, prepping for a surge in advanced AI applications.

• An investigation has identified that many Starlink satellite internet kits are being actively traded on the black market in areas where these internet kits are banned. This has become a problem for the company, raising questions about its control of the system, as its reach has now extended to countries that have no agreement in place to operate the system.

• Anritsu has extended the functionality of its Signalling Tester MD8430A with the introduction of a protocol test solution for Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) devices for Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites. As a result of the upgrade, the MD8430A can now support NTN NB-IoT technologies.




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