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Electronics news digest

1 May 2013 News

Overseas

Business

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) announced net sales for March 2013 of approximately NT$44,13 billion, an increase of 7,2% from February 2013 and an increase of 18,9% over March 2012. Revenues for the first quarter of 2013 totalled NT$132,76 billion, an increase of 25,7% compared to the same period in 2012.

Companies

Tektronix announced that it will enter the power analyser instrument market and introduce a full new product line in the coming months. To facilitate this move, it has implemented a technology transfer agreement which includes power analyser intellectual property, patents and product designs from its partner Voltech, which will exit the power analyser segment of its business.

Plextek RF Integration, a UK-based company that designs and develops RFICs, MMICs and microwave/millimetre-wave modules, has selected Agilent Technologies software to simulate its new high-frequency circuit and MMIC designs. After a thorough evaluation of available 3D planar electromagnetic software tools, Plextek chose Agilent’s Momentum simulator for its performance and flexibility.

Altera has agreed to acquire TPACK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, for an undisclosed amount. TPACK delivers complete FPGA-based OTN (optical transport network) products targeting packet and optical networking equipment suppliers. The acquisition enables Altera to accelerate and expand its OTN solutions roadmap to support the increasing pipeline of customer designs resulting from Altera’s successful acquisition in 2010 of Avalon Microelectronics, a leading OTN IP provider.

Industry

Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $299,9 billion in 2012, down 2,6% from 2011, according to Gartner. With the overall semiconductor market decline, the number of vendors that declined among the top 25 outnumbered those that grew. Gartner said the top 25 semiconductor vendors’ revenue declined slightly faster, at 2,8%, than the industry as a whole and accounted for almost the same portion of the industry’s total revenue – 68,9% in 2012, compared with 69,0% in 2011.

According to analysis by Semicast Research, Infineon Technologies was the leading vendor of semiconductors to the industrial sector in 2012, although its lead over second placed Texas Instruments was cut to just a few tenths of a percentage point.

Top 10 Semiconductor Vendors by Revenue, Worldwide, 2012 (Millions of Dollars).
Top 10 Semiconductor Vendors by Revenue, Worldwide, 2012 (Millions of Dollars).

<i>Source: Semicast Research</i>
Source: Semicast Research

Both companies maintained a clear lead over the next largest vendors, STMicroelectronics and Renesas Electronics, with Analog Devices completing the top five. Semicast calculates that revenues for industrial semiconductors totalled $32,3 billion in 2012, unchanged from 2011.

Technology

Chemists at The Ohio State University have developed the technology for making a one-atom-thick sheet of germanium, and found that it conducts electrons more than 10 times faster than silicon and five times faster than conventional germanium. Dubbed Germanane, the material’s structure is closely related to that of graphene – a much-touted two-dimensional material comprised of single layers of carbon atoms – but promises to be easier to fabricate.

Developing the technology for practical three-dimensional stacking of chips has been a big push for the semiconductor manufacturing industry for the last few years as it is seen as being an essential step towards delivering the demanding performance, power, size and bandwidth requirements of tomorrow’s electronic devices. GLOBALFOUNDRIES has reached a key milestone in its 3D stacking technology roadmap by demonstrating its first functional 20 nm silicon wafers with integrated through-silicon vias (TSVs).

Researchers at Royal Philips Electronics have developed a tube lighting replacement TLED prototype that produces a record 200 lumens per watt, making it the world’s most energy efficient warm white light source that is suitable for general lighting. The 200 lm/W TLED lamp is expected to hit the market in 2015 for office and industry applications before ultimately being used in the home.





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