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Electronics news digest

15 November 2017 News

South Africa

• The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) hosted the inaugural Fifth Generation (5G) forum meeting from 1-2 November 2017 in Sandton. It stressed to the public that 5G is not officially standardised yet, and that the intention of the forum was rather to spur collaboration between government, institutions of higher learning, research institutions and industry players on the development and future rollout of 5G technologies.

• The National Advisory Council on Innovation has released the 2016 Science Technology and Innovation Indicators Report which provides data about the performance of the country’s system of innovation. First, the NSI human capital pipeline remains constrained. While it found that research capacity has improved, the percentage of matric learners who passed mathematics and physical science with at least 50% remains low, and the undergraduate percentage SET enrolment has remained stagnant between 2005 and 2015 at just under 30%.

Overseas

Business

• Cypress Semiconductor announced its third quarter 2017 results, with record revenue of $604,6 million driven by an 80% year-over-year increase in its IoT connectivity business. Net income was $11 million or $0,03 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $22,9 million or $0,07 in the second quarter of 2017.

• Net revenues of $2,14 billion for STMicroelectronics’ third quarter represented an 11,1% sequential and 18,9% year-over-year increase. Carlo Bozotti, the company’s president and CEO, said that all product groups recorded double-digit year-over-year revenue growth, driven by strong demand across all geographies in the focus application areas of IoT, smartphones, industrial and smart driving. The company, whose share price has doubled this year, is also planning to spend $3,6 billion on two new 300 mm fabrication plants, according to reports.

• Antenna specialist Taoglas is launching a new RF filter division specifically developed for Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile applications, with the aim of utilising its deep understanding of the RF component design and manufacturing process to provide high-quality, small-form-factor, cost-effective and easy-to-implement RF filters. The new division will develop custom filters as well as a range of off-the-shelf models for a variety of applications, including filters for emerging licence-free bands used for IoT, L1/L2 and L1/L5 GNSS applications.

• Texas Instruments reported third-quarter revenue of $4,12 billion (a 12% year-on-year increase), net income of $1,29 billion (a 26% increase) and earnings per share of $1,26 (a 29% increase). Revenue in its core businesses of analog grew 16% and embedded processing grew 17% from the same quarter a year ago.

• Total revenue in ON Semiconductor’s third quarter of 2017 was $1,39 billion, up approximately 46% compared to the same quarter last year, primarily due to inclusion of Fairchild’s results for the full quarter. Net income was $108,7 million or $0,25 per diluted share, compared to net income of $10,1 million or $0,02 per diluted share for the same quarter same year.

Companies

• In what would be the largest tech acquisition of all time, Broadcom has launched an unsolicited $103 billion bid to acquire its larger rival Qualcomm. Given that Qualcomm is itself in the process of trying to acquire NXP Semiconductors, a combination of the three companies would be the third largest global chip company. The proposal comes at a relatively slow time in terms of acquisitions in the semiconductor industry, but analysts think a Broadcom-Qualcomm deal is unlikely to come to fruition. Qualcomm’s share price is currently in decline as it battles a series of patent disputes with companies including Apple.

• XP Power has acquired the business and assets of Comdel, a Massachusetts, US-based designer and manufacturer of radio frequency (RF) power supplies. Comdel will become the RF Power Division of XP Power and Comdel’s CEO, Scott Johnson, will remain with the business to head up the new division. The deal also brings new customers to XP Power, particularly in photo-voltaic and induction heating industries.

• Dialog Semiconductor has completed its acquisition of Silego Technology, a pioneer in integrating multiple analog, logic and discrete component functionality into a single chip. The deal was sealed with a cash payment of $276 million with additional contingent consideration of up to $30,4 million.

Industry

• The global semiconductor industry posted its highest ever quarterly sales for the third quarter of 2017 with $107,9 billion, a 10,2% increase over the previous quarter, according to an announcement from the Semiconductor Industry Association. For September alone, year-to-year and month-to-month sales increased across all regional markets: the Americas (40,7% year-to-year / 5,9% month-to-month), China (19,9% / 2,5%), Europe (19,0% / 1,8%), Asia Pacific/All Other (16,8% / 1,9%) and Japan (11,9% / 0,5%).

• IC Insights has raised its IC market growth rate forecast for 2017 to 22%, up six percentage points from the 16% increase shown in its mid-year update. The IC unit volume shipment growth rate forecast has also been increased from 11% to 14%. At $72,0 billion, the DRAM market is forecast to be by far the largest single product category, exceeding the expected NAND Flash market by $22,2 billion this year. Excluding these memory segments, the IC industry is forecast to grow by 9%, less than half of the aggregate forecast growth rate.





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