• South Africa has launched a multimillion Rand global project in radio astronomy that will conduct groundbreaking science in astrophysics. To be located at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa site in the Karoo, the Hydrogen Intensity and Real-Time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX) telescope will have important synergies with the 64-dish MeerKAT, the country’s precursor to the SKA. Jointly funded by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) through the National Research Foundation (NRF), HIRAX will be a compact radio telescope array of 1024 six-metre dishes that will map about a third of the sky during its four years of observation.
• Dr Rob Davies, the minister of trade and industry, has dissolved the board of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and placed the entity under the control of three co-administrators. The co-administrators will remain in their position until 30 January 2019 and have been tasked with producing a diagnostic report and a turnaround plan for the entity. The SABS issued a statement assuring that there have been no interruptions to its operations, and that it has an approved business plan in place for 2018/19, has received its first transfer payment from the DTI and is expected to report on organisational performance for each quarter of the year.
• Keysight Technologies reported financial results for the third fiscal quarter of 2018 ended 31 July. Revenue grew 21% to reach $1,004 billion, when compared with $832 million last year. Net income was $121 million, or $0,63 per share, compared with a net loss of $18 million, or a loss of $0,10 per share, in the third quarter of 2017.
• Net sales for the first quarter of Microchip Technology’s fiscal 2019 were a record $1,213 billion, up 24,7% from the prior year’s first fiscal quarter. Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2019 was $35,7 million, or $0,14 per diluted share, down from net income of $170,6 million, or $0,70 per diluted share, in the prior year’s first fiscal quarter. The current year’s net income results were significantly adversely impacted by purchase accounting adjustments associated with the company’s acquisition of Microsemi.
• Analog Devices announced revenue totalling $1,57 billion for its third fiscal quarter of 2018, which is up 4% sequentially and up 10% year-over-year, and earnings per share of $1,10. For the next quarter, the company expects to achieve roughly the same figure in revenue, with earnings per share in the region of $1,07.
• STMicroelectronics announced its acquisition of software specialist Draupner Graphics. Draupner is the developer and supplier of TouchGFX, a software framework offering outstanding graphics and smooth animations for embedded graphical user interfaces (GUI) with minimal resource requirements and power consumption. Hosted on 32-bit microcontrollers, TouchGFX enables high-end graphics across all devices and systems, including smart home and building automation systems, appliances, wearables, and audio and video systems.
• Digi-Key has expanded its agreement to distribute products from Würth Elektronik eiSos to include wireless modules. The product range encompasses highly efficient wireless transmission solutions in the Bluetooth or Wireless M-Bus standard as well as proprietary wireless modules in the frequency ranges 169, 433, 868, 915 MHz and 2,4 GHz. Thanks to their low power consumption, these high-quality, compact components are ideal solutions for decentralised IoT and smart metering applications.
• Analog chip vendor Skyworks Solutions has acquired Avnera, a developer of analog systems-on-chip, for $405 million. By adding ultra-low power analog circuits to enable smart interfaces via acoustic signal processing, sensors and integrated software, Skyworks expects to expand its addressable market by over $5 billion. Target applications include AI speakers/microphones, virtual assistants, intelligent gaming controllers and vehicle in-dash systems as well as wired/wireless headsets.
• Samsung has extended its lead over Intel to 22% according to the latest global semiconductor sales ranking from IC Insights, achieving 36% year-on-year growth in the first half of 2018 with $39,8 billion in sales. For the first half of 2018, all but four of the top 15 companies had double-digit year-over-year growth. Moreover, seven companies had more than 20% growth, including the five big memory suppliers (Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba/Toshiba Memory and Western Digital/SanDisk) as well as Nvidia and STMicroelectronics.