Electronics News Digest

25 July 2007 News Electronic News Digest

Southern Africa

Poynting Antennas has announced the launch of its new online store for Cellular, IBurst and WiFi antennae, which can be accessed at

IBM has launched its new R110 million world-class, high-capacity Business Continuity and Resiliency Services (BCRS) facility in Cresta, north of Johannesburg. This service helps analyse clients' business recovery and resiliency needs, identify and calculate risks based on their probability and the impact they would have on business. This covers clients in the event that an emergency renders their systems inoperative for an extended period of time. The clients' critical applications, systems, operations and data would then be switched over to the BCRS facility.



Micron Technology has reported a $225 million third-quarter loss on net sales of $1,3 billion, equating to minus $0,29 per diluted share. This comes despite efforts to cut costs as well as headcount, and compares to a loss of $52 million, or minus $0,07 a share, on sales of $1,4 billion in the previous quarter. Comparatively, the company posted a profit of $88 million, or $0,12 per share, on sales of $1,3 billion in the same period last year. The losses were largely the result of drastic drops in the prices of many memory products.

Tyco Electronics, a $12,8 billion global provider of electronic components, network solutions and wireless systems employing nearly 100 000 people, has split from Tyco International to become an independent, publicly traded company.

Atmel has announced revenues for the first quarter ended 31 March, 2007 of $391,3 million, a decrease of 4% from the previous quarter and 2% lower than the $400,8 million for the same period last year. Net income was reported at $28,9 million or $0,06 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $122,6 million or $0,25 per share for the previous quarter and $4,7 million or $0,01 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2006.

Telit Communications has concluded negotiations and has executed a binding term sheet for the sale of 80,1% of its Wireless Products division to a group of Israeli investors. Telit retains 19,9% of the division, which reported an operating loss of Euro 1,5 million for the year ended 31 December 2006, with no seats on its board of directors. The company's stated strategy is to focus its full attention on its rapidly expanding M2M division.


Harris Stratex Networks recently held the grand opening of its international headquarters (IHQ) in Singapore. The IHQ began its operations with 12 employees, with plans to grow to over 60 employees within 24 to 36 months. The company also plans to establish an R&D centre focused on software development at the new IHQ.

Tabor Electronics has become an official partner in the MathWorks Connections programme, which includes an extensive set of commercially available products and services based on MATLAB and Simulink, to address technical needs across applications and industries. Tabor's recent addition of the direct MATLAB software support is in line with Tabor's ongoing goal to enhance software support for its Wonder Wave Series of waveform generators.

FPGA maker Xilinx has implemented FlexRay IP on its Spartan-3 Automotive FPGA platform. The device interacts with the FlexRay middleware and protocol stack from Vector Informatik and is based on Xilinx' Logicore FlexRay controller IP. Implemented as a single-channel controller for the FlexRay automotive data bus system, the IP is positioned as a fast alternative to older CAN bus devices, offering not only a tenfold increase in bandwidth over CAN but also deterministic behaviour based on a time-triggered approach.

Zarlink Semiconductor has entered into an agreement to acquire Legerity Holdings, a developer and supplier of communications ICs and a spin-off of AMD, for $134,5 million in cash. Legerity president and CEO, Hank Perret, will lead the creation of a combined network communications product portfolio. Perret will report to Zarlink president and CEO, Kirk Mandy. A number of Legerity's executives will be joining Zarlink's management team.


Databeans predicts that 2007 worldwide microcontroller revenue will increase by 10% to nearly $14 billion. The fastest growing segment within microcontrollers is the 32-bit market, which is estimated to be growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16% each year, compared to the overall market for microcontrollers which should garner around 8% growth each year on average. This is largely due to the trend for replacement of low resolution products with high resolution products thanks to falling prices in the latter.

With printed electronics (PE) moving out of the lab and into ramp-up phase, manufacturing capacity will need to significantly increase for the technology's commercial potential to be realised. According to a new report from Nano-Markets, the PE industry's manufacturing capacity is expected to grow from negligible amounts today, to around 400 million square metres by the end of 2013, providing the basis for almost $40 billion in printed electronics products.

Convergence in the telecommunications industry leads to the coexistence of voice, video, and data applications on a single platform. Due to increasing convergence as well as rising user demands, the need for integrated triple play test equipment greatly encourages the growth of the global triple play and next generation services test and monitoring market. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan reveals that the worldwide integrated triple play test equipment market earned revenues of $91,7 million in 2006 and estimates this to grow exponentially to reach $697,9 million in 2013.

According to market researcher The NPD Group, Apple notebooks and desktops continued to take market share away from Windows PCs in the consumer market in May. Apple's notebook sales were 65% higher than the same month last year, while Windows-based notebook sales increased by 37%; the overall notebook market grew by 40%.

According to Web-Feet Research, the market for trapped charge and phase change memories is set to outpace many other flash memory sectors and capture a 30,7 % share of the $56,5 billion market in 2012. Trapped charge memories, led by NROM, accounted for only 6,1% of the $23,7 billion Flash memory market in 2006, but this is expected to increase dramatically as SONOS NAND variants such as TANOS and BE-SONOS enter the NAND market.

The latest study of the power semiconductors (discretes and modules) by IMS Research, indicates that Infineon remained the market leader for the fourth consecutive year, and in fact recorded the largest increase in market share of all suppliers in 2006 to claim an 8,6 % share of the $12,3 billion market. However, Infineon is expected to be overtaken this year by Vishay, thanks to the latter's acquisition of International Rectifier's PCS business in April.

A new initiative to enable the development of automatic test equipment (ATE) peripheral interface standards is seeing major progress, according to the Semiconductor Test Consortium (STC). The so-called Semiconductor Test Interface eXtensions (STIX) initiative encompasses both open hardware and software specifications, and is said to address the rising cost and efficiency challenges of ATE.

The SEMI trade group is forecasting growth in the global semiconductor materials market of over 10% in 2007, with similar growth expected in 2008. The fabrication materials market is expected to grow about 9% to reach $24,0 billion, and the packaging materials market to grow over 13% to reach $16,6 billion this year. Revenue in this market is being driven by semiconductor unit growth, the 300 mm ramp, and the transition to flip chip packages.

System-in-package (SiP) technology is emerging as a potential alternative to system-on-chip (SoC) technology in the semiconductor packaging industry. SiP technology attracts considerable interest because of the significantly higher flexibility it offers a design house. This flexibility allows designers to combine multiple semiconductor technologies and reuse intellectual property (IP) from numerous sources. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan reveals that the world market for SiP technology earned revenues of $9,31 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $13,4 billion in 2010.

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the three-month average of worldwide sales of semiconductors in May 2007 was $20,28 billion, which is 1,2% higher than the $20,04 billion reported for April 2007 and 2,4% higher than the $19,81 billion reported for May of 2006. The largest sales increases were seen in microprocessors and NAND flash memory, while DRAM sales dropped 8%.

The Indian government is aiming at meeting 10% of the country's power needs through renewable energy by 2012. As part of this strategy, it has announced incentives for manufacturing solar cells and panels, spurring a flurry of announcements by companies looking to join the nascent solar industry there.


Infineon Technologies has demonstrated functionality and data rates exceeding 3,0 Gbps speed of read channel, setting the pace for next-generation hard disk drive (HDD) system-on-chip (SoC) technology. The read/write channel IC is the result of cooperation between Infineon and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. When combined with Infineon's 6 Gb/s Series Interface, the read-channel core enables integrated state-of-the-art SoCs to perform higher transfer rates.

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