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Electronics news digest

19 August 2009 News Electronic News Digest

South Africa

Comtest has successfully delivered and installed a fibre-optic test system – the JDSU optical network management system (ONMS) – for Broadband Infraco. The first phase of the project alone reportedly entailed some 12 000 kilometres of cabling. The JDSU ONMS solution facilitates the management of large optical networks requiring fewer technicians through remote testing and accurate network documentation. By monitoring dark fibres, the system allows the operator to ensure network integrity and guarantee performance levels before systems go live.

Mutronics’ contact details have changed. The company’s new physical address is Unit 15, Philo Road, Marlboro Ext. 1. New telephone and fax numbers are +27 (0)11 262 4169 and +27 (0)11 262 6798, respectively.

Overseas

Business

Nordic Semiconductor announced that, despite a severe global downturn in the global semiconductor industry, it achieved its highest ever second quarter operating profits of NOK (Norwegian Krone) 20,2 million on revenues of NOK 87,5 million, and its second highest quarterly order inflows of NOK 118 million. The company’s earnings were driven by a sharp increase in sales to new wireless PC peripherals customers in Asia, an improvement in gross margins from its product and customer mix, and a focus on cost management. These gains, however, offset significant declines in other business segments due to the global downturn.

Texas Instruments announced second-quarter 2009 revenue of $2,46 billion, net income of $260 million and earnings per share (EPS) of $0,20. These figures compare with second quarter 2008 figures of $3,35 billion in revenue, $588 million net income and $0,44 EPS, and first quarter 2009 results of $2,09 billion in revenue, $17 million net income and $0,01 EPS.

RF Micro Devices reported financial results for its fiscal 2010 first quarter ended 27 June. Revenue increased approximately 23,3% sequentially to $212,5 million. GAAP gross margin for the quarter increased sequentially from 17,3% to 34,8%, and non-GAAP gross margin increased sequentially from 19,8% to 37,0% during the same period. Operating profit was approximately $12,1 million on a GAAP basis and approximately $24,0 million on a non-GAAP basis, reflecting increased revenue, gross profit and solid expense management. Net income was approximately $4,8 million, or $0,02 per diluted share, on a GAAP basis and approximately $18,9 million, or $0,07 per diluted share, on a non-GAAP basis.

Freescale Semiconductor’s net sales for the second quarter of 2009 were $824 million, compared to $840 million in the first quarter of 2009 and $1,47 billion last year. The year-over-year sales decline was attributable primarily to the company’s decision in 2008 to exit its cellular handset business, as well as a decline in sales associated with the company’s automotive businesses. The reported loss from operations for the three months ending 3 July 2009 was $345 million, inclusive of $82 million of reorganisation costs, compared to a loss of $351 million in the first quarter of 2009 and a loss of $137 million in the second quarter of 2008.

ARM Holdings announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter and half year ended 30 June 2009. Revenue for the quarter was £64,8 million and for the half was $144,7 million, compared to second quarter 2008 revenue of $65 million and first half 2008 revenue of $132,9 million. Earnings per share for the second 2009 quarter were 0,95 pence and for the first half of 2009 were 2,32 pence, compared to second quarter 2008 EPS of 1,18 pence and first half 2008 EPS of 2,35 pence. The company enjoyed the signing of 17 new processor licences, growing its total base of licences to 617, and achieved the remarkable achievement of having an average of two ARM technology-based chips per mobile handset.

Reporting its results for the 2009 second quarter and first half ended 27 June 2009, STMicroelectronics recorded net revenues of $1,99 billion, which includes the complete integration of the former Ericsson Mobile Platforms business into ST-Ericsson and $18 million from the licensing of technology. Net revenues increased 20% sequentially, reflecting an increase in demand across the company’s served market segments, as well as in all regions, with particular strength in China and Asia Pacific. Net revenues declined in comparison to the year-ago quarter in all market segments except telecom, and in all regions except Asia Pacific, due to business conditions.

Cypress Semiconductor announced that revenue for the 2009 second quarter was $155,8 million, up 12% from $139,3 million for the prior quarter, and down 26% from $209,6 million for the year-ago period. The company recorded a GAAP net loss of $45,3 million in the 2009 second quarter, or a diluted net loss per share of $0,32. This compares with last quarter’s diluted net loss per share of $0,66 and diluted earnings per share in the year-ago second quarter of $0,10.

Fairchild Semiconductor announced results for the second quarter ended 28 June 2009. Sales were $277,9 million, up 25% from the prior quarter and 34% lower than the second quarter of 2008. This resulted in a net loss of $24,9 million or $0,20 per share, compared to a net loss of $51,1 million or $0,41 per share in the prior quarter and net income of $6,9 million or $0,05 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2008. Included in these results is an $11,3 million charge for restructuring and impairments.

Intersil reported second quarter 2009 net revenues of $147,3 million, a 32% decrease from $216,2 million in the second quarter of 2008 and a 25% increase from $118,2 million in the first quarter of 2009. GAAP net income, which includes stock-based compensation expenses, restructuring expenses and amortisation of intangible assets, was $6,2 million, or $0,05 per diluted share, compared with $38,0 million, or $0,30 per diluted share in the same quarter last year, and $2,4 million, or $0,02 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2009. Net income in the second quarter of 2009 was reduced by approximately $0,03 per diluted share due to a one-time $3,4 million tax expense associated with the move of Intersil’s international headquarters.

NXP Semiconductors announced second quarter sales of $857 million, a comparable increase of 26,2% from the first quarter of 2009. The increase in sales is mainly attributable to supply chain replenishment following a soft first quarter of 2009 and the continued impact of various, mainly Chinese, stimulus packages. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter amounted to a profit of $89 million, down from a profit of $114 million in the second quarter of 2008 and up from a loss of $71 million in the first quarter of 2009. Net income for the second quarter of 2009 was $344 million, compared to a loss of $319 million in the second quarter of 2008 and a loss of $568 in the first quarter of 2009.

Silicon Laboratories reported second quarter revenue of $104,2 million, a 25% sequential increase. GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0,21 increased dramatically from one cent in the first quarter, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share increased 90% sequentially to $0,42. Non-GAAP operating income was 22,6% and is forecasted to reach 25% in the third quarter, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0,42, considerably better than anticipated.

ST-Ericsson, the joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson, recorded net sales of $666 million for the second quarter of 2009. This compares with pro-forma sales of $562 million in the previous quarter, and $966 million (also pro-forma) in the second quarter of last year. Net loss in the most recent period was $213 million.

Infineon reported results for the third quarter of the 2009 fiscal year, ended 30 June. Revenues were 845 million Euros, up 13% compared to the second quarter and down 18% year-over-year. Net loss was 23 million Euros, resulting in a diluted loss per share of 0,03 Euros, compared to a net loss of 258 million Euros in the previous quarter and a net loss of 379 million Euros in the third quarter last year.

Companies

International Rectifier has reached an agreement in principle to settle a securities class action lawsuit pending against the company and certain of its former officers or directors. The litigation was originally filed in April 2007, alleging misconduct relating to revenue recognition. The $90 million settlement is subject to negotiation and execution of a formal settlement agreement and is dependent upon final approval by the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Industry

With growth rates well over 100% in 2010, shipments of Wi-Fi chipsets based on the draft n/802.11n will surge ahead of those based on 802.11g, according to a new report from In-Stat. 802.11n is ahead in nearly every equipment category, but unit volume is being driven by shipment growth in mobile handsets and notebook PCs. The report estimates that total Wi-Fi chipset revenue will pass $4 billion by 2012. Set-top boxes currently have the largest adoption of Wi-Fi in non-portable consumer electronics applications.

Technology

Scientists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have developed a lighting device that is capable of varying its colour temperature from 2300 K to 8200 K. This could lead to advanced light sources that can closely simulate the sun throughout the day, which produces colour temperatures between 2500 and 8000 K. The organic light emitting diode (OLED) produces different colours depending on the voltage applied to it.

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute have thought of a novel way to warn people about disasters, making use of the European eCall infrastructure. The eCall emergency system was developed at the initiative of the EU Commission to help reduce the number of road traffic fatalities. It consists of a GPS sensor and a mobile phone component, which is activated only in case of an accident (ie, when the airbags are triggered) and which can transmit data (eg, accident time, coordinates and driving direction of the vehicle) to an emergency call centre. Fraunhofer’s idea is for civil protection agencies to use the eCall system to send a message to enabled vehicles’ receivers in the case of a disaster, which would then start sounding their hooters to warn everybody within earshot.





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