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Electronics news digest

25 November 2009 News Electronic News Digest

South Africa

Steve Eglinton and Ingmar Grewar of PEM were recently awarded Fellowships at the 25th anniversary conference of the SMART Group in the UK. SMART Fellowships are awarded to individuals for their active participation in the furtherance of the aims of the SMART Group during that year. The duo were recognised for their involvement in the establishment of SMART Group SA.

Actum Electronics has been appointed as the exclusive distributor of Simco products in South Africa. Simco’s range of ionisation solutions joins Actum’s Altico Static Control division’s lineup of static control products. Simco’s product range includes bench-top ionising blowers, ionising bars, ionising guns, overhead ionising blowers and ionising room systems.

PHD Power recently attained a Level 4 BEE rating following an audit performed by Harvard Empowerment Solutions. This rating gives PHD’s customers a procurement recognition of 100%.

Overseas

Business

RF Micro Devices reported financial results for its fiscal 2010 second quarter ended 3 October 2009. Quarterly revenue increased approximately 20% sequentially to $254,8 million; in the second quarter of last year, revenue was $271,7 million. Net income for the most recent quarter was $14,6 million, or $0,05 per diluted share, on a GAAP basis. This compares with net income of $4,8 million, or $0,02 per diluted share, in the prior quarter, and a net loss of $14,2 million, or $0,05 per diluted share, in last year’s second quarter.

Epcos reported sales of 323 million Euros for its 2009 fiscal fourth quarter, which is up 16% sequentially but down 15% year-on-year. EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) were 6 million Euros, compared to minus 24 million Euros in the previous quarter and 23 million Euros in the fourth quarter last year. The company saw a continued revival in demand for products for automotive electronics applications. Accordingly, sales growth was strongest for these products, although the gain of 25% still leaves sales volume on a lower level than a year ago.

Nordic Semiconductor announced that despite the continued weakness in the global semiconductor industry, it has for the second consecutive quarter achieved record financial results during the third quarter of 2009. The company reported its highest ever quarterly revenue performance of NOK 133,1 million, up 29% from the same period last year, highest ever operating profit (NOK 28,5 million, up 45% from Q3 2008) and highest ever order inflows (NOK 161 million, up 68% from Q3 2008). The company’s results were due to strong demand for its 2,4 GHz transceivers in the wireless PC peripherals segment (keyboards, mice and controllers). This segment grew by 75% compared to Q3 last year and accounted for 60% of the company’s overall revenues for the quarter.

Cree announced record revenue of $169,1 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2010, ended 27 September. This represents a 20% increase compared to revenue of $140,4 million reported for the first fiscal quarter last year and a 14% increase compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. GAAP net income for the first quarter increased 255% year-over-year to $21,0 million, or $0,23 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $5,9 million, or $0,07 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Avnet reported revenue of $4,36 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 ended 3 October 2009, representing a decrease of 3,1% over the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and a 0,6% decrease excluding the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was $50,9 million, or $0,33 per share on a diluted basis, as compared with net income of $90,3 million, or $0,59 per share on a diluted basis, for the first quarter last year.

Revenues for Melexis’ third quarter were 35,9 million Euros, a decrease of 26% compared to the same quarter of the previous year and an increase of 27% versus the immediately previous quarter. Net profit was 1,4 million Euros, 3 cents per share, down from 20 cents per share in the third quarter of 2008. In the previous quarter net profit was minus 18 cents per share.

International Rectifier announced financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010, ended 27 September 2009. Revenue was $179,4 million, a 12% increase from $159,6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009 and a 27% decrease from $244,5 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009. The company reported a first quarter fiscal year 2010 net loss of $16,9 million, or $0,24 per share, compared with net income of $29,1 million, or $0,40 per share in the prior quarter, and a net loss of $4,2 million, or $0,06 per share in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009.

Reporting its results for the second 2010 fiscal quarter ended 30 September 2009, Microchip recorded net sales of $226,7 million, up 17,5% sequentially from net sales of $192,9 million, and down approximately 16% from net sales of $269,7 million in the prior year’s second fiscal quarter. GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010 was $44,5 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, up 62,5% from net income of $27,4 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, in the immediately preceding quarter, and down 41,3% from net income of $75,7 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, in the prior year’s second fiscal quarter.

ON Semiconductor announced that total revenues in the third quarter of 2009 were $472,9 million, an increase of approximately 13% from the second quarter of 2009. During the most recent period, the company reported GAAP net income of $29,9 million, or $0,07 per fully diluted share. This compares with a GAAP net loss of $3,0 million, or $0,01 per fully diluted share, during the second quarter of the year.

Maxim reported net revenue of $449,2 million for its fiscal 2010 first quarter ended 26 September 2009, a 14% increase over the $394,5 million revenue recorded in the previous quarter. Based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0,13. Net revenue in the same period last year was $501,2 million, while GAAP diluted EPS was $0,21.

Silicon Laboratories reported third quarter revenue of $125,9 million, a more than 20% sequential increase, and an 11% increase over peak revenue levels during the same period in 2008. GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0,47 more than doubled sequentially.

ARM Holdings announced financial results for the third quarter of its 2009 financial year, with revenue of £75,2 million, up 5% from the same period last year. Earnings per share (EPS) were 0,53 pence, compared to 0,88 pence in 2008. For the year to date, revenues were £219,8 million and EPS was 1,79 pence. This compares with 2008 year-to-date figures at this stage of £204,6 million and EPS of 2,05 pence.

Companies

Telit Wireless Solutions has announced an exclusive agreement with Pósitron, a PST Electronics brand, to provide wireless modules. The devices will be used for the Pósitron GSM trackers line developed to equip and track vehicles. The GE 864-Automotive is the newest M2M module produced by Telit in Brazil and is designed specifically for the automotive market. The Telit module will send information from the vehicle to Pósitron’s central service centre. The Pósitron GSM tracking system allows online monitoring and other features such as geofencing, speed control, travel route tracking, an assistance button and a starter disabler.

Infineon Technologies and Lantiq announced the closing of the sale of Infineon’s wireline business to Lantiq, an affiliate of the US-based investor Golden Gate Capital. The new company, Lantiq, is a fabless semiconductor company with over 20 years of experience in wireline communication and a strong technical foundation with over 800 patent families. The final purchase price will amount to approximately 243 million Euros. Infineon is expected to record a book gain of more than 100 million Euros as a result of this transaction in the first quarter of its fiscal year ending 30 September 2010.

Maxim has transferred one of its engineering teams, a body of design works, and related RFID intellectual property to Intelleflex, in return for an equity position in the company. In addition, the companies will partner on certain activities in the future.

STMicroelectronics has adopted the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, in addition to the Mali-400 graphics processor, for its upcoming set-top box and digital TV system-on-chip (SoC) ICs. The Cortex-A9 MPCore processor provides ST with the scalable performance required to enable the high-bandwidth broadband and broadcast content being streamed into homes. The adoption of ARM technology enables ST to build upon the expertise accumulated during its SoC development with its successful ST-40 processor, and also signals the company’s intention to base its next-generation range of HDTV SoCs on ARM technology.

Industry

A decision has finally been made by the Bluetooth SIG to discontinue developments 'at the present time' with the collaboration between WiMedia’s UWB technology and Bluetooth for the second version of Bluetooth High Speed. In April of this year, the Bluetooth SIG launched its first version of the new flavour Bluetooth High Speed, which uses 802.11 technology to enable faster file transfer, delivering a blow to the future of WiMedia’s UWB. When it was said that the SIG would be working on two versions of the technology, (one with UWB and one with 802,11) questions about consumer confusion were asked and issues of interoperability were causing a stir. These issues have delayed the progress made by Bluetooth High Speed somewhat, due to the possible interoperation problems that could exist between two versions of the technology.

Worldwide sales of semiconductors in the quarter ended 30 September were $61,9 billion, an increase of 19,7% from the prior quarter when sales were $51,7 billion, the Semiconductor Industry Association has reported. Third-quarter sales were 10,1% lower than the $68,9 billion reported for the like period of 2008. September 2009 sales were $20,1 billion, an increase of 8,2% from August when sales were $19,1 billion. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average of global semiconductor sales. The SIA also released its annual forecast for 2009, projecting worldwide sales of $219,7 billion, a decline of 11,6% from the $248,6 billion reported in 2008. The forecast projects that sales will grow by 10,2% to $242,1 billion in 2010 and by 8,4% to $262,3 billion in 2011.

Technology

At the annual Cree shareholder meeting held recently, chairman and CEO Chuck Swoboda demonstrated an A-lamp LED light bulb with the highest lumen output and efficacy reported in the industry. The bulb produces 969 lumens at an impressive 102 lumens per Watt, which is the light output equivalent of a 65 Watt incandescent bulb, yet it uses only 9,5 Watts. The demonstration A-19-style bulb features the latest Cree production XLamp XP-G LEDs and TrueWhite technology, a patented method of delivering warm-white light with superior colour rendering and efficiency. All data was verified by third-party testing under steady-state operating conditions.





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