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Electronics news digest

2 May 2012 News

South Africa

Ellies Renewable Energy has, as of April 2012, through its free installations into homes of energy efficient products, exceeded its initial 45 MW target. The Project Power Save campaign, which aimed to reduce 45 MW off the national grid between February and March, was successfully completed and reached a total of 53,6 MW by the original deadline of 31 March 2012. This success has enabled Eskom to allocate Ellies another 30 MW to remove off the national grid, and on 28 March Ellies signed a new contract as an extension of phase one. The second phase of the project will visit roughly 140 000 homes and employ a further 500 installers.

Overseas

Companies

Analog Devices has acquired Multigig, a small, privately-held California company specialising in high-performance clocking technology. The acquisition is expected to enhance AD’s clocking capabilities in standalone and embedded applications. The acquisition was closed in a cash transaction for an undisclosed amount.

Industry

The Semiconductor Industry Association announced that worldwide semiconductor sales were $22,9 billion in February 2012, a 1,3% decline from the prior month’s $23,2 billion. February semiconductor sales declined 7,3% year over year. With a continued macroeconomic recovery, semiconductor sales are expected to improve this year in part due to positive demand drivers across a range of end markets.

In the next five years, around 400 million ‘smart home energy management’ devices will be shipped globally, according to a recent study from IMS Research. This includes devices such as smart meters, smart thermostats, in-home displays, ‘smart appliances’ and load control switches. This represents a major opportunity for IC suppliers, driving connectivity technologies into a wide range of typically ‘unconnected’ devices.

The EDA Consortium announced that the electronic design automation (EDA) industry’s revenue increased 12,8% for the fourth quarter of 2011 to $1700 million, compared to $1507,7 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year. Sequential EDA revenue for Q4 2011 increased 10,1% compared to Q3 2011, while the four-quarters moving average, which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters, increased by 16%.

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the global number of mobile network connections used for wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communication increased by 37% in 2011 to reach 108 million. Asia-Pacific was the strongest regional market, recording a year-on-year growth rate of 64% and reaching 34,5 million connections at the year-end. Europe and North America grew by around 27% each to 32,3 million and 29,3 million connections respectively. In the next five years, the global number of wireless M2M connections is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27,2% to reach 359,3 million in 2016.

JEDEC, the global leader in standards development for the microelectronics industry, announced that it has formed a subcommittee focused on the standardisation of non-volatile wireless memory. To be chaired by Nokia and vice-chaired by Micron Technology and Samsung Semiconductor, the new subcommittee will address what is rapidly emerging as the next generation in data transfer technology, and is intended to enable fast, wireless connectivity with read/write capability between mobile devices and battery-free memory tags.

India’s semiconductor revenue is projected to total $9,2 billion in 2012, a 20% increase from 2011, according to Gartner, making it the fastest growing market in terms of semiconductor consumption for 2012. According to the firm’s research, semiconductor consumption in India is being driven by changing demographics, increasing consumer affluence, economic growth and favourable government policy. Mobile phones, PCs and LCD TVs will account for nearly three fourths of the country’s semiconductor consumption in 2012.

According to information and analytics provider IHS, the five most prevalent types of semiconductors reported as counterfeits that have widespread commercial and military use represent $169 billion in potential annual risk for the global electronics supply chain. The five most commonly counterfeited semiconductor types are analog ICs with 25,2% of reported incidents, microprocessors with 13,4%, memory ICs with 13,1%, programmable logic devices with 8,3% and transistors with 7,6%.

Technology

Cree has claimed an R&D breakthrough with a 254 lumen per watt white power LED. This exceeds the company’s previous R&D industry record of 231 lumens per watt. Standard room temperature and 350 mA testing were used to achieve the results.

Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered a phenomenon in carbon nanotubes dubbed ‘remote heating’ whereby, when electric current is run through the nanotubes, objects nearby heat up while the nanotubes themselves stay cool. Understanding this unexpected new phenomenon could lead to new ways of building computer processors that can run at higher speeds without overheating.





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