June 2015 Electronics Industry Digest


Aubrey Dunford at Europartners

Aubrey Dunford

SEMICONDUCTORS

Worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $ 340.3 billion in 2014, a 7.9 percent increase from 2013, according to final results by Gartner. The top 25 semiconductor vendors’ combined revenue increased 11.7 percent, which was more than the overall industry’s growth. The top 25 vendors accounted for 72.4 percent of total market revenue, up from 69.9 percent in 2013; 2014 saw all device categories post positive growth, unlike in 2013, when application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), discretes and microcomponents all declined. 

TSMC will break ground for a new fab at its 12-inch wafer plant in central Taiwan in June 2015, so DigiTimes. The fab is designed to manufacture chips using 10nm process technology, according to TSMC chairman Morris Chang. Volume production at the new facility of Fab 15 will kick off in mid-2016, said Chang. 

Semtech, a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, has completed the previously announced divestiture of its defense and microwave communications infrastructure business to Jariet Technologies. The defense and microwave business was a part of the Sierra Monolithics acquisition completed in 2009. Semtech divested the business to newly-formed Jariet Technologies  in exchange for a minority equity interest in that company. 

Scannano, a nano-technology R&D company located in Finland and LFoundry announced a strategic long term relationship to apply its disruptive nano technologies to a wide spectrum of new product applications. The first of these new products will be a MEMS-based portfolio of pressure sensors. The new devices will be fabricated together with ASIC on the same chip using standard CMOS processes. 

The global semiconductor materials market increased 3 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 while worldwide semiconductor revenues increased 10 percent, so SEMI. Revenues of $ 44.3 billion mark the first increase in the semiconductor materials market since 2011. Total wafer fabrication materials and packaging materials were  
$ 24.0 billion and $ 20.4 billion, respectively. Comparable revenues for these segments in 2013 were $ 22.7 billion for wafer fabrication materials and $ 20.4 billion for packaging materials. The wafer fabrication materials segment increased 6 percent year-over-year, while the packaging materials segment remained flat. For the fifth consecutive year, Taiwan was the largest consumer of semiconductor materials due to its large foundry and advanced packaging base, totaling $ 9.8 billion. The European market was $ 3.08 billion (+1 percent). SEMI also reports that the worldwide semiconductor photomask market was $ 3.2 billion in 2014 and is forecasted to reach $ 3.4 billion in 2016. Revenues of $ 3.2 billion place photomasks at 13 percent of the total wafer fabrication materials market, behind silicon and semiconductor gases. 

PASSIVE COMPONENTS 

Stanford University scientists have invented an aluminum battery that’s fast-charging, long-lasting and inexpensive. Researchers say the new technology offers a safe alternative to many commercial batteries 
in wide use today. An aluminum-ion battery consists of two electrodes: a negatively charged anode made of aluminum and a positively charged graphite cathode. The Stanford battery was able to withstand more than 7,500 cycles without any loss of capacity. By comparison, a typical lithium-ion battery lasts about 1,000 cycles. 

OTHER COMPONENTS 

Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry revenue increased 11.9 percent for Q4 2014 to a record $ 2104 M, compared to $ 1880.5 M in Q4 2013, so the EDA Consortium. Sequential EDA revenue for Q4 2014 increased 15.1 percent compared to Q3 2014, while the four-quarters moving average, which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters, increased by 7.3 percent. The fourth quarter revenue represents both a record quarter and the culmination of a record year for 
the worldwide EDA industry. Revenue in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) was flat in Q4 2014 compared to Q4 2013 on revenues of $ 328.9 M. The EMEA four quarters moving average increased  
3.6 percent. 

EMS PROVIDERS 

Viapaq Group, an EMS provider wholly-owned by Dutch-based Varova, has acquired Tepcomp, a Finnish electronics development and manufacturing services company, specialized in lighting, medical and industrial applications. Combined with its recent acquisition of Elekno Finland (an LED technology specialist) Viapaq Group further expands its product portfolio and development capability in lighting applications. The manufacturing footprint of Tepcomp, with sites in Finland and Estonia, is highly complementary with Viapaq Group’s existing operational set up in France, Italy and Finland. It gives the group access to manufacturing capabilities stretching from prototyping to high volume manufacturing and manual assembly.

DISTRIBUTION 

Mouser Electronics has entered into a global distribution agreement and partnership with Traco Electronic, a Swiss power supply specialist with more than 35 years’ experience designing and manufacturing high quality power conversion products. Traco’s power products target the industrial and IT, transportation and railway, medical and healthcare, automation and control, renewable energy and smart grid markets. Harwin, a hi-rel connector and SMT board hardware manufacturer, has also awarded Mouser Electronics its Distributor of the Year Award 2014/2015 for Europe. 

This is the comprehensive power related extract from the «Electronics Industry Digest», the successor of The Lennox Report. For a full subscription of the report contact:  [email protected] or by fax 44/1494 563503.

Source: Bodo's Power Systems, June 2015