July 2015 Electronics Industry Digest


Aubrey Dunford at Europartners

Aubrey Dunford

The worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to grow 19% in 2015, led by digital signage, so IDC. Digital signage use in retail outlets will grow from  $ 6.0 billion in 2013 to $ 27.5 billion in 2018, a 35.7% five-year CAGR, as retailers continue to digitize the consumer experience. The IoT market in manufacturing operations will grow from $ 42.2 billion in 2013 to $ 98.8 billion in 2018, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6%. Growth will be driven by ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and link islands of automation. 

SEMICONDUCTORS 

The top 20 semiconductor companies’ sales increased by 9 percent in 1Q15/1Q14  (6 percent excluding the foundries), three points greater than the total worldwide semiconductor industry growth rate, so IC Insights. There were six companies that dis-played >20 percent 1Q15/1Q14 growth:  Sharp (+62 percent), TSMC (+44 percent), SK Hynix (+25 percent), Sony (+26 percent), Avago (+24 percent) and Globalfoundries (+21 percent). European suppliers NXP  (+18 percent) and Infineon (+16 percent) also were doing well. 

Samsung Electronics will invest 15.6 trillion won ($ 14.4 billion) in a new billion South Korean chip plant, the biggest amount it has ever committed to a single plant. The plant will be finished in 2017. 

Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR), a German family owned company, has purchased all of the assets and intellectual property (IP) of Amantys, a British innovator in the power electronics market. MR’s priority is to reestablish the operating business of Amantys to continue to supply premium gate driver products to customers. The team will also progress the technology development in the field of IGBT drivers. MR has installed a transition manager in Cambridge, who is working together with former members of the Amantys team. MR intends to setup a new legal entity in the UK as a wholly foreign owned company. Maschinenfabrik Reinhau-sen (MR), based in Regensburg, Germany, founded in 1868, is mainly family owned and is now managed by the fifth generation of the family. In the 2014 fiscal year, 3,000 employees produced a turnover of € 650 M. 
Infineon Technologies is the first company worldwide manufacturing automotive power MOSFETs on 300millimeter thin wafers, so the German company. The products are manufactured at Infineon’s fab in Villach, Austria. Thin-wafer technology minimizes power losses and enables compact MOSFET designs for high system efficiency and power density. With wafer thinning down to 60µm OptiMOS 5 power semiconductors on 300millimeter thin-wafer technology are among the world’s thinnest. 

GaN Systems, a Canadian fabless semiconductor company involved in gallium nitride power switching semiconductors, announced a $ 20 M venture capital financing. Cycle Capital Management led the round and was joined by BDC Capital and Beijing-based Tsing Capital, as well as existing investors Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Rock-Port Capital. 

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,637 million square inches in1Q15, a 3.4 percent increase from the previous quarter, so SEMI. New quarterly total area shipments are 11.6 percent higher than first quarter 2014 shipments. 

PASSIVE COMPONENTS 

Sales for German PCB manufacturers in March 2015 increased by 2.6 percent compared to March 2014 and ten percent over the long-term average, so the Zvei.  Cumulative sales for the first quarter remained 1.75 percent lower than in Q12014. New orders in March increased by  11.5 percent YoY. This marks the highest order intake for a March since 2010.  Cumulative orders for the first quarter 2015 were 8 percent lower than in Q12014. 

OTHER COMPONENTS 

Aavid has acquired Kunze-Folien. Based in Oberhaching near Munich, Germany, Kunze specializes in thermally conductive films, heat sinks, and transistor clips in power and other electronic environments. Additionally, Kunze provides lamination, thermal con-ductivity, IR analysis, and design simulation services associated with its products. Aavid, founded in 1964, provides a broad range of thermal management solutions for telecommunication, enterprise class computers, consumer electronics, transportation, and industrial applications. 

DISTRIBUTION 

The European semiconductor distribution industry started very strong into 2015 and continued the positive trend from the last quarters of 2014. Semiconductor distribution sales in 1Q15 grew by 13.3 percent to € 1.82 billion, the highest recorded quarterly sales since the introduction of the Euro in 2002, so the DMASS (Distributors’ and Manufacturers’ Association of Semiconductor Specialists). 

The majority of the increase is due to a massive swing in the Euro/US-Dollar exchange rate, with the Euro losing 17 percent of its value, compared to 1Q14. As a significant part of billings to European customers are done in US Dollars, there is an artificial growth effect of ~50 percent of the total growth in Q1. From a regional perspective, the growth leaders in Q1 were to be found in the Eastern Regions – Israel, Turkey, Eastern European countries – and the Nordic countries. While Israel and Turkey grew over 30 percent, Eastern Europe in total grew by 29 percent (exception Russia with minus 15 percent), Nordic by 23 percent. Of the major regions, UK (16.3 percent) and France (17.2 percent) grew above average, while Germany (5.8 percent) and Italy (8.4 percent) trailed the trend. In absolute numbers,  Germany reported € 544 M, Italy € 171 M,  UK € 158 M and France € 146 M. 

This is the comprehensive power related ex-tract 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, July 2015