Market Insights

May 2015 Electronics Industry Digest

May 01, 2015 by Aubrey Dunford

SEMICONDUCTORS WSTS reports that the world semiconductor market showed a solid growth of almost 10 percent up to $ 336 billion in 2014, driven mainly

SEMICONDUCTORS

WSTS reports that the world semiconductor market showed a solid growth of almost 10 percent up to $ 336 billion in 2014, driven mainly by double digit growth of Memory product category. All other major product categories also showed positive growth rates. The highest growth rates are reported for the Memory (18.2 percent), Discretes (10.8 percent) and Analog (10.6 percent) categories. 

Microsemi, a provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Vitesse Semiconductor for $ 5.28 per share through a cash tender offer. 

Infineon Technologies and Panasonic have announced an agreement under which both companies will jointly develop Gallium nitride (GaN) devices based on Panasonic’s normally-off (enhancement mode) GaN on silicon transistor structure integrated into Infineon’s surface-mounted device (SMD) packages. In this context Panasonic has provided Infineon with a license of its normally-off GaN transis-tor structure. 

Amantys, a British start-up created in 2010 by a team of former ARM executives, has stopped trading as of March 2nd 2015. Its objective was to bring a new approach to power switching efficiency via IGBT control and monitoring. Amantys has gone bust despite raising around $ 20 M of investment in under five years. Up to 40 employees have lost their jobs. 

Rohm announced plans to build a new facility in Malaysia, to increase its production capability for discrete semiconductors, such as diodes. The project is currently in the design phase, with construction scheduled to begin in July 2015 and completed by August 2016. The Japanese group is investing 8.9 billion yen (€ 69.4 M) in the project. This effort is expected to more than double the production capacity for diodes and help Rohm achieve a 30 percent share in the small-signal discrete semiconductor market. 

Integrated Device Technology has surpassed the 10 million shipments milestone of radio frequency (RF) devices, less than 4 years after entering the market. Since beginning RF development in 2009, IDT has advanced wireless infrastructure technology with a stream of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)-enhancing innovations for RF developers. 

Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $ 37.50 billion in 2014, representing a year-over-year increase of 18 percent, so SEMI. 2014 total equipment bookings were 8 percent higher than in 2013. The global assembly and packaging segment increased 33 percent; total test equipment sales increased 31 percent; other front end equipment segment increased 15 percent; and the wafer processing equipment market segment increased 15 percent. Spending rates increased for all the regions, except for Taiwan. Even with the annual decrease, Taiwan remained the largest market for new semiconductor equipment for the third year in a row with $ 9.41 billion in equipment sales. The North American market held onto the second place with $ 8.16 billion in sales; South Korea maintained its third position with total sales of $ 6.84 billion. China moved up in the rankings, surpassing Japan with  $ 4.37 billion in sales. The European market grew by 25 percent, at $ 2.38 billion, representing less than 7 percent of the worldwide market. 

PASSIVE COMPONENTS 

Total PCB sales in Germany were down by  4 percent yearon-year in January, so the ZVEI. Incoming orders were down by 11 percent compared to January 2014. However in January 2014, both turnover and order intake were exceptionally high. The book-to-bill ratio reached 1.06. The number of employees increased by 3.7 percent compared to January 2014. 

OTHER COMPONENTS 

Nexeya, a French company which designs, tests and maintains critical electronic sys-tems for the defence, aeronautical, space, transport and energy markets, announced the acquisition of Cabletest, a company specializing in cable harness, backplane and complex interconnect system testing of electrical connection systems found on planes, trains, satellites etc. Terms were not disclosed. Nexeya employs one thousand people. 

Komax Systems LCF, La Chaux-de-Fonds, has decided to implement cost-cutting measures in order to safeguard the company’s long-term survival. Around 40 of the 150-strong workforce are likely to be affected. The site continued to suffer from the strength of the Swiss franc and the post-ponement of investment decisions by a large number of customers. As a manufacturer of solutions for the wire processing industry and systems for the assembly of selfmedication instruments, Komax helps its customers implement economical and safe manufacturing processes, especially in the automotive supply and pharmaceutical sectors. The Komax group employs around 1 500 people worldwide.

DISTRIBUTION 

Mouser Electronics has entered into a global distribution agreement and partnership with CUI, a supplier of electromechanical components. The company offers AC/DC power supplies and DC/DC converters. The company’s power group is complemented by a portfolio of board level components, consisting of interconnect, sound, motion control and thermal products. Mouser also announced the update of their Power Supply Technology site which provides developers with the resources they need to learn about the latest advances in power supply technology, and the newest products available for selecting and building power supply systems. 

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]com or by fax 44/1494 563503.