Market Insights

October 2014 Electronics Industry Digest

October 05, 2014 by Aubrey Dunford

The European Commission launched a € 5 billion public private partnership -ECSEL -to boost Europe’s electronics design and manufacturing capabilities.

The European Commission launched a € 5 billion public private partnership -ECSEL -to boost Europe’s electronics design and manufacturing capabilities. This initiative is the core of the Electronics Strategy for Europe to mobilise € 100 billion in private investments and create 250,000 jobs in Europe by 2020.

The EU will invest some €1.18 billion in the Electronic Components & Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). ECSEL will help industry launch new pilot projects and build on the €1.79 billion already invested universities at the early stages of product and service development, bringing research closer to market. EU funding will be provided through the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. 26 EU Member States and Associated States have lined up to put a similar amount of € 1.17 billion into ECSEL. Industrial partners will contribute more than € 2.34 billion.

 

Semiconductors

Measured in Euro, European semiconductor sales for the first 5 months of 2014 are running 4.7 percent ahead of the same period in 2013 (9.6 percent in dollars), so the WSTS. European semiconductor sales were € 2.266 billion in May 2014, plus 1.9 percent versus the previous month and an increase of 3.7 percent versus the same month a year ago.

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is on pace to reach $ 336 billion in 2014, a 6.7 percent increase from 2013, and up from the previous quarter’s forecast of 5.4 percent growth, so Gartner.

Infineon Technologies is expanding its Austrian site in Villach. Core emphasis is on the expansion of expertise for the manufacturing of the future as well as R&D. Infineon’s expansion plans foresee investments and research costs amounting to a total of € 290 M, creating approximately 200 new jobs in the period from 2014 to 2017, primarily in R&D. At the site, important developments will be advanced and production-ready innovative technologies will be transferred by Infineon to other sites. At the same time Infineon’ strategy will include expansion of its volume manufacturing on 300 millimetre thin wafers in Dresden and on 200 millimetre wafers in Kulim, Malaysia.

A wide-scale research program with innovations in materials, processes, technologies and system expertise is the second pillar of the Villach site expansion. Here the program focuses on the integration of innovative substrates such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide, on MEMS and sensor technologies as well as on the continuing development of 300 millimetre thin wafer technology.

Avago Technologies, a supplier of analog semiconductor devices with a focus on III-V based products and complex digital and mixed signal CMOS based devices and PLX Technology have entered into a definitive agreement under which Avago will acquire PLX, a leader in PCI Express silicon and software connectivity solutions, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $ 309 M, or $ 293 M net of cash and debt acquired. The core PLX PCIe silicon business broadens Avago’s portfolio serving the enterprise storage and networking end markets.

SEMI projects back-to-back years of doubledigit growth in worldwide semiconductor equipment sales. The SEMI outlook calls for the total semiconductor equipment market to grow 20.8 percent in 2014 to reach $ 38.4 billion and to expand another 10.8 percent in 2015 to exceed $ 42.6 billion. Following two years of spending declines, key drivers for equipment spending are investments by foundry and logic fabs for sub 20nm technology, NAND flash makers for leading edge technology (including 3D NAND) and capacity, DRAM technology upgrades for mobile applications, and expansion of advanced packaging capacity for flip chip, wafer bumping, and wafer-level packaging.

 

Passive Components

LEMO, a Swiss supplier of precision custom connectors has acquired Northwire, a USbased specialty cable manufacturer of wire and multi-conductor cable and retractiles for the medical, aerospace and defense, energy and industrial markets. The acquisition of Northwire will enlarge the LEMO offering, providing a complete cable connector solution to their customers.

Astrodyne, a US-based supplier of specialized power solutions including power supplies, EMI filters, and electronic control products, has completed the acquisition of Filter Concepts, a Californian provider of EMI filter products. Through its recent acquisitions of Radius Power, LCR Electronics and now Filter Concepts, Astrodyne has created one of the largest and most capable EMI filter providers in North America.

 

Distribution

RS Components has signed an agreement with Rohm Semiconductor that positions RS as an authorised global distribution partner of the electronic component vendor. RS holds a sizeable inventory of several hundred Rohm components, which includes discrete semiconductors, power management ICs, LEDs, display drivers, optical switches, video and audio processors, and sensor devices.

Avnet Technology Solutions has appointed Miriam Murphy as senior vice president, (SVP) North region, which comprises the UK and Ireland. She will be responsible for accelerating growth and profitability in these key territories for Avnet and its partners.

FBDI, Germany’s component distribution association, has taken a new initiative on component traceability. It has established a Traceability work group which will work to integrate the latest requirements of the legislative authority (which includes market surveillance, new product security regulations, EN 9120 traceability standard) into the existing FBDi Traceability guideline. Monitoring of the relevant legislation will also be on the agenda, as well as the discussion on proposals for policy documents.

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

 

About the Author

Aubrey Dunford is the change specialist of Europartners. His major area of interest lies in helping companies face up to essential change, particularly in managing the interface between sales/marketing and manufacturing. He also runs DEO Consulting Ltd. as a UK management consultancy which gives him exposure to industries outside the electronics industry.

 

This article originally appeared in the Bodo’s Power Systems magazine.