The Top Industry News Stories Of 2007
The top stories in 2007 (in terms of reader interest determined by number of page views) relating to industry news largely reveal the cooperation and conflict among, as well as the overall fluctuating nature of, the power electronics industry. The top ten stories, in descending order were:
Members of the Power Management Bus (PMBus™) Implementers Forum introduced version 1.1 of the open communications interface specification for the control of power systems. The new specification offers enhancements which simplify the management of system power supplies while extending the PMBus protocol to address the needs of ac-dc supplies as well as dc-dc converters.
SEMIKRON International and LS Industrial Systems Korea (LSIS) announced that they would team up to develop and deliver power electronic solutions for the industrial drives and consumer market. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to offer LSIS integrated power modules based on SEMIKRON's MiniSKiiP IGBT-platform.
EPCOS applied to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to delist its American Depositary Shares (ADS). In addition, the company applied to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for deregistration and termination of the reporting obligations. EPCOS expected the delisting to take effect on November 28, and that the ADS would no longer be traded on the NYSE. Nevertheless, investors will still be able to hold US Dollar denominated EPCOS shares in the form of ADS and to trade the ADS over-the-counter under an unlisted "Level 1" program.
Members of the IPC's Power Conversion Subcommittee, leading power supply associations and power supply manufacturers from around the world converged on Schaumburg, Illinois, June 26-27, to discuss the draft of IPC-9592, newly titled, "Requirements for Power Conversion Devices for the Computing and Telecommunications Industries," and make plans for its continuing development and publication. Although the meeting was preceded by some concern from associations representing power suppliers, those points were addressed and the organizations (as well as other companies in attendance) have agreed to serve on the IPC-9592 subcommittee.
MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. and Conergy announced that they had executed a definitive agreement for MEMC to supply solar grade silicon wafers to Conergy. MEMC will supply solar wafers to Conergy over a 10-year period, with pre-determined pricing, on a take or pay basis beginning in the third quarter of 2008. Sales of the wafers over the 10-year period would generate between $7 billion and $8 billion in revenue for MEMC.
Renewable Energy Corp. (REC) revealed that it will construct a $6.3 billion solar cell plant in Singapore by the first quarter of 2008. The company claims that the plant will eventually produce 1.5 gigawatts of solar generating capacity a year and will be the largest of its kind thus far.
The death of a migrant worker who was killed when his cell phone (reportedly a Motorola Inc. model) reportedly exploded in his chest pocket, prompted safety inspectors in southern China to conduct studies that showed nearly half of the mobile phone batteries examined to be defective, as well as about 80% of battery re-chargers. The report also found that four counterfeit battery models may explode if used in Motorola and Nokia Corp. handsets. According to the report, in order to compete in the market, some manufacturers removed key parts and sold re-chargers at low prices to reduce costs.
C&D Technologies, Inc. announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell its Power Electronics Division (PED) to Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. of Japan (Murata) for $85 million cash, subject to customary working capital adjustments. With annual revenues of over $185 million, C&D’s PED is a leading manufacturer of dc-dc converters, ac-dc power supplies, magnetics, data acquisition devices and panel meters.
Tyco International Ltd., which is splitting itself into three separate, publicly traded companies, ended rampant speculation by announcing that it will sell its Power Systems Unit.
Power-One, Inc. announced that the jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, upheld the validity of the Power-One Z-One® digital power management and control patents asserted against Artesyn Technologies, which, along with Astec America, is now part of the Emerson Electric Co.’s Network Power business unit.
Bill Yeates, Power-One’s CEO, commented, "We firmly believe that PMBus™ cannot be used in the POL space without getting a license from Power-One."