SIA Week in Review -- Dec. 19, 2014

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The SIA Week in Review is a compilation of some of the week's top news clips related to the semiconductor industry. SIA distributes this email on Fridays. Information about subscribing/unsubscribing is included at the bottom of this e-mail.

SIA NEWS

One-Year Extension of R&D Credit is Progress, but Congress Has More Work to Do
Blog Post By Joe Pasetti, Director, Government Affairs

While SIA supports this legislation, ensuring that research expenses for 2014 will be eligible for the credit, we are disappointed that the bill did not enhance the incentive nor extend the credit for longer than a few weeks going forward. SIA continues to advocate for a permanent extension of an enhanced R&D credit, which enjoys widespread bipartisan support in Congress.

Negotiators Miss Opportunity to Conclude Expanded Information Technology Agreement
Press Release

“It is our hope that parties will recognize the concessions made by others, embrace the immense benefits that an ITA deal will bring, and not let this incredible opportunity pass by.”

CHINA

As Qualcomm decision looms, U.S. presses China on antitrust policy
Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama pressed China's Xi Jinping during recent talks on the use of Chinese antitrust policy to limit royalty fees for foreign companies, an issue at the heart of a probe into U.S. mobile chipset maker Qualcomm Inc. The move by Obama to admonish China against applying its anti-monopoly law to benefit Chinese firms using foreign companies' technology will be a key test of how much influence he can wield on these issues as Qualcomm's case nears conclusion.

China is Planning to Purge Foreign Technology and Replace With Homegrown Suppliers
Bloomberg

China is aiming to purge most foreign technology from banks, the military, state-owned enterprises and key government agencies by 2020, stepping up efforts to shift to Chinese suppliers, according to people familiar with the effort.

US and China: Toward a productive, cooperative relationship
The Hill (op-ed by former Rep. George Nethercutt)

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman are hosting a high-level Chinese delegation for the 25th session of the U.S. – China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Chicago (Dec.16-18). This significant meeting comes as U.S. and Chinese officials accelerate the progress of negotiations on the bilateral investment agreement that would expand market access in China for American manufacturers.

The Rise of a New Smartphone Giant: China’s Xiaomi
NY Times

With people in China expected to buy 500 million smartphones in 2015 — more than three times as many as will be sold in the United States, according to the research firm IDC — Xiaomi is poised to cement its place as one of the most powerful phone makers in the world’s most important market.

POLICY

Negotiators fail to reach deal on expanded high-tech agreement
The Hill

Brian Toohey, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), said “it is our hope that parties will recognize the concessions made by others, embrace the immense benefits that an ITA deal will bring, and not let this incredible opportunity pass by." A deal to expand the ITA would have eliminated tariffs on roughly $1 trillion in yearly sales of tech product, and it would reduce to zero more than 200 tariff lines. “Despite the lack of a positive outcome this week, many negotiating parties, including the U.S. negotiators, deserve praise for their flexibility and unrelenting commitment toward reaching a deal that would benefit industries and consumers around the world," Toohey said.

US, China end two days of trade talks in Chicago
Business Standard

"This year's JCCT produced concrete results. We achieved progress on tough issues that American exporters face in our largest export market outside North America," said US Trade Representative Michael Froman who led the American delegation. "The benefits will be felt around the country, in our agricultural heartland, in high-tech from medicines to semiconductors, in the creative industries, and in many other sectors that support jobs across our economy," he added.

Senate clears tax break package
The Hill

The short-term tax bill restores tax provisions that help working families, like distressed homeowners, teachers who buy their own supplies and commuters who use mass transit. For the corporate community, the package includes the popular credit for research and development, an incentive for businesses to invest in economically distressed areas and two preferences for multinational corporations’ offshore income.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Trouble Spots And Optimism For 2015
Semiconductor Engineering

Most top executives in the semiconductor industry are bullish about 2015 and even beyond, particularly as the Internet of Things [KC] begins to drive new markets and market mash-ups, and as more semiconductors find their way into markets such as automotive, health-care and manufacturing. But it’s not an entirely rosy picture, and top executives point to potential trouble spots on both the business and technology fronts.

Do you think the semiconductor industry is consolidating? If so, think again
New Electronics

"I had a belief – one that was shared by most semiconductor people – that the semiconductor industry was consolidating. "The actual data showed exactly the reverse. In fact, the combined market share of the Top 1, top 5, top 10 and top 50 semiconductor companies had all been flat, or in continuous decline, for many years. The truth was the combined market share of the top 50 semiconductor companies has declined by 12% in the last 12 years.

Demand for 8-inch fab equipment rises
Digitimes

Demand for 8-inch fab tools, particularly used equipment, has risen significantly, as foundries are gearing up for their 8-inch fab expansion to grasp the rising IoT opportunity, according to industry sources. Demand for 8-inch wafer capacity has been strong in 2014, buoyed by demand for LCD driver ICs, fingerprint identification sensors, power management (PWM) IC, MEMS devices and MCUs for IoT applications, said the sources.

New report looks into Global semiconductor silicon wafer market that is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.74% to 2019
WhaTech

In the report Global Semiconductor Silicon Wafer Market 2015-2019, the major regions analyzed are North Americas, EMEA, and APAC. One of the key trends in the market is the Shift toward Advanced Technology Nodes. According to the report, the Growing Need for Miniaturization of Semiconductor Devices isa major factor driving market growth. The report analyzes High Manufacturing Cost per Square inch of Silicon Wafer as a major challenge to the industry growth.

Semiconductor Start-Ups Get Their Own Accelerator
IEEE Spectrum

Do semiconductor companies really need their own incubator, or start-up accelerator, or launchpad, or whatever the buzzword is this week? According to a press release from the new organization, semiconductor startups have been feeling left out, because “traditional investors have mostly abandoned early stage semiconductor investing.”

RESEARCH/TECHNOLOGY

Chip-Making Tools Produce Ultra-Efficient Solar Cells
MIT Technology Review

Soitec, a French manufacturing company, says it has used techniques designed for making microprocessors to produce solar cells with a record-setting efficiency of 46 percent, converting more than twice as much sunlight into electricity as conventional cells. Although the cells are more complicated to produce, using established manufacturing techniques promises to keep production costs down.

New type of semiconductor could change face of consumer electronics
Printed Electronics World

Materials first developed at Oregon State University more than a decade ago with an eye toward making "transparent" transistors may be about to shake up the field of consumer electronics - and the first uses are not even based on the transparent capability of the materials.

2-D Material Could Lead the Way to "Valleytronics"
IEEE Spectrum

Valleytronics essentially moves us away from the use of electrons’ electrical charge as a means for storing information to a scheme where we instead employ the wave quantum number of an electron in a crystalline material to encode data. The term valleytronics refers to the fact that if you plotted the energy of electrons relative to their momentum on a graph, the resulting curve would feature two deep valleys.

For the first time, physicists measure electron as it jumps from semiconductor. Yes, it’s a big deal!
ZME Science

All our modern electronics are based on a class of wonder materials called semiconductors. What makes these so valuable is their ability to free electrons when subjected to an electrical current or when hit by light, becoming mobile and eventually routed and switch through a transistor. It’s the very basis of our digital age, be it solar cells or computers. Now, researchers at UC Berkeley have taken a real-time snapshot of electrons being stripped from silicon’s valence shell for the very first time.

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Domain: Electronics
Category: Semiconductors
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