SIA Week in Review -- Dec. 5, 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

John Neuffer Named President & CEO of SIA
Press Release

SIA today announced that John Neuffer has been named president & CEO of the association. He will assume his new role in January, succeeding Brian Toohey, who has been president & CEO since 2010 and announced his plans to leave the association in 2013 to join New Hampshire-based DEKA Research & Development Corporation.

Global Semiconductor Sales Increase in October; Substantial Growth Projected for 2014
Press Release

SIA today announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $29.7 billion for the month of October 2014, an increase of 9.6 percent from the October 2013 total of $27.1 billion and an uptick of 1.5 percent compared to last month’s total of $29.2 billion. Sales in the Americas increased 12.2 percent year-over-year in October, leading all regions.

Semiconductor Industry Forecasts Broad and Sustained Sales Growth for 2015
By Falan Yinug, Director, Industry Statistics & Economic Policy

WSTS revised up its full-year 2014 global semiconductor sales growth forecast to 9 percent ($333.2 billion in total sales) from the 6.5 percent it forecasted six months ago. WSTS also forecasts positive sales growth to continue in 2015 at 3.4 percent ($344.5 billion in total sales) and 2016 at 3.1 percent ($355.3 billion).

What is a Multi-component Semiconductor?
By Devi Keller, Deputy Director, Global Policy

Following a key breakthrough between China and the United States on the sidelines of the APEC Leaders meeting in Beijing in November, negotiators return to Geneva tomorrow to resume, and hopefully conclude, an expanded Information Technology Agreement that extends duty-free coverage to approximately 200 new technology product lines, including next-generation semiconductors known as multi-component semiconductors (MCOs).


CHINA

China Wants What’s in Your Phone as Chips Replace Oil
Bloomberg

Chinese companies spent almost $5 billion in five major chip-related takeovers in the past 18 months, data compiled by Bloomberg show, with most deals getting state funding. That spree shows no signs of slowing as China, home to 1.3 billion mobile-phone accounts, pursues ways to build its domestic chip industry and reduce reliance on imports from Taiwan, the U.S. and South Korea. The well-funded acquisitions could mean tougher competition for smaller chip companies from those countries.

China, a Fish Barrel for Cybercriminals
New York Times

In its early days, China’s Internet market was plagued by malware and viruses. Popular free antivirus software offered by many companies has since helped stem that problem, but has led to a new one: Many PC users have become so comfortable that they are now easy prey to attacks that involve simply tricking them, instead of having their accounts breached by complex software. At Chinese companies, experts say, awareness lags that of their counterparts in developed nations.

In 2015, Technology Shifts Accelerate and China Rules, IDC Predicts
New York Times

In 2015, IDC estimates that nearly 500 million smartphones will be sold in China, three times the number sold in the United States and about one third of global sales. Roughly 85 percent of the smartphones sold in China will be made by its domestic producers like Lenovo, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and Coolpad.


POLICY

Reid indicates Senate might not pass House tax extender bill
The Hill

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday night that the Senate might not be able to pass the House tax extenders bill before the end of the year. Reid said it was "imperative" for the Senate to pass a government funding bill and a defense spending measure before adjourning for the year but that senators would have to wait and see if a tax deal makes it to the floor.

The Reid who stole Christmas — Obama to meet CEOs — Tech lobby descends on Geneva
Politico Morning Trade

U.S. industry groups, including the Information Technology Industry Council, AdvaMed, Consumer Electronics Association, Semiconductor Industry Association and Motion Picture Association of America, will be in Geneva to press negotiators to wrap up the more than two-year-old negotiations this month.

Froman Signals Tariff Phaseouts Still Unresolved With China In ITA Talks
Inside U.S. Trade (log-in required)

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman indicated this week that there is a lot more work to be done in the negotiations to expand the product scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) with respect to the length of tariff phaseouts that China will apply to the covered products, according to congressional aides. In a closed-door Dec. 3 briefing with members of the New Democrat Coalition, Froman signaled that China has not yet submitted a proposal on tariff phaseouts, but that when it does, this offer would be a starting point for negotiations, the aides said.

Obama Tech Job Plan Disappoints
EE Times

A press release from the Semiconductor Industry Association called Obama's actions, "a small step in the right direction, these actions alone fall short of solving the problem."

Exclusive: Republicans prepare 2015 immigration legislation
Reuters

The move, likely to come early next year according to House Republican leadership aides, may lead to other steps the House of Representatives could contemplate to repair parts of U.S. immigration law.

How immigration reform is winning, even while it’s still losing
Washington Post

The Public Religion Research Institute has been asking people for years to rate this country's immigration system, on a scale from "completely broken" to "generally working." And for all the failures of comprehensive reform advocates of both parties, you can at least say this: They have convinced Americans that there is indeed a problem.


MEMBER NEWS

Freescale acquires California semiconductor company
Austin Business Journal

Austin-based Freescale (NYSE: FSL) bought Zenverge Inc. the developer of high-definition content processing integrated circuits. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM Watson Analytics now open for business
Computerworld

IBM Watson, apparently not content with its Jeopardy winnings, is looking for work. After a lot of buildup, Watson Analytics, the natural language business intelligence tool based on Big Blue's famed AI, is now available in beta under a freemium model where it's free to get started -- but the really powerful analytics are going to cost you.

Intel to invest $1.6 billion in China factory
Reuters

"Deploying our newest advanced testing technology in China shows our commitment to innovating jointly with China," Intel executive vice president William Holt said in the statement. "The fully upgraded Chengdu plant will help the Chinese semiconductor industry and boost regional economic growth."

Why Stephen Hawking is talking up Intel's 'assistive technology' innovation
Fortune

The technology, due in early 2015, lets individuals like Hawking—who is afflicted with motor neuron disease—control software applications through eye movements.

SanDisk Founder Wins US National Medal of Technology
Jewish Voice
He’s described as a kindly uncle, a low-key gentleman and one of the most successful executives in the world. It’s for another distinction – revolutionizing data storage with a technology known as flash memory — that SanDisk founder Eli Harari traveled to the White House on November 20 to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Cypress Semiconductor and Spansion announce merger
San Jose Mercury News

Cypress Semiconductor and another Silicon Valley chipmaker, Spansion, on Monday announced a stock merger they valued at about $4 billion. The combination, which will have to be approved by both companies' stockholders as well as by government regulators, is expected to be completed in the first half of next year. Under the deal, San Jose-based Cypress will retain its name and essentially gobble up Spansion, based in Sunnyvale.

Texas Instruments CEO details the Dallas-based chipmaker’s strategy for success
Dallas Morning News

Rich Templeton, CEO of Dallas-based chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc. today sat down for a “fireside chat” with Credit Suisse semiconductor analyst John Pitzer at the investment bank’s annual Technology Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Templeton reiterated TI’s recipe for success in a typically cyclical industry: a great manufacturing strategy (cost and control), with diversified product lines, a diverse sales force (in person and online) and a focus on longevity.


INDUSTRY NEWS

Scoop: DISH, Public Knowledge and more launch ‘Stop the Mega-Comcast Coalition’
Politico Morning Tech

ITI'S NEUFFER TO HEAD SEMICONDUCTOR GROUP — John Neuffer, formerly the senior vice president for global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, will start in January as president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, succeeding Brian Toohey. There Neuffer will rep folks like Qualcomm, Intel and IBM.

Global semiconductor outlook brightens, Microchip sees sales rebound
Reuters

Strong demand for smartphones and automotive electronics has boosted growth for the semiconductor industry this year, as a global industry association said results for 2014 were set to have beaten forecasts with further modest growth expected.

Semiconductor sales to be led by automotive, mobile phone sales over next two years
Silicon Valley Business Journal

World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, which tracks chip statistics, said 2014 should wrap up with sales rising 9 percent to $333 billion. Assuming that the global economy doesn't melt down in 2015 or 2016, the group expects the market to continue growing, albeit at a slower pace.

Samsung's Devastating Secret: The Tears Of 'Semiconductor Children'
Huff Post Korea

Former workers and their families, along with labor activists, have said that conditions at the company's semiconductor factories have led to higher occurrences of illnesses such as leukemia and other cancers among former semiconductor workers. In a new series, The Huffington Post Korea and its media partner, The Hankyoreh, report that long-term exposure to toxic chemicals may not only have lasting effects for some former Samsung workers, but also for their children.


RESEARCH/TECHNOLOGY

New type of semiconductor could change face of consumer electronics
PHYS.org

One of the first and most important of the semiconductors is based on the compound indium gallium zinc oxide, or IGZO. It's now being used to produce flat-panel displays for computer monitors with extraordinary resolution and clarity, and in ultrathin HDTVs. IGZO will also soon find its way into tablets and cell phone displays. But that may be just the beginning, experts say.

On-Demand Electron Pairing in Semiconductors
CE Mag

A precise control and manipulation of quantum-mechanical states could pave the way for promising applications such as quantum computers and quantum cryptography.

Graphene Proves to Be Superman of Bullet Proof Materials
IEEE Spectrum

While carbyne may be the strongest material, for now its strength exists only in computer models. Outside the virtual world, graphene is showing the real muscle. In recent tests it dissipated the kinetic energy of micobullets ten times better than steel.

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