SIA Week in Review -- Nov. 21, 2014

 weSRCH's Best of the Internet Award

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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.


Semiconductor Industry Reaction to President's Announcement on Immigration
By Brian Toohey, SIA President & CEO

While the high-skilled immigration initiatives announced last night by the President are a small step in the right direction, these actions alone fall short of solving the problem. The best and most effective path forward is for Congress to develop a legislative fix that can be signed into law. SIA strongly urges the 114th Congress to work with the White House early in 2015 to enact meaningful immigration reform legislation. Doing so will boost U.S. competitiveness, spur innovation and grow our economy.

SIA Award Dinner Caps Successful Week for Semiconductor Industry
By Dan Rosso, Communications Manager

The week began with long-awaited news that the U.S. and China reached a deal to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a key trade pact that eliminates duties on a range of information and communications technology (ICT) products, including semiconductors … Later in the week, SIA board members and stakeholders gathered in San Jose to participate in the board of directors meeting and the annual SIA Award Dinner. During the meeting, the board of directors finalized SIA’s priorities for 2015 and elected Intel CEO Brian Krzanich as its 2015 chairman and Dr. Necip Sayiner, president, CEO and director of Intersil, as its 2015 vice chairman.


U.S., China Agree To Cut Tariffs On High-Tech Products

For years, the U.S.-based Semiconductor Industry Association tried to get China to cut tariffs on the most advanced computer chips. And according to Vice President David Isaacs, China refused, perhaps to protect its own semi-conductor industry. DAVID ISAACS: They are pretty behind the curve compared to leading-edge U.S. companies. And so they are in fact dependent on U.S. and other companies for these products. They're trying to catch up but that will take some time.

China, US Strike Tech Trade Deal
EE Times

“Today’s agreement between the US and China to expand the ITA is a hard-fought victory for the US semiconductor industry and a big win for the US economy and consumers around the world,” said Brian Toohey, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association in a statement.

U.S., China reach historic deal to end tech tariffs
USA Today

Brian Toohey, head of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said the deal would fuel investment, "reduce costs for consumers, promote exports and strengthen overall semiconductor sector development and growth." The inclusion of advanced semiconductors used in "smart" products alone would save the industry $150 million to $300 million in annual tariffs, the group says.

Tariff Deal Is Big Step for Trade, Tech Firms
Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association estimated that inclusion of MCOs in an expanded trade agreement would save the industry $150 million to $300 million in global annual tariffs. Brian Toohey, the group’s president and chief executive, called the deal “a big win for the U.S. economy and consumers around the world.”

Tech firms hail tariff deal
The Hill

“The agreement between the U.S. and China to expand the ITA is a hard-fought victory for the U.S. semiconductor industry and a big win for the U.S. economy and consumers around the world,” said Brian Toohey, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Altera CEO Pushes for Free Trade in Chips
Wall Street Journal

The U.S. chip industry celebrated early this week when Chinese officials agreed to remove import tariffs from an important class of semiconductors. More than a victory for American chip makers, the accord was a triumph of sorts for John Daane. On Thursday, the chief executive of Altera received the Semiconductor Industry Association’s top honor in recognition of his role in this and other accomplishments. Daane was the SIA’s chairman in 2010, when the organization decided to push for removal of China’s 25% tariff on multicomponent semiconductors, or MCOs, an emerging class of products that combined several chips into a single unit. The SIA pressured U.S. officials to negotiate a new trade agreement. The effort paid off in Tuesday’s accord between the U.S. and China, which is expected to pave the way a new global Information Technology Agreement.

5 positives from Obama's Asia trip
The Hill

The expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is expected to eliminate tariffs in 54 countries on 200 new products, including semiconductors, medical devices and other goods. The deal is being hailed as an economic boon for the high-tech industry. Brian Toohey, CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), called the deal an “enormous development” that will save hundreds of millions in tariffs. A final agreement could be completed during meetings next month in Geneva. A new ITA would cut tariffs by another $1 trillion and is estimated to support up to 60,000 new U.S. jobs.


Semiconductor Industry Association doles out annual awards, ponders future
Investor’s Business Daily

With the global chip industry generating a record $87 billion in revenue during the third quarter, it was easy to see why speakers were upbeat and joking at the annual Semiconductor Industry Association awards dinner Thursday night in downtown San Jose, Calif. Following keynote speaker Austan Goolsbee's remarks, Todd Mosher, CEO of marketing and communications firm Zone 5, tweeted that Goolsbee "kills the crowd at the SIA America Annual Dinner with hilarious economic analysis and predictions."

Hey, while you’re taking your next selfie, don’t forget about the chip industry
Venture Beat

As part of its “It all starts here” marketing campaign, the U.S. semiconductor industry wants people to understand that the whole electronics industry — and things like Taylor Swift’s new 3D viewing app or your Candy Crush Saga mobile game — wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the underlying technology of chips. The Semiconductor Industry Association, the trade group for U.S. chip makers, revealed the slogan and initiative on Thursday night. The group unveiled the campaign at its annual dinner at the Fairmont Hotel before a crowd of 500 believers. It’s a smart campaign, though it reminds me a little of when Al Gore said he invented the Internet. But in this case, it happens to be true.


Chinese Dream for IC Powerhouse Is Coming True
EE Times

China is targeting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the domestic chip industry of 20 percent between now and 2020, with potential financial support from the government of up to 1 trillion renminbi (US$170 billion) over the next five to 10 years, according to a report this year by market consulting firm McKinsey & Co. After years of failed attempts, China’s industry is poised to lead global production growth. “China's chip production will grow much faster than the overall IC market,” says IC Insights president Bill McClean. “Government programs and incentives are going to help.”

China Welcomes Foreign Internet Firms
Wall Street Journal

Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday endorsed the commercial activities of a handful of Chinese Internet titans and foreign technology executives, providing a measure of support for an industry that has often faced an uneasy regulatory environment.

China's Two-Step on Tech Trade
U.S. News & World Report

China is famous as a center for making low-cost parts for iconic gadgets like Apple’s iPhone and Sony’s PlayStation console – but the growing Asian superpower wants to move up the tech industry food chain and sell its own products. Competition is good, but China’s controversial trade tactics could be bad news for America’s Silicon Valley.


Tech's still got plenty on its immigration wish list

President Barack Obama did what little he could to address the tech community's immigration reform hopes last night, but there's still quite a lot left on their wish list. For the most part, his reforms are mostly focused on undocumented immigrants and only touch on tech's issues, like tweaking high-skilled labor programs and helping to keep foreign students in STEM fields in the U.S.

Obama’s immigration order gives tech community some – but not all – of what it wants
Washington Post

The president plans to grant the tech industry some, but not nearly all, of what it has been after in the immigration debate.

Tech sector underwhelmed by Obama
The Hill

President Obama’s executive actions on immigration included just a handful of nuggets to help out technology companies, much to the industry’s chagrin. The sector on Thursday was hopeful about Obama's announcement but seemed underwhelmed by the details.

How Obama got here

The president, the Homeland Security secretary and their secret 9-month project to remake American’s broken immigration system.


AMD reveals high-end 'Carrizo' APU, the first chip to fully embrace audacious HSA tech
PC World

Carrizo will be fully HSA 1.0 compliant, meaning that it will deliver on the Heterogenous Systems Architecture that AMD has talked about for some time. With HSA, the GPU can also be tapped to perform compute functions, which the company claims will deliver far more performance than the speed increases from moving to finer CPU manufacturing technologies alone. Intel, of course, is moving to its second-generation 14nm processor technology with upcoming chips like the Core M.

GlobalFoundries shines light on future of Dutchess plant
Poughkeepsie Journal

It's still early, because GlobalFoundries has not yet closed the deal in which it will take over the East Fishkill semiconductor plant from IBM Corp. and put the employees on its payroll. But recent remarks from an executive of GlobalFoundries have cast a brighter light on the scene, though specific plans remain to be told.

IBM Is Redesigning Supercomputers to Solve Big Data Problems
IEEE Spectrum

Traditional supercomputers focused on performing calculations at blazing speeds have fallen behind when it comes to sifting through huge amounts of “Big Data.” That is why IBM has redesigned the next generation of supercomputers to minimize the need to shuffle data between the memory that stores the data and the processors that do the computing work. The tech giant recently earned US $325 million in federal contracts to build the world’s most powerful supercomputers for two U.S. government labs by 2017.

Intel CEO: Focus on adjacent businesses like datacenter, IoT will fuel growth

The potential bottom line benefits lurking in the booming IoT space are not lost in Intel, either. Krzanich said IoT is Intel's next big business behind the datacenter, as evidenced by the company's decision to break IoT out into its own segment earlier this year. And much like the datacenter, Krzanich said Intel's experience in IoT thus far sets the company up for success. "We have been in this business for many years, so it's one we are very familiar with," he said.

Micron Rides Memory Chip Advances Into Connected Cars

In several labs around the world, Micron Technology engineers are working to enable tomorrow's connected cars. The Boise, Idaho-based company is developing and testing high-capacity flash memory, or NAND, chips and microcontroller components to help carmakers improve communications technology, information and entertainment systems, and safety devices in cars, says Giorgio Scuro, general manager of Micron's (NASDAQ:MU) auto business.

Qualcomm wants to move out of your pocket into your car, house and wearable

Qualcomm, the world's biggest maker of chips for mobile devices, wants to stretch out beyond your pocket and work its way into your car, your home, the wearable gadgets you're expected to don in coming years and even into your city. "The car today is really an amazing platform [in which] to put smartphone technology," Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's CEO, told analysts at a company investor-relations meeting here Wednesday.

IoT: Challenges and opportunities for Texas Instruments
RCR Wireless News

In a presentation at the Texas Wireless Summit, Xiaolin Lu, R&D manager at Texas Instruments, spoke about how the company is addressing the problems that come with an increasingly connected world and the opportunity that she sees for the company in the IoT area.


China and US boost worldwide industrial semiconductor market in 2014, says IHS

Continuing strength in China and a resurgent US economy are combining to drive accelerated growth in the worldwide market for semiconductors used in industrial applications in 2014, according to IHS. Global market revenues for industrial semiconductors are expected to rise by 12.9% in 2014, reaching US$38.5 billion, up from US$34 billion in 2013. This represents an even larger increase in market growth compared to an 11.4% expansion in 2013, said IHS.

Automotive Industry Drives Chip Demand
EE Times

IC Insights compared the six most significant end-user markets for integrated circuits. These are the computer, consumer, communications, automotive, industrial/medical, and government/defense markets. During the time frame, until 2018, the IC demand from automotive customers is expected to exhibit the strongest average annual growth -- 10.8% on average. This is significantly higher than the communications industry, at second place with 6.8%.

Semiconductor Companies Bloated by Unhealthy Business App Diet
EBN (opinion)

As a child I recall my mother telling me to take care of the pennies and the dollars would take care of themselves. That was, and still is, good advice. Having spent over 20 years in business application industry, I have also witnessed how many semiconductor and component manufacturers are very focused on watching those pennies while the dollars slip away.


Bay Area researchers and innovators win top science, technology medals

President Barack Obama said Thursday that 19 scientists, researchers and innovators who received the country's highest honor for their life-changing work embody the spirit of the nation and its "sense that we push against limits and that we're not afraid to ask questions." "When that spirit, that sense of possibility, is truly unleashed, then you get the remarkable men and women that you see here today," Obama said at a White House ceremony recognizing the newest recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

New semiconductor device could lead to better photodetectors

UCLA researchers have developed a perovskite photodetector that could reduce manufacturing costs and improve the quality of medical and commercial light sensors. Photodetectors are semiconductor devices that convert incoming light into electrical signals. They are used in a vast array of products, from visible and infrared light detection systems to television remote controls.

Topological Insulators Move Closer to Practical Applications
IEEE Spectrum

In addition to spintronics, researchers believe that topological insulators, when combined with superconductors, could lead to a practical quantum computer.

Six-State Memristor Opens Door to Weird Computing
IEEE Spectrum

Unlike transistor-based memories, which are designed to assume only binary states, the memristor can hold much more. The Trinity researchers constructed one that can remember six states, and there’s nothing to stop expanding that to 10 or more, they claim.


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Category: Semiconductors

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