SIA Week in Review -- Oct. 10, 2014

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The SIA Week in Review is a compilation of some of the week's top 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 BLOG

Semiconductor Industry Has Grown U.S. Economy through Innovation
By Falan Yinug, Director, Industry Statistics & Economic Policy

Sixty-four years ago this month, the U.S. Patent Office issued a patent to three semiconductor pioneers for the transistor, the building block for semiconductor innovation. Since then, the U.S. semiconductor industry has continued to innovate at an impressive rate, thus contributing significantly to U.S. economic growth. In fact, a recently published SIA white paper concludes that the U.S. semiconductor industry has accounted for 30 percent of all economic growth due to innovation in the United States between 1960-2007.

Semiconductor Industry Has Contributed More to U.S. Economic Growth than any other Major Manufacturing Industry
By Falan Yinug, Director, Industry Statistics & Economic Policy

A newly published SIA white paper shows that, thanks to rapid technological development, the U.S. semiconductor industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy grew 265 percent from 1987 to 2011, more than that of any other major U.S. manufacturing industry. Based on official U.S. government data, the paper concludes what SIA and the industry has known for some time: the U.S. semiconductor industry is a uniquely vital contributor to the U.S. economy.

CHINA

UMC to invest $6.2B in China foundry
EE Times

United Microelectronics Corp. is entering into a three-way agreement venturing in a new foundry in Xiamen, China. According to the Taiwanese chipmaker, the foundry will be a joint venture with a total investment of $6.2 billion, aimed at producing 50,000 12-inch wafers a month using 55nm and 40nm process technologies.

China’s wafer foundry market: 15% growth in 2014
Solid State Technology

The wafer foundry market experienced a wavy development, jumping by 39.4 percent in 2010 following a 7.9 percent decline in 2009. And the growth rate first shrank to 8.7 percent in 2011, then expanded to 21.7 percent in 2012, and fell back to 6.8 percent in 2013. It is projected that the growth rate will stand at 15.6 percent in 2014 and 6.0 percent in 2015. The fluctuation in the wafer foundry market will begin to present an increasingly small growth rate, which is mainly because of the differentiation in wafer foundry industry.

US Commerce department wants to help tap Chinese market
ChinaDaily

China is the third-largest market for US exports, responsible for more 800,000 US jobs, and helping US businesses tap into the growing Chinese market is a high priority, said Stefan M. Selig, under secretary of commerce for international trade at the US Department of Commerce. Selig spoke on Tuesday at the opening of the Discover Global Markets Greater China Region forum in New York. The conference is part of the US Commercial Service Business Forum Series. The US Commercial Service is the trade-promotion arm of the Commerce department's International Trade Administration (ITA).

Report: China world's worst on policies that hurt US economy, workers
The Hill

China tops a list of more than four dozen nations that do the most damage to U.S. workers and the economy, a new survey showed Wednesday. … “The growth of trade mercantilism represents a major threat to the integrity of the global trading system and demands a coherent and bold response,” said Michelle Wein, trade policy analyst with ITIF and co-author of the index.

China LED: Opportunity and Challenge Coexist
CSIA

China’s LED industry started from 1970s, and by the end of 2009, there were over 3000 enterprises and had built 7 national semiconductor lighting industrialization bases around Shanghai, Dalian, Nanchang, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Yangzhou and Shijiazhuang. The global demand for LED provides huge opportunity for the industry. However, the small size and dispersed locating of firms, core and high-end technologies are grasped by foreign competitors, and lack R&D and industrialization cooperation between research institutes and enterprise are the major obstacles impeding further development.

To Reach China, LinkedIn Plays by Local Rules
New York Times

For American technology companies from Microsoft to Facebook to Google, China is a difficult, even impossible, place to operate. But one company, the social network LinkedIn, has found a way to do business — by being willing to compromise on the free expression that is the backbone of life on the Western Internet. LinkedIn’s experience provides a blueprint, and perhaps a cautionary lesson, for Silicon Valley as it tries to crack the vast Chinese market. Other American tech companies are watching with great interest, wondering whether LinkedIn will find an equilibrium between free speech and Chinese law that it can live with.

POLICY

Warren Buffett says time is right to revamp corporate tax rules
Politico

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Monday that the White House action to limit companies shifting their tax address outside the United States provides a good “time out” to work on revamping corporate tax rules. “It’s good to have a time out while we work out a logical corporate tax code,” Buffett said in an exclusive interview for POLITICO’s “Lessons from Leaders” series with POLITICO editor-in-chief John Harris.

Obama tax reform overture grabs K Street’s attention
The Hill

K Street has a message for President Obama when it comes to tax reform: Talk is cheap. Senior White House officials have started making overtures about a deal to revamp the tax system for businesses next year, arguing it’s one area where there is common ground with the GOP — an important consideration if Senate control flips to the Republicans in November. But for tax reform to become real, lobbyists say, the Obama administration will have to translate words into action by engaging vigorously with Capitol Hill on the arduous process of crafting legislation.

Patent trolling pays: Since 2010, trolls have made 3 times as much money in court as real companies
Gigaom

The chart shows how the median damage awards for trolls was $8.5 million, which is just one of many sobering statistics published by the law firm Goodwin Procter as part of a manual that provides tips for fighting patent trolls.

US Fuel Economy Hits All-Time High, CO2 Emissions Record Low
Environmental Leader

New vehicles achieved an all-time-high fuel economy in 2013, according to an EPA report. Model year 2013 vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon — a 0.5 mpg increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 mpg since 2004. Fuel economy has now increased in eight of the last nine years. The average carbon dioxide emissions are also at a record low of 369 grams per mile in model year 2013.

Regulation Clips Wings of U.S. Drone Makers
Wall Street Journal

The U.S. introduced drones to the world as machines of war. But as unmanned aircraft enter private industry—for purposes as varied as filming movies, inspecting wind farms and herding cattle—many U.S. drone entrepreneurs are finding it hard to get off the ground, even as rivals in Europe, Canada, Australia and China are taking off.

Obama: ‘Suicide’ for GOP if They Don’t Pass Immigration (Updated)
Roll Call

President Barack Obama said Thursday Republicans will be committing “suicide” if they don’t pass an immigration bill. “It’s anyone’s guess how Republicans are thinking about this,” Obama said at a town hall meeting in California. He said that in the long-run politically, “It is suicide for them not to do this.”

MEMBER NEWS

Altera CEO John Daane to receive Robert N. Noyce Award
Solid State Technology

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced that John P. Daane, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Altera, has been named the 2014 recipient of SIA’s highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award. SIA presents the Noyce Award annually in recognition of a leader who has made outstanding contributions to the U.S. semiconductor industry in technology or public policy. Daane will accept the award at SIA’s annual award dinner on Thursday, Nov. 13.

A.M.D. Names Lisa Su as Chief Executive
NY Times

Advanced Micro Devices, the largest maker of computer semiconductors after Intel, said on Wednesday that it had appointed Lisa Su as its new president and chief executive. She will succeed Rory Read, the company’s former chief, as part of a transition plan, the company said.

Freescale Touts 'New Cooking Paradigm'
PC Mag

Radio frequency (RF) chips are the key to connecting our smartphones to cellular networks and the Internet, but could they soon be used to cook our food as well? That's the idea behind Freescale Semiconductor's new batch of solid-state RF heating devices and evaluation tools, which the chip design firm made available to appliance makers this week. Freescale claimed the introduction of these RF heating products will do nothing less than introduce "a new cooking paradigm."

IBM’s Watson Attracts Commercial Clients
NY Times

IBM will show off progress on that front on Wednesday when it officially opens Watson’s business home in downtown Manhattan. IBM is announcing that about 100 companies and nonprofit institutions are developing and beginning to offer software applications using the Watson engine.

Intel meets its 'makers,' with chips for DIY set and the firms they'll found (Q&A)
CNET

The next wave of consumer electronics could come from the maker movement and indie developers. Intel's Edward Ross wants to make the company's chips a key part of that trend.

Intel execs on big data and privacy: It's a balancing act
ZDNet

Big data has the potential to play a tremendous role in enriching education, cities, and healthcare, among other verticals touching our everyday lives. But for that to happen, individuals will need to embrace those innovations -- and that can only be achieved through trust and security, argued Intel global privacy officer David Hoffman. "We’re not talking about privacy or progress. We’re talking about privacy and progress,” Hoffman stressed.

Qualcomm CEO talks Internet of Things
U-T San Diego

Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf said automakers are accelerating efforts to bring mobile technology into vehicles — outpacing health care, education and the connected-home industries. Speaking Friday evening at a “fireside chat” organized by San Diego technology trade group CommNexus, Mollenkopf said the capabilities of high-speed 4G LTE cellular radios to power new services has captured the attention of auto industry.

INDUSTRY NEWS

A warning from one small semiconductor company spooks the whole industry
The Oregonian

Major semiconductor stocks are off sharply Friday morning, driven down by a warning from one chip company with a factory in Gresham. Microchip Technology, which employs about 400 at its Gresham fab, warned that third-quarter sales totaled about $546 million, well below the $560 million to $576 million the company had forecast. The company said that September sales were unusually weak, driven by poor sales in China. Though Microchip is relatively small (with a market value around $8 billion), its results sent a shudder through the entire industry.

Microchip Falls on China Demand; Chip Stocks Tumble
Bloomberg

Microchip Technology makes semiconductors used in products ranging from home appliances to computer network hardware to cars, making its earnings a broad indicator of demand across the industry. The Chandler, Arizona-based company has historically been an early semiconductor cycle indicator, investment research firm Hedgeye Risk Management, wrote in note to investors today. “Semiconductor Downcycles affect all chip firms. Nobody will be spared,” Hedgeye said.

Samsung Electronics makes $14.7 billion bet with new South Korean chip plant
Reuters

South Korean IT giant Samsung Electronics plans to spend $14.7 billion on a new chip facility - its biggest investment in a single plant - leaning on its semiconductor business to bolster profits as its smartphone dominance wanes. Samsung, the world's top memory chip maker, said the plant would be located in Pyeongtaek, roughly 75 kilometers (47 miles) south of Seoul. The company said it would create 150,000 jobs, equal to about a third of the city's population.

Mobile revolution shakes up Silicon Valley
AP

Smartphones, tablets and other gadgets aren’t just changing the way we live and work. They are shaking up Silicon Valley’s balance of power and splitting up businesses. Long-established companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and eBay Inc. are scrambling to regain their footing to better compete against mobile-savvy trendsetters like Apple and Google, as well as rising technology stars that have built businesses around “cloud computing.”

RESEARCH/TECHNOLOGY

Japanese researchers develop "organs-on-chips" technology for drug testing
Xinhua

Researchers in Japan have developed a chip that mimics human organs, a technology that could test the efficacy and side effects of drugs and speed the development of new drugs. Hiroshi Kimura, a lecturer at Tokai University, and Teruo Fujii, a professor at the University of Tokyo, successfully replicated how a cancer medication absorbed by the bowel is metabolized in the liver and reaches areas affected by lung cancer, the Nikkei reported on Wednesday. The chip is used to culture human cells on a palm-sized plastic substrate.

A Faster Way To Make Quantum Computing Chips
IEEE Spectrum

Optics researchers from INRS-EMT in Quebec, Canada have developed a new method of generating photon pairs — tiny entangled particles of light — that are small enough to fit onto a computer chip. The new power-efficient approach could enable next-generation quantum computers and optical communication technologies. The results will be presented at the Optical Society's (OSA) 98th Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics, being held Oct. 19-23 in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Flexible electronics could draw their energy from graphene supercapacitors
Gigaom

Graphene is made of a layer of carbon atoms just a single atom thick. To create a supercapacitor, the Duke team sandwiched a layer of stretchy gel between two sheets of graphene. To make it stretchy, the researchers then crumpled the graphene sandwich up. If the supercapacitor needs to stretch or conform to a surface like a wrist, the graphene simply flattens a little.

Technology Takes the Wheel
New York Times

Google’s driverless car may still be a work in progress, but the potential for semiautonomous vehicles on American roads is no longer the stuff of science fiction. By the end of the decade, a growing number of automakers aim to offer some form of hands-off-the-wheel, feet-off-the-pedals highway driving where a driver can sit back and let the car take control.

Inventors of Blue LED Win Nobel Prize in Physics
IEEE Spectrum

Taking a more practical turn, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics to three inventors of the blue light-emitting diode. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, who worked together at the University of Nagoya, and Shuji Nakamura, who worked at Nichia Chemicals in Tokushima, developed bright versions of the devices in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “Their inventions were revolutionary,” the Nobel Foundation said in a press release. “Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps.”

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