SIA Week in Review -- Sept. 12, 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 Award Dinner Brings Together Semiconductor Professionals for Celebration of Industry
By Caroline Kazmierski, Director, Communications & Marketing

As summer comes to a close, it’s time to turn our attention to the premier annual gathering of semiconductor industry leaders and stakeholders, SIA's Annual Award Dinner, which will take place on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 at The Fairmont San Jose. The SIA Award Dinner, now in its 37th year, provides unmatched opportunities to network and collaborate with colleagues and peers from the leading semiconductor manufacturers and designers, suppliers, and service providers. Additionally, the evening will feature discussion and insights about the future of the industry and will enable semiconductor industry professionals to share ideas, catch up with old friends and colleagues, and make new connections.


Global Chip Sales Stay Chipper In July

Coming off record levels for the first half of 2014, worldwide chip sales started the second half of the year on a positive note. According to a press release from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), global chip sales increased about 10% to a record $28.1 billion in July from a year earlier … The trade group noted that semiconductor sales were strong across all product categories. "The global semiconductor industry posted its highest-ever monthly sales in July and remains on track for a record year in 2014," said SIA CEO and President Brian Toohey in the release.

Weekly Tech Notes

Semiconductor stocks have been one of the top performing sectors in 2014, significantly outperforming the S&P 500 index. Year to date, the SOX (Philadelphia Semiconductor Index) has increased 21%, significantly outgrowing the 8% gain in the S&P 500 index and the 10% increase in the Morgan Stanley High Tech Index (a proxy for the technology sector as a whole) over the same interval. Having regained its growth momentum in 2013, the semiconductor market is expected to grow 4.4% in 2014, though brokerage analysts have estimates of 8% to 12%. The Semiconductor Industry Association this week released global sales data for July of $28.1 billion, an increase of 10% over the prior year and the highest monthly posting ever. This would seem to support the higher rate.


China Denies Using Antimonopoly Law to Target Foreign Companies

Chinese regulators denied allegations made by foreign business groups that China is using its antimonopoly law to unfairly target foreign companies and may be violating its World Trade Organization commitments. Xu Kunlin, an official at National Development Reform Commission, said at a press briefing Thursday that China treats foreign and domestic companies fairly. The economic planning body found that foreign companies accounted for about 10% of antimonopoly cases in a review of more than 300 instances, Mr. Xu said. He didn't say how long the commission conducted the review.

China's premier promises more open economy

China's premier promised Wednesday to open the world's No. 2 economy wider to foreign companies, promising favorable conditions despite a wave of anti-monopoly investigations that business groups say might be aimed at limiting competition. Speaking at a business conference, Premier Li Keqiang made no mention of the probes against foreign automakers, drug and technology suppliers and other companies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a report this week the investigations unfairly target foreign companies and might be a violation of Beijing's free-trade pledges.

China National IC Equity Investment Fund Increases to RMB 125 Billion, More State-owned Companies Involved
Ifeng (translated summary below)
Information from multiple channels reveals China IC Equity Investment Fund with total size of RMB 125 billion will comes out soon. The fund management company has been founded and the fund company is being established currently. “The fund company will register before Oct 1st, and will complete capital injection by the end of October. The founders of the fund company are approximately 10 state-owned companies, including China Development Bank Capital and Ministry of Finance who invest RMB 70-80 billion together, Etwon Capital(亦庄国投), China Mobile(中国移), China Electronics Corporation (CEC)( 中国电子信息产业集团), Tsinghua Unicommunication (紫光通信); the company will open to the society next,” said people close to the program. “The Fund will invite social capital to be in the IC industry by the proportion of 1:9 or more,” said a MIIT official.

For U.S. tech firms, China entices in spite of tight state control

The sheer size of the Chinese market is so alluring to Western companies that even pro-internet freedom firms like CloudFlare may have to put moral outrage to the side in their pursuit of new business.

China’s Tech Challenge and Opportunity

This is not just a “trade issue.” It is systemic. China’s efforts to support its own technology sector are engineered into the very sinews of its economy, spanning tax, subsidies, antitrust, procurement, standards, localization, and technology transfer. The government shapes the tech market in deep and granular ways. Further, China is leveraging access to its large domestic market; whereas, Japan and Korea have emphasized global export-led strategies and had more incentive to accept global rules. From an American perspective, earlier economic disputes with Japan and Korea were contained within more developed political relationships and institutions.

U.S. Group Says China Could Be Violating Trade Accords
NY Times

But a new report, released on Monday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Washington, raises the possibility of a new approach to China’s increasingly vigilant antitrust actions: lodging a complaint at the World Trade Organization, which China joined in 2001. “To the extent that China’s enforcement of the A.M.L. is discriminatory, it arguably violates commitments that China undertook when it acceded to the World Trade Organization,” said the report, referring to the antimonopoly law. “If China applies the A.M.L. in a manner inconsistent with its W.T.O. obligations, this would arguably constitute a violation of W.T.O. law despite being imposed under the guise of competition law.”

China plots global chip domination
EET Asia

Two news items involving Intel set the investment industry abuzz and attracted Chinese media attention. First is that Intel is eyeing China's Spreadtrum as an investment to shore up its mobile business, according to a Chinese news site. Second, Intel should consider acquiring Taiwan's MediaTek as urged by RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman. Reached by EE Times on Tuesday, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy was, of course, mum, other than noting: "We don't comment on speculation nor do we speculate on what might have caused the speculation."


De Gucht Says U.S., EU To Present ITA Compromise To China In A Matter of Days
Inside U.S. Trade

European Trade Commission Karel De Gucht said the United States and European Union are aiming to release in a matter of days a joint compromise proposal for China in the hope of breaking the current deadlock in the negotiations on expanding the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).

USTR Announces TPP Progress, But Gives No Details Or Timetable For Next Meeting
Inside U.S. Trade

At the conclusion of a 10-day Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meeting in Hanoi, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that negotiators made progress in a number of areas including rules on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and intellectual property (IP), but did not provide further details or give any indication of when TPP countries would hold their next meeting.

Tech's frustration with Congress boils over
The Hill

Silicon Valley's checks haven't been buying them many bills. Lawmakers made multiple trips to the tech industry capital this summer to stage meet-and-greets with company executives and get them to open their wallets. But for all the work some members of Congress do to take industry’s money and run, many of the sector's highest priorities have been left on the table.

Lew Says Treasury Can Act to Reduce Inversions’ Value

The Obama administration can make tax inversions less economically attractive to U.S. companies if Congress doesn’t act to curb the practice, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said. Lew said a “broken” tax system is what prompts U.S. companies to reduce taxes by moving their addresses abroad. He reiterated today that the administration will decide on possible action in the “very near future” to limit inversions.

GOP chairman calls out Obama on tax reform
The Hill

The House’s top tax writer on Wednesday rebuked President Obama for not releasing a detailed plan to overhaul the tax code. "I think we all get elected to lead," Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said. "We need some leadership." The Ways and Means chairman released his own broad tax reform plan in February, only to see his draft win little support from his own party.

President Barack Obama punts on immigration until after election

President Barack Obama will delay plans to issue an executive order on immigration until the end of the year, heeding the warnings of Democratic senators who feared a voter backlash ahead of the November elections. The decision is a major reversal from June, when the president stood in the Rose Garden and pledged to make fixes to the immigration system by the end of the summer. The delay reflected growing Democratic concerns that a sweeping executive order would further endanger the Senate majority.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES and SRC announce new scholarship for undergraduate engineering students
Solid State Technology

Presented at SRC’s annual TECHCON conference in Austin, Texas, the scholarship was created by GLOBALFOUNDRIES in partnership with SRC to recognize and reward science, technology and engineering students who demonstrate promise in their academic and professional efforts. The selected recipients of this scholarship will have the opportunity to interact with GLOBALFOUNDRIES researchers and access the professional resources of SRC and the SRC Education Alliance.

Mayo Clinic works with IBM’s Watson on clinical trials

Now the clinic is to get some help from IBM’s Watson supercomputer, which will use its cognitive computing capability to sift through thousands of pages of information available about Mayo clinical trials in a fraction of the time. "With shorter times from initiation to completion of trials, our research teams will have the capacity for deeper, more complete investigations," said Nicholas LaRusso, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo and the project lead. "Coupled with increased accuracy, we will be able to develop, refine and improve new and better techniques in medicine at a higher level."

IBM, Intel Leading a New Health Tech Revolution
PC Mag

IBM is one of several big companies harnessing the scalable power of technologies ranging from wearable health trackers to giant server farms to help accelerate medical research, make patient care more efficient, and even, one hopes, find cures for our most deadly diseases. In fact, ending cancer by 2020 is the incredibly ambitious goal Intel has set for itself and its healthcare sector partners, according to Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group.

Intel CEO on the Move from Mobile Imitation to Innovation
Wall Street Journal

One of the most unusual demonstrations planned for the Intel Developer Forum is a sensor-packed wheelchair that will be discussed in a video appearance by physicist Stephen Hawking, who is disabled by a disease related to ALS. The project, which uses a package of Intel technologies called Galileo and a family of small processors called Quark, was suggested by Intel interns. Among other things, Krzanich said, the technology can tell if a person in a wheelchair is breathing heavily, has toppled over or has fallen out. In such cases, it can send a message for help.

Intel talks wireless charging and RealSense 3D cameras, coming over the next year
PC World

Intel plans to make the wire-free future of the PC a reality as early as the first quarter of 2015, when the first “Skylake” reference designs ship to hardware makers. Kirk Skaugen, the senior vice president and general manager in charge of the PC Client Group at Intel, began laying out more details of its “wire-free” PC vision at the Intel Developer Forum on Wednesday. The company also showed off a wire-free PC to prove what hardware partners could accomplish.

SanDisk Continues Momentum in Pro Video Industry, Delivering Leading-Edge Capture and Storage Technologies

As a follow-up to the world’s first CFast 2.0 card in 2013, the upgraded SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 card will power the next generation of high-performance cameras and camcorders. The 128GB card delivers shot speed of up to 440MB/s* and data transfer speeds of up to 515MB/s* for extreme workflow efficiency.

Texas Instruments celebrates first Jack Kilby Day today in honor of innovation
Dallas Morning News

As a company in the fast-changing world of technology, innovation is crucial for TI. “It really takes place anywhere,” TI CEO Rich Templeton says about innovation in a video created for Jack Kilby Day. “Curiosity is something that hopefully is running through your mind all the time. It could be traveling, it could be working out.”


Semi growth nearly 11% this year, says Penn
Electronics Weekly

The semiconductor market will grow almost 11% this year said Future Horizons’ CEO Malcolm Penn at IFS2014 in London today. Q1 came in at 1.5%, Q2 at 5%, Q3 is expected to be 8.8% and Q4 is expected to drop 1.5%. That gives 10.7% for the whole year for a total revenue figure of $338billion. “That’s a pretty good year,” said Penn, “and there’s still upside – it could be 13/14% growth.”

Emerging markets will shape the smartphone world, new industry figures suggest

If the GSMA’s predictions are correct, two-thirds of the nine billion non-M2M mobile connections in 2020 will be from smartphones, with the vast majority coming from emerging markets.

Apple’s IPhone to Divide Supplier Winners From Also-Rans

The most recent additions include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the chip foundry that Apple is using to make processors that have long been provided by Samsung Electronics Co. and which posted record quarterly profit in July as iPhone production ramped up. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. stock has more than doubled since the company said it’s supplying Apple with a sapphire material that makes glass sturdier. And NXP Semiconductor NV shares have risen 15 percent in the past month on reports that its technology will enable the new iPhone to be used for in-store payments.


First flexible graphene display paves the way for folding electronics
Chemistry World

The first flexible display device based on graphene has been unveiled by scientists in the UK, who say it is the first step on the road towards next generation gadgets that can be folded, rolled or crumpled up without cracking the screen.

Paving the Internet of Asphalt Will Take Time
Wall Street Journal

It won't be long before cars can largely drive themselves down highways pulsing with digital connections that alert drivers to traffic jams or imminent collisions and save thousands of lives, say technology and auto industry executives. Their vision of the Internet of asphalt is one that executives from telecommunications, big data, automated toll taking, digital chip-making and of course, automobiles are eager to bring to life. The bug on the windshield is figuring out who will make money and how from these.

Game-Changing Breakthrough at IEEE S3S 2014
EE Times

This game-changing breakthrough is the first-ever monolithic 3D flow that allows a fab to build a monolithic 3D integrated device while using its existing transistor process flow, without the need to develop and qualify new transistors and a new transistor formation flow.

Researcher tracks photons to develop unprecedented quantum technology

Quantum photonics research could change the way we communicate, compute, and measure phenomena on the smallest scales possible. To probe these processes and design new technology that operates with single-photon and single-electron precision, MIT physicist and professor Dirk Englund turns to the experts and instruments at Brookhaven Lab's Center for Functional Nanomaterials. Englund, who leads the Quantum Photonics Group at MIT, explores the quantum landscape with an eye on applications ranging from cryptography to neurology.


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