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Round-up 2013: Best of semiconductors, electronics and solar

December 31, 2013 Comments off

Virtex UltraScale device.

Virtex UltraScale device.

Friends, here’s a review of 2013! There have been the usual hits and misses, globally, while in India, the electronics and semiconductor industries really need to do a lot more! Enjoy, and here’s wishing everyone a Very Happy and Prosperous 2014! Be safe and stay safe!!

DEC. 2013
What does it take to create Silicon Valley!

How’s global semicon industry performing in sub-20nm era?

Xilinx announces 20nm All Programmable UltraSCALE portfolio

Dr. Wally Rhines: Watch out for 14/16nm technologies in 2014!

Outlook 2014: Xilinx bets big on 28nm

NOV. 2013
Indian electronics scenario still dull: Leaptech

Connecting intelligence today for connected world: ARM

India poses huge opportunity for DLP: TI

SEMICON Europa 2013: Where does Europe stand in 450mm path?

OCT. 2013
Apple’s done it again, wth iPad Air!

IEF 2013: New markets and opportunities in sub-20nm era!

SEPT. 2013
ST intros STM32F4 series high-performance Cortex-M4 MCUs

Great, India’s having fabs! But, is the tech choice right?

G450C

G450C

Now, India to have two semicon fabs!

Higher levels of abstraction growth area for EDA

AUG. 2013
Moore’s Law could come to an end within next decade: POET

What’s happening with 450mm: G450C update and status

300mm is the new 200mm!

JULY 2013
Xilinx tapes-out first UltraScale ASIC-class programmable architecture

JUNE 2013
EC’s goal: Reach 20 percent share in chip manufacturing by 2020!
Read more…

What does it take to create Silicon Valley!

December 29, 2013 1 comment

I was pointed out to a piece of news on TV, where a ruling chief minister of an Indian state apparently announced that he could make a particular state of India another Silicon Valley! Interesting!!

First, what’s the secret behind Silicon Valley? Well, I am not even qualified enough to state that! However, all I can say is: it is probably a desire to do something very different, and to make the world a better place – that’s possibly the biggest driver in all the entrepreneurs that have come to and out of Silicon Valley in the USA.

If you looked up Wikipedia, it says that the term Silicon Valley originally referred to the region’s large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, but eventually, came to refer to all high-tech businesses in the area, and is now generally used as a metonym for the American high-technology sector.

So, where exactly is India’s high-tech sector? How many Indian state governments have even tried to foster such a sector? Ok, even if the state governments tried to foster, where are the entrepreneurs? Ok, an even easier one: how many school dropouts from India or even smal-time entrepreneurs have even made a foray into high-tech?

Right, so where are the silicon chip innovators from India? Sorry, I dd not even hear a word that you said? Can you speak out a little louder? It seems there are none! Rather, there has been very little to no development in India, barring the work that is done by the MNCs. Correct?
hsinchuOne friend told me that Bangalore is a place that can be Silicon Valley. Really? How?? With the presence of MNCs, he said! Well, Silicon Valley in the US does not have MNCs from other countries, are there? Let’s see! Some companies with bases in Silicon Valley, listed on Wikipedia, include Adobe, AMD, Apple, Applied Materials, Cisco, Facebook, Google, HP, Intel, Juniper, KLA-Tencor, LSI, Marvell, Maxim, Nvidia, SanDisk, Xilinx, etc.

Now, most of these firms have setups in Bangalore, but isn’t that part of the companies’ expansion plans? Also, I have emails and requests from a whole lot of youngsters asking me: ‘Sir, please advice me which company should I join?’ Very, very few have asked me: ‘Sir, I have this idea. Is it worth exploring?’

Let’s face the truth. We, as a nation, so far, have not been one to take up challenges and do something new. The ones who do, or are inclined to do so, are working in one of the many MNCs – either in India or overseas.

So, how many budding entrepreneurs are there in India, who are willing to take the risk and plunge into serious R&D?

It really takes a lot to even conceive a Silicon Valley. It takes people of great vision to build something of a Silicon Valley, and not the presence of MNCs.

Just look at Hsinchu, in Taiwan, or even Shenzhen, in China. Specifically, look up Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park and the Hsinchu Science Park to get some ideas.

Components Direct offers guaranteed traceable E&O inventory!


Components Direct is a leading source for authorized end-of-life and excess electronic components. The products are guaranteed grade A factory sealed direct from the manufacturer and inventoried in a ESD 20.20 certified and ISO 9001 certified state-of-the art-facility. Components Direct is headquartered in Milpitas, CA with locations in the US and Asia.

It has a leading cloud-based platform for excess and obsolete (E&O) inventory. In 2012, Avnet and Components Direct entered in a strategic relationship. Components Direct is the exclusive channel for Avnet’s factory authorized excess and end-of-life components.

Compared to leading industry giants, such as Element14 and RS Components, Components Direct, currently, doesn’t have a detailed menu showcasing listed products, at least not on the home page, as yet. One hopes that’ll make an appearance soon.

Speaking on the mission of Components Direct, Anne Ting, executive VP, Marketing said: “Components Direct is the premier authorized distributor for excess and end-of-life electronic components. We are the only company working directly with manufacturers and their franchised distributors to offer 100 percent guaranteed traceable E&O components as well as technology services to combat counterfeit components and other gray market activity.

“For our supplier partners, we enable them to put excess product back into the control of an authorized source, as opposed to the gray market. For buyers, we provide them with a secure, authorized one-stop shop for excess, obsolete and unsold factory components.”

Combating gray market
How important is it to combat the gray market? Why will this endeavor stop/lessen gray market activity?

According to Ting, the gray market is a serious and growing problem. As early as 2008, a study by KPMG and the Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA) stated that as much as $58 billion of technology products were passing through the gray market, and the problem has only gotten worse.

The gray market is rampant throughout all industries, with everyone from engineers, to procurement professionals and consumers impacted negatively when the products they purchase are advertised as new and authentic, but in reality could be used, refurbished or even worse, counterfeit.

In fact, a 2012 study by market research firm IHS found that over 12 million counterfeit electronics and semiconductor components

Anne Ting

Anne Ting

have entered the distribution chain since 2007, with 57 percent of all counterfeit parts obsolete or end-of-life components. Many of these parts make their way into mission-critical industries, such as defense and aerospace, where a malfunctioning counterfeit part can mean the difference between life and death.

While provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act have enabled the government and trade groups to make some progress towards regulating the supply chain to ensure that components are only sourced directly from the manufacturers or their franchised distributors, the problem has not abated. The Act empowers the federal government to hold contractors financially responsible for replacing counterfeit products.

This, together with other changes, puts more responsibility on suppliers of electronic component to have risk mitigation procedures in place. The issue is become more topical and the industry must act in order to comply with the new legislation.

Components Direct takes this problem seriously, and provides supplier insights and tools to help combat gray market activity. In a recent study we conducted for a leading semiconductor supplier of both analog and digital devices, we discovered that over 124 million units of their product were floating in the gray market across 6,500 plus part numbers.

Over 70 percent of the products were found in Asia, and 20 percent also appeared in both North America and EMEA. The product age spanned many years with date codes of less than one year accounting for 22 percent of their gray market product. A further 5 percent had date codes over 11 years, demonstrating that whether you were an OEM looking for the newest product, or a military sub-contractor looking for obsolete components, no end customer is immune to the presence of unauthorized product.

Components Direct’s technology tools and services track gray market activity and provide suppliers with unprecedented visibility to their product leakage in the gray market by part number, region, data code etc. This data enables our suppliers to trace leakage in their supply chain and lessen potential unauthorized product from getting into the gray market.

Additionally, Components Direct provides suppliers and buyers with a secure, factory authorized channel for selling or purchasing 100 percent guaranteed traceable components. “We only sell products that come directly with manufacturers or their franchised distributors and all our products are inventoried in an ESD 20.20 and ISO 9001 certified facility,” said Ting.As an extension of the manufacturer, Components Direct provides the supply chain buyer with complete confidence and peace of mind that all products originate directly from the manufacturer and have been properly stored, handled and packaged. Sourcing from an authorized source like Components Direct eliminates the risks surrounding product quality, reliability and liability. Read more…

Trends to watch @ CES!


CES 2012 is just around the corner! Let us look at some trends.

First, according to Ovum,  the ultrabook is shaping up to be a CES 2012 show stopper. It is expected that 20-40 devices will be introduced. There will be more of mobile connecrted devices, which are likely to be more app friendly, have brighter screens and offer intuitive user interfaces. TV manufacturers are expected to  demonstrate capabilities of “smart” TVs.

According to Accenture, another big story is likely to be the TV market. The market is challenged by the fact that consumers are planning to buy fewer TVs next year, according to Accenture’s new survey of 10,000 consumers in 10 countries.

Consumers are also watching TV on TV screens less often, and say they are especially disinclined to buy TV sets until prices decline. The battle is on for consumers eyeballs and attention among the multitude of screens such as desktop and laptop PCs, smartphones and tablets. There will be a push to find more innovative ways to make TV content on TV screens more compelling involving cloud and online services.

Accenture also believes ultrabooks will be a big story at CES 2012. This is a promising product category because these are highly powerful yet thin and portable computers. Tablets and smartphone markets are continuing to grow, but the ultrabook market poses a threat to both.

Among the biggies, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd launched the Samsung AdHub advertising platform for Samsung Smart TV platform. Through the newly-announced AdHub service, brands can deliver 3D, video and interactive advertisements into the living room via Samsung’s market-leading Smart TVs. China’s Haier will display connected televisions as well as key new design features and introduce the expanded line of audio solutions.

Elsewhere, dbx-tv announced Total Cal, an audio measurement and calibration tool that custom-optimizes sound quality from TVs, regardless of speaker size or price point.

VoiceBox Technologies Inc. has entered into a strategic agreement with Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA, Inc. to develop innovative in-car voice products and capabilities. Quantenna Communications will showcase 802.11n MIMO technology optimized for service providers and 802.11ac chipset for retail applications. Alereon Inc. is demonstrating high-speed wireless connectivity from Android-based smartphones and tablets to integrated wireless monitors/docks as well as HDTVs.

The Mobile500 Alliance has unveiled a breakthrough end-to-end solution that will enable its member broadcasters to build new revenue streams through Mobile DTV (MDTV). The goal is to make the solution available to Alliance member companies after beta launch and evaluation in Seattle, USA.

Two Bosch Group companies, Bosch Sensortec and Akustica, will be jointly showcasing their consumer MEMS products. While, Qualcomm Innovation Center Inc. (QuIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, is expected to launch the Snapdragon GameCommand application to the Android market on January 10, 2012, the opening day of the CES.

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) hosts an OMAP4470 processor-based tablet running on a pre-release version of Windows 8 at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, demonstrating how the latest OMAP 4 platform distinctly supports Microsoft’s new computing experience, Windows 8, that reimagines Windows. And, Sensible Vision, the leading supplier of face authentication software, will demonstrate its face recognition app for iOS and Android mobile devices at the CES 2012 Wall of Apps. FastAccess Anywhere securely replaces passwords with a face to quickly and conveniently log in to apps and web sites on mobile devices.

Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC), will be demonstrating the latest additions to its lineup of flash memory offerings – the TransMemory-EX series of USB flash memory products. The new drives are compliant with the new USB 3.0 standards – known as Super Speed USB. Initial storage capacities include a 32GB model and a 64GB model.

Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc. and The Shanghai Nutshell Electronic Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Shanda Networking Co. Ltd, China’s largest interactive digital content provider, announced the first e-reader featuring mirasol display technology, the Bambook Sunflower, to be commercially available in China in the coming weeks.

The latest figures from GfK Digital World, in partnership with Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), reveal global spending on consumer technology devices will surpass $1 trillion in 2012 for the first time, increasing by 5 percent over 2011’s figure of $993 billion.

These are just a few of the multiple trends one can expect at this year’s CES!

India has restricted itself to only semicon design and R&D!

September 30, 2011 1 comment

 Soni Saran Singh, executive director, NMTronics.

Soni Saran Singh, executive director, NMTronics.

Chatting with Soni Saran Singh, executive director, NMTronics, is a pleasure. The company has managed to maintain leadership  in the Indian electronics industry with 55 percent market share.

NMTronics has taken initiatives in bringing interest among Indian entrepreneurs for local mobile phone manufacturing, and is a pioneer in providing turnkey solutions for mobile phone manufacturing. According to Singh, the Indian government is making some initiatives by introducing a domestic manufacturing policy. Hence, the company sees huge potential in mobile phone manufacturing in the coming years.

How does NMTronics see the Indian electronics industry performing in 2012 and beyond? Soni Saran Singh said: “With miniaturization becoming part and parcel of each electronic gadgets, with more and more sophistications coming day by day, there is no end for electronics manufacturing growth. As an equipment supplier, our role will continue to bring in the latest technology equipment to meet those challenges. The industry is in the trend to shift to handle more complex, more volume assemblies.

“With MNCs in this segment already having set the example of quick ramp up with developed ecosystems, it is the time for the local Indian companies to adopt those initiatives for increased domestic manufacturing. The government also has to introduce some local manufacturing policy and there is a need to set up the necessary infrastructure faster in terms of uninterrupted power, water and good connectivity for the industries to go with their investments.

“There are few products like MP3 players, flat panel displays, memory cards, gaming consoles, cameras, etc., which are yet to be see light in Indian manufacturing. When I see this, I feel there is a lot yet to come to India and therefore, foresee lots of new investments to happen in the year 2012 and beyond.”

What about the Indian semiconductor industry? According to Singh: “Everyone knows that semicon is a very big opportunity for India, considering the market size and the increasing application of semiconductors in our day to life. Semiconductor consumption in India is estimated at $43 billion, which will grow multifold in next few years to reach about $80 million. We have been closely monitoring the industry for over a decade now, but India has restricted itself to only design and R&D when it comes to the semiconductor industry. Read more…

Sensationally low turnout at electronica/productronica India 2011!

September 15, 2011 Comments off

electronica/productronica 2011 opens in Delhi.

electronica/productronica 2011 opens in Delhi.

I’ve spent two days at electronica/productronica 2011, going on at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. I am disappointed by the crowds or lack of crowds! This is said to be the premier show for electronics in India, isn’t it? The venue is as central as one can expect. Even then?

To start off, I missed the opening ceremony. That was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Local Mobile Phone Manufacturing-Opportunity or Challenge.’ With all due respects to the participants, it was one of the worst panel discussions I’ve ever attended! Perhaps, it was of some use to those present in the auditorium.

Later, while going around the various exhibition halls, I was asked by quite a number of friends in the electronics industry whether it was wise for them to have participated, given that the turnout had been so very low! Now, I am no one to answer that question!! However, it seems that there is very little interest left in the Indian electronics industry. It may sound pessimistic, but so it is!

The Indian telecom equipment manufacturing sector is going through a critical phase where the benefits of development of the telecom sector’s growth have not been carried over to the manufacturing domain. There is also a need to encourage indigenous R&D and creation of Indian IPR/patents. Was anything remotely close to this on display? I don’t think so!!

Round-up 2010: Best of electronics, telecom and technology

December 28, 2010 5 comments

Year 2010 has been a good year for the global electronics industry, rather, the technology industry, coming right after a couple of years of recession. Well, it is time to look back on 2010 and see the good, bad and ugly sides, if any, of electronics, telecom and technology.

Presenting my list of top posts for 2010 from these three segments.

ELECTRONICS

Electronics for energy efficient powertrain

Photonics rocks in India @ APW 2010, Cochin!

Plastic Logic’s QUE proReader looks to mean business!

Growing Indian power electronics market provides host of opportunities

Philips focuses on how interoperability, content sharing drive CE devices!

Apple never ceases to amaze!

Is this a war of tablets, or Apple OS vs. Google Android?

India needs to become major hardware player!

Roundup of day 2 @ Electronica India 2010

Strategic roadmap for electronics enabling energy efficient usage: Venkat Rajaraman, Su-Kam

NI stresses on innovation, launches LabVIEW 2010!

What’s Farnell (element14) up to? And, semicon equipment bubble burst? Whoa!!

Bluetooth set as short range wireless standard for smart energy!

View 3D TV, without glasses, today!

Indian medical electronics equipment industry to grow at 17 percent CAGR over next five years: ISA

Top 10 electronics industry trends for 2011

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

LTE will see larger deployments, higher volumes than WiMAX!

LTE should benefit from WiMAX beachhead!

Context-aware traffic mediation software could help telcos manage data tsunami: Openwave

Mobile WiMAX deployment and migration/upgrade strategies

Upgrade to WiMAX 2 uncertain as TD-LTE gains in momentum!

Tejas celebrates 10 years with new products for 3G/BWA backhaul

Focus on gyroscopes for mobile phone apps: Yole

Bluetooth low energy should contribute to WSN via remote monitoring

INSIDE Contactless unveils SecuRead NFC solution for mobile handset market

How are femtocells enhancing CDMA networks?

Top 10 telecom industry trends for 2011

TECHNOLOGY

Symantec’s Internet threat security report on India has few surprises!

Epic — first ever web browser for India, from India!

Norton cybercrime report: Time to take back your Internet from cybercriminals!

NComputing bets big on desktop virtualization

Brocade launches VDX switches for virtualized, cloud-optimized data centers

It isn’t an easy job tracking so many different segments! 🙂 I will try and do better than this next year!

Best wishes for a very, very happy and prosperous 2011! 🙂

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