The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Holiday scams; Applied’s results; Applied-TEL deal update; wafer shipments; LCD outlook.


Intel’s McAfee unit announced its annual “12 Scams of the Holidays” list to educate the public on the most popular ways cybercriminals scam consumers during the holiday season.

The German government has cleared Applied Materials’ proposed acquisition of Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL). The merger is still under examination by the competition authorities in the U.S., South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China.

Applied Materials reported results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 26, 2014. In its fourth quarter, Applied generated orders of $2.26 billion, down 9% sequentially and up 8 percent year over year. Net sales were $2.26 billion, flat sequentially and up 14% year over year.

Applied Materials announced that it collaborated with Samsung Electronics and PSK to develop an advanced patterning solution for the manufacture of future generations of NAND and DRAM. The new solution consists of the Saphira APF hardmask deposited on Applied’s Producer XP Precision CVD system, and the Saphira removal process supported on the PSK OMNIS Asher tool.

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased during the third quarter 2014, when compared to second quarter area shipments according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.

Lam Research announced that its board has approved a quarterly dividend of $0.18 per share of common stock. On an annualized basis, this will return approximately $115 million to stockholders based on shares outstanding as of Sept. 28, 2014.

Cavendish Kinetics, a provider of RF MEMS tuning solutions for mobile and wearable devices, announced the closing of a $7 million funding round. The round was co-led by Tallwood Venture Capital and Wellington Partners, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures and other existing investors.

Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC) announced that Qualcomm has joined SRC’s Trustworthy and Secure Semiconductors and Systems (T3S) program.

What’s the outlook for TFT LCDs? “In 2014 demand is growing more than twice as fast as capacity in area terms, so the market has been shifting to shortage and TV panel prices have been rising. In 2015 the two are expected to be closely aligned, so the market might be not be in shortage; even though it looks like demand growth will be higher, inventory might result in rough balance,” according to DisplaySearch.

Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30% from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020. The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a powerful force for business transformation, according to the firm.

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