The Week In Review: Manufacturing

More EUV ; Intel supplier awards; Samsung’s acquisition; Singapore scholarships.

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EUV lithography remains a mixed bag, according to analysts. “We are downgrading shares of ASML to ‘Sector Perform’ from ‘Outperform’ as we think shares appear fully valued based on midterm lithography demand and our view that meaningful EUV adoption is still several years out,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a new report. “We think the reality is that it is not yet close to being ready for volume production, but that ASML has made good progress over the past year, and this has encouraged customers. Still, even if the EUV tool works well, there is a growing concern regarding how to manage or even find related defects. We believe most of the customer debate is around whether EUV will be ready for 7nm lithography, which is likely a 2019-2020 ramp at the foundries, and companies are exploring ways to extend optical inspection in case EUV is not ready. We would be quite surprised if EUV were adopted in a meaningful way (more than a layer or two) before 7nm.”

NXP Semiconductors will buy Freescale Semiconductor for $16.7 billion—$11.8 billion in cash, $5.6 billion worth of debts, minus $696 million in cash reserves—creating a combined company with a broad-based product portfolio and projected annual revenue of more than $10 billion.

Intel announced the 11 winners of the company’s most prestigious award for suppliers, the Supplier Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI) award.

In addition, Intel announced that 19 companies will receive the 2014 Intel Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) award. Applied Materials, TEL and others made the list.

Samsung Electronics announced its acquisition of Yesco Electronics, an LED sign and display manufacturer with more than 2,000 installations across the U.S. and abroad.

Samsung Electronics also announced new mobile component solutions. These solutions include an 8-megapixel image sensor and an NFC chip with improved RF performance.

GlobalFoundries in Singapore has joined the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS), a partnership between the Singapore government and private enterprises. This offers Singapore citizens who are pursuing their university education the opportunity to have a head start in their career while still pursuing their undergraduate studies.

Vertex Capital Advisors, one of the largest stockholders of Axcelis Technologies, issued a statement, saying it is critical of the performance of the fab tool firm.

Semtech has completed the acquisition of Triune Systems, a supplier of wireless charging and power management platforms.

Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users had a record fourth quarter of 2014 with an increase of 29.9% from the fourth quarter of 2013 to reach 367.5 million units, according to Gartner.

Total production value of electronic systems increased 5% in 2014 to $1.488 trillion, according to IC Insights.



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