The Week In Review: Sept. 3

Cell chip corpses; solar rebounds; more foundry 2.0; Soitec certification; IC forecasts.

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By Mark LaPedus
The cellular chip supplier landscape is littered with corpses. So will 4G lead to the destruction of Qualcomm and Intel? That’s highly unlikely, according to a blog from Strategy Analytics. “With the recent announcement of a multimode LTE chipset from Intel, it seems likely that Qualcomm and Intel will maintain their status as the top two cellular radio chipset suppliers in revenue terms as LTE continues to grow,” according to the blog.

Record demand from China and Japan represents a turning point for the solar industry, according to NPD Solarbuzz. Solar photovoltaic (PV) demand from China and Japan during the second half of 2013 is forecast to reach 9 GW, representing an increase of 100% compared to the first half of 2013 and 70% compared to the like period a year ago.

VLSI Research has released some commentaries on the evolution of the foundry industry. One is a video featuring GlobalFoundries CEO Ajit Manocha being interviewed by G. Dan Hutcheson, VLSI’s chairman and CEO.

Soitec has received ISO 22301:2012 certification for its Bernin site. This international standard provides a framework for companies in implementing procedures that will ensure the continuity of their critical businesses during exceptional circumstances.

Mellanox Technologies has selected Cadence’s Palladium XP Verification Computing Platform for the development of its leading-edge server and storage products.

ARM has acquired Sensinode Oy, a provider of software technology for the Internet-of-things (IoT). The privately held company has led the creation of the 6LoWPAN and CoAP standards for low-cost, low-power devices.

Integrated Device Technology announced that Ted Tewksbury has resigned as president, chief executive and a board member. The board has appointed board member Jeffrey McCreary as interim president and CEO. McCreary has served on IDT’s board since June of 2012.

A subsidiary of TowerJazz has been accredited as a Category 1A Trusted Supplier by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as a provider of semiconductors in critical defense applications.

Entegris and Imec are collaborating on wafer handling and shipping challenges for 2.5D/3D stacked die.

The chip market is back to a healthy level of growth, according to Semiconductor Intelligence, which raised its IC forecast for 2014. “Recent forecasts for 2013 market growth range from a conservative 2.1% from WSTS to an optimistic ‘up to 10%’ from Objective Analysis. We at Semiconductor Intelligence are holding to our May number of 6.0% growth,” said Bill Jewell of Semiconductor Intelligence. “We at Semiconductor Intelligence have increase our forecast for 2014 to 15% from our May forecast of 12%.”

IC Insights recently published its list of the top semiconductor sales leaders for the first half of 2013. What stood out was that only one Japanese company—Toshiba—was present among the top 10 suppliers through the first half of 2013.

In the second quarter 2013, worldwide server shipments grew 4% year-on-year, while revenue declined 3.8% from the second quarter of 2012, according to Gartner. In terms of vendor performances, Dell and Fujitsu remained the only two vendors from the top five to show revenue growth.

NPD DisplaySearch predicts that mobile phone display revenues will reach $33.3 billion by the end of this year, which is a 55% increase over 2012.

The market for lighting controls in commercial buildings has entered a period of dramatic transformation. According to Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from networked lighting controls will grow from $1.7 billion annually in 2013 to more than $5.3 billion by 2020.