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December 3, 2012
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News for and about the microelectronics industry

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • Analysis: Apple keeps Cirrus Logic afloat in a sea of IC woes
    While most chipmakers are facing a difficult year, Cirrus Logic is posting healthy results thanks to business from its biggest customer, Apple, Kirk Ladendorf writes. Apple represented more than three-quarters of Cirrus Logic's third quarter revenue, which was up 91% from a year earlier. Teardowns revealed that the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini each contain three audio chips from Cirrus, Ladendorf notes. Austin American-Statesman (Texas) (free registration) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ICs, Memory & More 
  • ST's new strategic plan is set for Dec. 10; no big breakup expected
    The strategic plan of STMicroelectronics is slated to be presented Dec. 10, and it is not expected to involve splitting the chipmaker into two companies, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the situation. The company may decide to pursue some asset sales as an alternative, those people said. Bloomberg (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sources: USB 3.0 controllers to see heightened competition in 2013
    Eight or more companies are planning to offer controller chips for USB 3.0 flash drives in 2013, leading to expectations of a fiercely competitive market, DigiTimes reports, citing sources at memory module firms. The penetration rate for USB 3.0 flash drives is projected to reach at least 30% next year, with some estimates that the rate may hit 40% to 50% by the end of the year, the sources said. DigiTimes (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Going Green 
  • Ivy Bridge processors to become more energy-efficient, source says
    Intel, facing pressure from ARM Holdings to reduce the power consumption of its processors, will "significantly" reduce the wattage drawn by its chips with the Ivy Bridge architecture, which go into the MacBook Air and other computers, CNET reports, citing an industry source. That development is not expected to happen by the end of the year, according to this article. CNET (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Energy Department funds development of flow battery at Harvard
    The Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, has awarded a $600,000 grant to researchers at Harvard University for development of a flow battery, a type of fuel cell that could be used to store energy from renewable power sources. "We think our particular approach could have advantages over other flow batteries, such as higher power density, high efficiency, inexpensive chemicals and a safer type of energy storage," professor Michael Aziz said. "The success of this program would render intermittent renewables like wind and photovoltaics dispatchable at will and thereby permit them to supply a large fraction of our electricity needs." EE Times Europe (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Semiconductors in Action 
  • U.K. pilot line begins manufacturing of imprinted electronics
    PragmatIC Printing reports that it has begun manufacturing of organic semiconductors on plastic substrates at its pilot facility in Redcar, England. The pilot line, which is making more than 10,000 flexible logic circuits a month, will scale up to turn out more than 10 million devices a year, according to the company. EE Times Europe (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analyst: Apple may turn to Intel for ARM-based ICs in mobile devices
    Apple's unhappy relationship with Samsung Electronics could lead to Intel taking over foundry production of custom processors for Apple mobile devices, according to RBC Capital analyst Doug Freedman. That may entail using designs from ARM Holdings for processors going into the iPhone and iPod touch, while x86-architecture processors would go into the iPad, he speculates. Intel said it wouldn't comment on the analyst's remarks. VentureBeat (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Testing & Standards 
  • Khronos Group releases update of OpenCL 1.2 specification
    The Khronos Group reports that an update of the OpenCL 1.2 specification has been ratified by its members and released for use. "The new extensions enable early access to functionality for key use cases, including security capabilities for implementations of WebCL that enable access to OpenCL within a browser," Nvidia's Neil Trevett said. (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  JEDEC News 
  • JEDEC memberships for 2013 now available -- join today
    As members of an open standards organization with global participation, JEDEC member companies enjoy technological insight, competitive advantage and influence. One of JEDEC's core values is its ability to develop standards spanning the breadth of the microelectronics industry: From components to packaging, test methods and quality and reliability, JEDEC standards address the needs of all segments of the industry, from device manufacturers to end consumers. JEDEC's low cost of membership allows companies of all sizes and revenue levels to participate, resulting in consensus-based standards with broad industry acceptance. Find out more and join today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EE Times takes a first look at JESD230 NAND Flash interface interoperability standard
    JEDEC and ONFI talk with EE Times Memory Designline editor Kristin Lewotsky in this informative Q-and-A about JESD230. The standard is available for free download from both and LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
--Gladys Bronwyn Stern,
British writer

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