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January 23, 2013
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News for and about the microelectronics industry

  Today's Tech Buzz 
  • IHS iSuppli: IC inventories hit record levels in Q3
    In the third quarter of 2012, semiconductor inventory hit a record 49.3% of revenue, a factor that is expected to inhibit chip sales in this quarter, according to IHS iSuppli. Worldwide IC revenue declined 0.7% in Q4 and is forecast to fall another 3% in Q1, the market research firm said. The seasonal slowdown will end in the second and third quarters of this year, IHS iSuppli predicts. (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ICs, Memory & More 
  • Analysis: Micron-Elpida combo could boost profits of PC DRAMs
    Micron Technology's proposed acquisition of Elpida Memory has the potential to restore profitability to the loss-ridden PC DRAM business, Tim Culpan writes. DRAMeXchange reports that DRAM prices are up 50% since Nov. 30. Taking over Elpida would make Micron more competitive with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, analysts note. Bloomberg (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Will TSMC start making 20nm chips for Apple in 2014?
    The persistent rumor that Apple will shift its foundry business from rival Samsung Electronics to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is given credence by industry analysts, who see the transition starting with fabrication of the 20-nanometer generation of chips next year, Lin Yang writes. TSMC is a pure-play foundry, while Samsung makes chips for its own use and for foundry customers. "This is the reason that companies such as Nvidia and AMD, which actually compete against each other in PCs, both go to TSMC (to make their chips)," said Patrick Liao of Nomura Securities. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Bits blog (1/22), (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Profits fell for AMD, TI in Q4
    Advanced Micro Devices and Texas Instruments reported lower profits for the fourth quarter, compared with a year earlier. AMD said the sluggish conditions in the PC market will drag down its revenue in this quarter. "We expect continued choppiness in the PC market in the first half of 2013," said AMD CEO Rory Read. Kevin March, chief financial officer of TI, said demand for automotive chips was good, but orders for other ICs were "kind of weak." The Wall Street Journal (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Semiconductors in Action 
  • Micron debuts high-endurance SSD for enterprise servers
    Micron Technology has introduced the enterprise-class P400m solid-state drive, which incorporates multi-level cell flash memories and is specified to provide 10 full drive writes per day for five years. Intended for use with servers, the SSD is available in 100-gigabyte, 200GB and 400GB data-storage capacities. Computerworld (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Intel announces plans to phase out desktop motherboard unit
    As part of its new emphasis on mobile electronics, Intel said Tuesday it will phase out its business unit making motherboards for desktop PCs. "We disclosed internally today that Intel's Desktop Motherboard Business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years," the chipmaker said. "The internal talent and experience of [20] years in the boards business ... is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors." CNET (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Register now for JEDEC's DDR4 Workshop:
Space is going fast!

Register today to reserve your spot in Santa Clara, CA for a 2-day, in-depth technical review of the new DDR4 standard on 2/6 & 2/7, taught by industry experts involved in its development. Space is very limited — see the agenda and REGISTER NOW for the DDR4 Workshop.
  Testing & Standards 
  • VITA 79 specs are aimed at 10/25G single-board computers
    The VITA organization is developing specifications for optical components used in VMX single-board computers for military/aerospace applications, which are expected to operate in the range of 10 to 25 gigabits per second. "The optical guys are all over the map writing their own specs [for these apps] so we will tighten them up," VITA Executive Director Ray Alderman said. EE Times (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  JEDEC News 
  • JEDEC Mobile Forum 2013 -- call for presentations
    To be held in Santa Clara, Calif., on May 1 and 2, the Forum will focus on the latest developments and standards for mobile storage technology, including Universal Flash Storage (UFS), LPDDR3 & 4, and Wide I/O 2, as well as the mobile devices that utilize these standards, including smartphones, ultra-thin notebooks, and tablets. Share your knowledge and experience by submitting a presentation for consideration. All submissions due 2/8. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Looking for expert insights into the new DDR4 standard?
    Register now for JEDEC's 2-day DDR4 Workshop on Feb. 6 and 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., offering an in-depth technical review of DDR4 as taught by industry leaders involved in the creation of the standard. Presenters include representatives from Agilent, AMD, Inphi, Intel, Micron, Montage, Samsung and SK Hynix. See the agenda and register today -- online registration and discounts end 1/31. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Michel de Montaigne,
French writer

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