BRING ON THE ORDERS
Via chip in China's Loongson processor
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has selected VIA's southbridge chip for its Loongson processor, under development.
Elpida Memory DDR-2 packaging and testing contract
Walton Advanced Engineering has won DDR2 packaging and testing orders from Elpida Memory.
Maxim - Seiko deal
Seiko Epson has received an order from Maxim Integrated Products Inc. to manufacture Maxim's mixed-signal semiconductor products designed for power-management and battery-management applications. Seiko will use its 200-mm Sakata, Japan fab. The deal also involves a technology trade between the two companies.
200% Increase in China's Auto Exports
According to the Ministry of Commerce, China's auto exports reached a 200% increase in 2006 totaling 340,000 units (with Sedan exporting 90,000 units) from 78,000 units in 2004 and 173,000 units in 2005. China's export volume amounted to US$1.58B and it aims to export US$120 billion or 10% of the world's total vehicle trading volume in 10 years. In 2006, China has produced more than 7M units and was projected to surpass Germany and become the world's 3rd largest automobile manufacturer.
COMPANY NEWS AND INDUSTRY TRENDS
Corning investing in Japan
LCD glass maker Corning to invest US$160 million to expand manufacturing capacity in Japan.
Motorola secures chip supply agreements with TI, Freescale
Motorola is putting its chip supply in order. First it agreed with Texas Instruments to use its baseband handset chips using Omap architecture. Now it has agreed to use Freescale processors in 2G and 3G handsets through 2009. Freescale also provides Motorola with RF transceivers and power amps.
Forward to develop AC LED technology
Tatung subsidiary Forward Electronics signed an agreement with Taiwan's ITRI to co-develop LED technologies for lighting purposes. The company will develop high-power diodes and encasing technologies for AC diodes.
Philips, Osram cross-license patents
Osram GmbH and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV have signed a cross-license agreement for optoelectronic semiconductor patents.
IBM partially divests from Lenovo
IBM plans to sell a large part of its Lenovo shares to raise US$127M. After the sale, IBMs will have an 11.5% stake in Lenovo.
Samsung settles DRAM price fixing suit
Samsung Electronics has agreed to pay US$90M to settle a DRAM chip price-fixing lawsuit filed last July. US$80 million of the settlement will go to consumers and US$10 million go to US state and local governmnts to cover losses.
Hon Hai remains #1 in Taiwan patents
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co applied has applied for more patents in Taiwan in each of the last four years than any other company, according to the government Intellectual Property Office. Royal Philips Electronics NV was top foreign company and Sony was the second, in terms of 2006 patent applications.
Tower Semicon - Forza cooperation.
Tower Semiconductor and Forza Silicon Corporation are cooperating to design and produce mixed signal and image sensor chips. Forza will take care of the design, which will be based on Tower's Advanced Photo Diode pixel IP. The chips will be made at Tower's Fab2, 0.18-micron process technology.
ZTE and Siano hook up for Telecom Italia TV phone contract
ZTE (China) and Siano Mobile Silicon Ltd. are cooperating to produce a 3G DVB-H mobile phone capable of receiving video sequences and television programs for Telecom Italia Mobile. The phone will use Siano's multi-standard receiver chip.
Adventec sees sales rise on Palm Treo 680 orders
Adventec, the ODM maker of Palm Treo 680, expects to see sales continue to increase following the success of the smartphone in the US and SE Asia and its forthcoming introduction into the greater China markets.
M & A
NXP Semicon acquires Silicon Labs cellular business
NXP Semiconductors will acquire Silicon Laboratories cellular communications business for US$285M in cash.
Tessera acquires Eyesquad
Tessera Technologies Inc. is buying micro-imaging products maker Eyesquad (Israel) for US$18M.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DISPUTES
ITC rules in favor of Philips, against Gigastorage and Princo
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Royal Philips Electronics in its patent infringement dispute with Gigastorage and Princo. This is the ITC's final ruling and is an important milestone in Philips' efforts to protect its IP from infringement by Taiwan and China disc makers.
Nvidia places more orders with TSMC
Nvidia has contracted TSMC to produce more GeForce 8000 GTX and GTS series chips -- 3-4K 12=inch wafers/month at 80nm process.