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posted in June 2003
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Orthogon shipping BWA gear, lashes out at European regulators
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
Broadband wireless equipment specialist Orthogon Systems has secured $7 million in venture capital from previous investors Atlas Venture and The Carlyle Group, bringing total funds raised to $28 million. The funding will be used for further development and marketing of the company's "Gemini" broadband wireless Ethernet bridge.
ASML was top litho vendor in '02, says VLSI Research
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
ASML Holding NV emerged as the world's largest supplier of lithography tools in what was considered a "bad year" for the overall industry in 2002, according to a report from VLSI Research Inc. today (June 30).
The worst is now behind us
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
There was something different in the air at the 40th Design Automation Conference in early June, especially when compared with the last couple of years. A sense of cautious optimism pervaded the week-long gathering, giving rise to the belief that the worst may finally be over.
Invest in your employees
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
While hard data on the economic recovery won't be available until the second-quarter results are in, we're seeing more activity in electronic design automation. That's not to say that the electronics industry isn't still struggling to navigate in uncertain waters.
Asian fabs are now at risk
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
The semiconductor industry is a very different place today than in 1995. The geography and the makeup of major manufacturers are undergoing a tectonic shift. In 1995, 86 percent of the industry's wafer capacity was in the G8 countries of Europe, Japan and the United States; the remainder was in Asia-Pacific (South Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and China).
Asia expands foundries despite bad times
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
Undoubtedly, these are tough times for the Asian foundries. Yet the past year has also been one of the most interesting, characterized by new competition, surprising alliances, dubious strategy changes and the emergence of an undeniable giant.
Russia's design houses battle the skeptics
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
Design firms and the well-educated design work force in Russia have endured difficult times since the fall of communism, struggling to engage the electronics design mainstream in the West. The problem has not been a lack of circuit design expertise or innovation but the ostracism of Russian companies because of their nation's financial fragility. Further, Russian design houses have had only limited access to leading-edge Western design tools and to mainstream Western design culture. The last two
Hot consumer items boost Japan's recovery
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
The Japanese electronics industry is still slowly recovering from 2002, its worst year in a decade. Digital TVs and cellular phones are expected to contribute to the recovery, and the launch of terrestrial digital TV broadcasting, scheduled for December, will also give it a boost and likely stimulate the market for large, flat-panel TVs.
India's design centers buck economy's trend
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
The global business meltdown and the continuing uncertainty it's engendered may seem to some to have had an inordinate impact on design centers in India. While engineers are still being laid off at home, including by Texas Instruments Inc. and Silicon Graphics Inc. in recent weeks, all of the multinationals' design centers in India have grown in the past two years.
Europe's telecom industry waiting to exhale
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Europe's telecom sector, not long ago the industrial and economic leader of the global mobile revolution, has yet to shake a depression that appears almost certain to persist through most of this year. Many telecom operators here are still struggling to climb out of the financial holes into which they fell after committing exorbitant auction fees to pay for third-generation (3G) wireless-network licenses.
KLA-Tencor shows expected 90-nm reticle tool
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As expected, KLA-Tencor Inc. today (June 30) rolled out its next-generation reticle inspection tool for 90-nm designs and below.
Displays: Bright side of economic downturn
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After growing by 16 percent in 2002, revenues generated by the electronic display market once again are set to rise by more than 10 percent in 2003. ISuppli/Stanford Resources expects total revenue for display components, both CRTs and flat panels, to reach nearly $60 billion this year.
Maturing chip industry looks at 10% CAGRs
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
Market stability has always been an elusive goal for U.S. chip vendors, but that hasn't stopped the experts from predicting the end of the boom/bust cycles every so often. In the mid-'90s some prognosticators thought feast-or-famine days would give way to steady, uninterrupted growth as the PC boom hit its stride.
Memory ICs growing-but still tough going
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In 2002, the worldwide semiconductor memory market grew by 6 percent, from $26.7 billion in 2001 to $28.4 billion. Memory revenues are forecast to grow by another 13 percent, to $32.2 billion, in 2003-but that's far short of the $54.7 billion in sales recorded during the boom year of 2000.
Expectations down for DSP market growth
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
Last year at this time, we lowered our forecast of programmable DSP chip market growth to 5 percent from our earlier 15 percent prediction. The market continued to track our revised figure until December, when an upsurge in DSP shipments brought the actual market growth up to 14.1 percent for the full year. Maybe we'll see the same effect this year, because Forward Concepts is lowering its earlier 2003 prediction of 20 percent DSP growth to 15 percent. The reasons are several.
EDA takes brief detour before the main road
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For most of last year, it looked as though the EDA market was still pretty healthy and growing at a respectable rate. Even as late as the third quarter of 2002, major EDA companies were reporting financial results that exceeded expectations. Though Gartner Dataquest did lower its forecast during the course of 2002, it seemed that product revenue growth for the year would still probably reach into the double digits.
Communications chips slow out of the gate
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
The worldwide communications market suffered dramatically in 2001 and 2002 as electronic systems markets overall endured what could best be described as an "industrial depression." The 2002 communications systems market was only 72 percent as large as the communications market in 2000.
Pieces in place for accelerated IC recovery
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
For five of the last six years, the worldwide economy has faced lackluster GDP growth and anemic pricing power, and the IC industry has mirrored those trends. IC Insights believes that because of increasing global trade, especially the increased role of China in manufacturing and India in software and services, electronics companies will continue to face pricing pressures for many years to come.
Digital media hits home
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
The combination of the current economic downturn and distinct consumer lifestyle changes has directly affected the growth of the digital media industry.
Provide a competitive edge
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The current economic downturn has redefined how OEMs evaluate development projects. "Long term" doesn't have quite the same meaning it once did. Investing in a project that may, or may not, pay off years down the road is a bit more difficult to do when your company's survival is at stake in the here and now.
Use it or lose it
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
In my 25 years in high technology, I've been witness to many boom-to-bust cycles. What all of them have had in common is a surge in customer demand for new technologies, which is precisely what we are seeing today as mobile computing supplants traditional desktop computing.
Fundamental shift needed
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The semiconductor industry is not experiencing an economic cycle but a real need to fundamentally shift away from incumbent technologies and business models born out of the 1980s, to newer technologies and business models that better fit today's market needs.
Put Moore's law on hold
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The economy collapsed when technology moved ahead of business and industry found that society could only absorb new technology at a finite rate. Within the EDA and semiconductor industry, our blind faith in Moore's Law contributed to the imbalance.
IBM claims top benchmark in computer server wars
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Cranking up the heat in the computer server wars, IBM Corp. announced a new benchmark for its Power4-based systems that it claims puts it first in performance and price. The announcement came Monday (June 30) as Hewlett-Packard Co. launched a new line of servers based on a fresh version of the Itanium 2 processor it co-developed with Intel Corp.
Reducing system costs
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
Critics within the industry have suggested that the rising increase in the cost of masks to produce ever-shrinking device geometries is seriously impacting the growth of the ASIC business. Mask costs have indeed been rising and are approaching $1 million.
There'll always be an EDA
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While all industries have been affected by this most recent economic downturn, design automation has weathered the cyclical nature of the electronics industry many times before.
Exiting the recession
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Some say that the "good old days" for the electronics industry will never return. I disagree-provided the "good old days" in question are those that predated the excesses of the late '90s boom.
TranSwitch raises Q2 forecast amid DSL demand
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Communications-chip maker TranSwitch Corp. raised its forecast for the second quarter of 2002.
Change culture to grow
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Traditionally, the big EDA players have not been capable of developing viable technology. Rather than fostering innovations developed internally or by startups, big EDA companies have continued to push legacy software and have acquired startups only to kill off their technology.
Customer experience is key
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As the market begins to show signs of stabilization, our vision for succeeding with the turnaround is simple: Offer not only outstanding products, but also the best possible customer experience.
Intuitive, reliable nets
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A recovering global telecom industry must include networks as reliable as public utilities, with personalities matched to each user. The challenge for the next wave of networking solutions is to deliver simultaneous performance and intelligence.
Partnerships are critical
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The major truth that we have distilled from our experiences during the recent downturn is that close strategic partnerships with customers are essential to optimize growth and success.
High-tech groundhog day
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A few years ago, I watched the movie Groundhog Day. In it, the lead character played by Bill Murray was stuck in a time warp and subjected to repeating one day of his life over and over until he learned some basic lessons.
Manufacturability to fore
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Each time the semiconductor industry stumbles, a chorus of doomsayers declares that the years of growth are over.
'Techonomics' of design
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At the intersection of incredible technological progress and dramatic economic pressures, we find what I call the "techonomics" of IC design driving rapid changes in the relationship between electronic design automation and its users.
Nanometer insight, control
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Within two years, both integrated-device manufacturers and standalone foundries will have full production running on 90-nanometer parts, with early 65-nm designs just beginning.
A humbler, wiser valley
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The electronics industry is experiencing a major re-evaluation of its operational values. For years, electronics companies scrambled to create the fastest, smallest technological devices, while never really questioning the value of that technology.
The customer is a partner
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The downturn has resulted in an extended cycle for the high-tech industry, and because of that cycle there is a fundamental shift in the overall business model of the electronics industry.
Differentiate by design
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The changes in the worldwide electronics industry brought about by the higher cost of manufacturing and the convergence of technology has forced some to reconsider the wisdom of traditional design methodologies.
IP to shrink and stretch
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The uncertain economy is creating both opportunity and challenge for intellectual-property providers. While designers will increasingly incorporate third-party silicon IP into their chips, the number of IP providers will decline
Board-on-chip emerges
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Now that we are two years into the technology recession, it appears likely that demand for technology will recover only slowly and perhaps unsteadily against a background of ongoing geopolitical uncertainty.
New wave of packets looms
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Despite the downturn, we've witnessed explosive growth of faster broadband pipes to end users-worldwide broadband connections have grown from 13.2 million to 55.2 million in two years, according to the Dell'Oro Group.
Vitesse, BAE garner InP pact with DARPA
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Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. today (June 30) announced a $6 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop manufacturing processes and communication ICs using its indium phosphide heterojunction bipolar transmitter (InP HBT) technology.
Opportunity via innovation
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
The extended downturn has clarified and accelerated a fundamental shift in the electronics industry. This shift requires semiconductor suppliers to increase system-level expertise by creating new internal capabilities and developing expertise through extended partnership networks.
New Tech: Stick to the core
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6/30/2003   Post a comment
Core technologies thrive on innovation and engineering know-how. Innovation and engineering know-how are seldom successfully acquired.
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