According to IHS, Japan's
consumer electronics giants have been hurt by a range of factors in
2012, including economic slowdown in key markets, decreased demand in
some product segments and ferocious competition from rivals based in
South Korea and Japan. All four of Japan's major consumer electronics
OEMs are expected to lose money this year.
Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and Sharp are expected to incur a 7 percent
decline in sales this year compared to last year, IHS said.
noted that financial difficulties have prompted Sony to issue bonds
twice in 2012 in an effort to raise funding. The company's credit rating
has been dropped to the lowest investment grade by Moody's and is now
in the process of eliminating 10,000 jobs by March 2013, IHS noted. Sony
is also selling off assets such as manufacturing plants and shares in
Despite the plights of the company's, IHS said
the recent Japanese consumer electronics show, CEATEC, demonstrated that
the spirit of innovation is still alive and well at both firms. IHS
predicts Sony will bounce back with 3.7 percent revenue growth in 2013,
but that Toshiba's sales will decline a further 1 percent next year.
Declines in 2013 revenue are also expected at Panasonic and Sharp, IHS
"The Japanese consumer electronics companies face a
changed marketplace, due to the rising influence of Apple and other
competitors that have redefined some of the product segments or else
simply just taken away share in key areas," Robles-Bruce said.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.