As a leader in electronic component distribution and a supply chain partner to thousands of customers around the world, Sensible Micro always stays on top of the latest news and events in our industry. Here are some recent stories that caught our eye.
Applied Materials Says to Expect Memory Chip Recovery in 2020
For a while, business was booming for Applied Materials as customers rushed to create more advanced chips to run artificial intelligence and tap into 5G networks. To keep up with demand, memory chips for data centers, smartphones, and other systems began flooding the market, eventually creating a surplus that forced memory chip makers, ranging from Micron Technology to Toshiba, to cut back on spending and shut down production lines.
Today, Applied Materials, the largest seller of chip production equipment in the world and a leading forecaster within the industry, believes that investment in memory chips won’t turn around until sometime in 2020, with NAND spending recovering ahead of DRAM investments. The prediction comes as the California-based company’s profits dropped more than 40% over the last quarter, following the trend that began last year. “[We are confronting] a market environment that remains challenging for the time being," CEO Gary Dickerson said in a statement.
Despite the current setback, Dickerson believes a turnaround is on the horizon, noting the promising future for memory chips based on MRAM and ReRAM. "[We are] fully funding our R&D programs to develop new products and capabilities that will accelerate customers' road maps and underpin our growth in the years ahead."
China Customs Seizes 1.8 Million Counterfeit Electronic Components
Proving once again how important it is to source products through an authorized distributor or trusted sourcing partner with anti-counterfeit inspection lab capabilities, 1.8 million counterfeit electronic components were recently seized in Guangzhou, China.
According to Guangzhou Customs, the shipment indicated that the goods were PVC hoses, U-disks, and other items, but the actual contents were electronic components such as integrated circuits and multilayer ceramic chip capacitors under the trademarks Murata, SAMSUNG, and Texas Instruments.
Neutral outer packaging of the products and the mixed packaging of various brands, which does not conform to Chinese import and export laws, arose suspicions. When a formal appraisal was performed, customs confirmed that the 1.8 million “Murata” components were indeed counterfeit goods.
New Product Announcements and Releases
1. World’s Smallest Quartz Crystals
IQD Frequency Products has launched one of the world’s smallest quartz crystals, the IQXC-240, which measures just 1.2 x 1.0mm with a height of only 0.33mm. Available in frequencies between 36MHz and 80MHz, it’s ideal for applications where space is at a premium such as IoT, VGA, USB, and Wi-Fi. Frequency stabilities can be over commercial and industrial temperature ranges, and offer a lot of room for tolerance. It also meets the requirements of the latest generation of microprocessors, and can withstand shock levels of up to 1000G.
2. TDK DeltaCap X Black Premium Capacitors
TDK DeltaCap X Black Premium Capacitors are based on proven MKP technology with stacked windings, and have been developed for low-voltage power factor correction (LV-PFC) applications, especially in industrial installations in harsh conditions. The main features and benefits of the capacitors are:
- Long service life of up to 300,000 hours
- Permissible inrush current of up to 500 x IR
- Overpressure disconnector for all three phases
- Improved heat dissipation due to a special black coating
3. Toshiba XFMExpress
The Toshiba XFMExpress was unveiled earlier this month at the Flash Memory Summit 2019, designed to set a new standard of compact SSDs in our increasingly mobile world. The product is a single BGA package SSD that can be mounted on a motherboard or placed on a M.2 2230 (30mm) removable card. Smaller than a US quarter dollar coin with a low-profile connector will allow for thinner notebooks while increasing battery area or making devices smaller.
Goodix and NXP Make a Deal
China-based chip design company Goodix Technology Co., Ltd., an established supplier of fingerprint scanning solutions for smartphones, announced it is purchasing NXP’s Voice and Audio Solutions (VAS) business for $165 million. As part of the agreement, all assets, intellectual property, and European and Asian R&D teams related to NXP’s VAS business will be integrated into Goodix. The move appears to solidify Goodix’s prominence in the smartphone biometrics industry, noting in a statement that “NXP’s VAS business offers premium voice and audio solutions for leading smartphone manufacturers worldwide.”
“This acquisition is a strategic step for Goodix Technology in the future industry layout,” says Zhang Fan, CEO of Goodix. “The addition of VAS will broaden the breadth of application of our existing smart terminals and IoT product lines and enhance our research and development capabilities in smart audio applications such as smart wearable devices, provide customers with a richer portfolio of innovative products, and inject new innovative kinetic energy into the company’s strategic development.”
With VAS no longer part of its portfolio, NXP may begin focusing on other business areas that it’s already active in, such as edge computing, machine learning, and driver monitoring systems.
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