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French semiconductor market rose 4% in Q1

12/05/2006 16:23:22 :
L'enquête téléphonique du mois de mars 2006, portant sur les facturations des fabricants de semiconducteurs (circuits intégrés et semiconducteurs discrets) installés en France et adhérents du SITELESC, affiche une forte croissance sur le mois de février de 21% qui en fait la plus élevée depuis septembre dernier.

Ces résultats sont encourageants. Ainsi les trois premiers mois affichent une progression de plus de 9% par rapport à la même période 2005.
Plus encore, le premier trimestre est en progression de près de 4% par rapport au dernier trimestre 2005 traditionnellement élevé.
Un dernier point positif c'est le fait que cette progression se reflète à la fois sur le marché France et à l'Export.
Cette bonne tendance est principalement le reflet de la santé des circuits intégrés.
Les commandes sont également en hausse comparées à février et le premier trimestre est d'un niveau équivalent à celui du même trimestre 2005.
Ces résultats sont en ligne avec la tendance mondiale confirmée par la hausse du taux d'utilisation des capacités de production en mars.

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ATI Technologies acquired Bitboys

Consumer >Semiconductors>Passive Components>EMS/ODM>Rest of Europe>Americas>Merger Acquisition>R&D programs>
12/05/2006 16:51:23 :
MANHASSET, N.Y. — ATI Technologies Inc. has acquired Bitboys Oy, a privately held Finland-based graphics company, for $44 million.
Bitboys will be integrated into the Handheld Business Unit of ATI (Markham, Ontario), and form the nucleus for a key design centre for ATI in Europe.
The acquisition enhances ATI's product portfolio with a number of technologies, including OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics and OpenVG 1.0 2D vector graphics technologies optimized for high-volume mainstream mobile phones. These graphics cores will be supported by ATI's common software stack which covers its complete range of multimedia co-processors.
This unified software environment allows developers to easily create content for a range of devices and offers mobile phone manufacturers faster time to market.
"Bitboys dovetails into ATI perfectly," said Paul Dal Santo, GM of ATI's Handheld Business Unit, in a statement. "Handsets are transitioning to hardware acceleration for graphics and multimedia, and the Bitboys team will play a critical role as we drive this key inflection point to make ATI the platform of choice for content providers."

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ADI acquires unit from TTPCom

Semiconductors>Software>UK>Americas>Merger Acquisition
12/05/2006 16:52:19 :
Analog Devices acquires UK based TTPCom's GSM/GPRS mobile phone modem software business for 23 million US Dollars.
May 03, 2006 13:08 (ElectronicsWeekly)
This deal gives Analog Devices the right to sub-license TTPCom software, allowing Analog Devices to sell a complete software and silicon package. 45 employees based in Cambridge, England will transfer from TTPCom to Analog Devices. The deal leaves around 600 staff at TTPCom.

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Firecomms raised 9.6 million euro

12/05/2006 16:41:56 :
LONDON — Firecomms Ltd., a compound semiconductor company that develops visible wavelength light sources, has announced it has closed a 9.6 million euro (about $12 million) round of funding with new and existing shareholders.

Firecomms raised 9.6 million euro
Firecomms (Cork, Ireland), founded in 2001 as a spinoff from Ireland’s National Microelectronics Rsearch Center in Cork, makes lasers and LEDs for optical data transmission and data capture using visible light over plastic optical fiber.
The money would enable the company to increase production of semiconductor VCSEL devices and fiber optic devices, including an automotive-grade fiber optic transceiver for in-car infotainment systems, Firecomms said. This funding also will support the expansion of Firecomms' product line, sales and marketing fulfillment, and support activities throughout its markets.
ACT Venture Capital of Dublin, and Alps Electric North America, a customer for Firecomms, led the finance round. Atlantic Bridge Ventures, the company's anchor investor, also invested in this round.
“This additional funding and new investors will enable us to take advantage of many high revenue opportunities in the giant consumer electronics and automotive markets,” said Declan O'Mahoney, chief executive officer of Firecomms in a statement.
“We are delighted with the progress Firecomms continues to make with strategic customers particularly in high-volume consumer and automotive markets,” said Brian Long, chief executive officer of Atlantic Bridge Ventures, in the same statement.

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AMMC shuts down 2 subsisdaries in France

12/05/2006 16:40:36 :
Applied Micro Circuits CorporSelected Q4 Highlights
* Q4 net revenues of $67.0 million; fiscal 2006 net revenues of $261.8 million
* Q4 GAAP net loss of $138.3 million or $(0.47) per share, after recording a nonrecurring goodwill impairment charge of $131.2 million and a $7.7 million restructuring charge
* Q4 non-GAAP net income improved to $6.0 million or $0.02 per share; Q4 non-GAAP net operating margin measured as a percentage of revenue doubled to 5.6% from 2.8% in the prior quarter
* Q4 quarterly revenues in the focus areas of Process, Transport and Store grew 6% sequentially; non-focus revenues declined 13% sequentially; overall revenues grew nearly 3% sequentially
* Launched major initiative to develop a high performance processor core optimized for the needs of the converged network

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Filtronic plc and Powerwave Technologies Announce Negotiations

Communications>Semiconductors>UK>Americas>Merger Acquisition>Agreement
12/05/2006 16:55:23 :
SANTA ANA, Calif. & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 5, 2006--Filtronic plc ("Filtronic") (LSE:FTC), a leading global designer and manufacturer of customized microwave electronic subsystems for the wireless telecommunications and defense industries, and Powerwave Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:PWAV), a global supplier of end-to-end wireless solutions for wireless networks, today announced that the companies have entered into a period of exclusive negotiations for the disposal of Filtronic's filter-based transmit receive module and power amplifier businesses of its Wireless Infrastructure Division. For the avoidance of doubt, there can be no certainty that these negotiations will result in any transaction being completed. We will have no further comment until an agreement is reached or the discussions are terminated.
LONDON — After posting annual gains of 18.7 percent in 2004 and 9.7 percent in 2005, the semiconductor photomask market will grow 4.3 percent in 2006, reaching sales of $3.2 billion, according to The Information Network, a market research company.
“While the semiconductor market is anticipated to grow strongly in 2006, demand for photomasks is directly a function of design activity rather than sales volume from products using photomasks. Therefore, an increase in the semiconductor market does not necessarily translate to an increase in photomask sales,” said Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network (New Tripoli, Pa.).

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Cavendish Kinetics raised $15.5 million dollars.

Semiconductors>Rest of Europe>Startup>Funding
12/05/2006 16:45:44 :
LONDON — Cavendish Kinetics NV, a 12 year-old company developing CMOS-compatible one-time programmable and reprogrammable memories using MEMS technology, has closed its second round of venture capital funding at $15.5 million dollars.
The money is set to be used to continue the development of Cavendish Kinetics’ Nanomech technology and expand its market presence among IDMs, foundries and fabless semiconductor companies, the company said.
The round was led by Tallwood Venture Capital (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Wellington Partners (Munich, Germany). First round investors Celtic House Venture Partners, Clarium Holdings Ltd., Torteval Investments Ltd. and a private investor are all taking part in the second round. Luis Arzubi from Tallwood Venture Capital and Bart Markus from Wellington Partners are joining the Cavendish board.
Cavendish (Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands), which was spun out of the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University, England in 1994 by Professor Charles Smith, has developed micromechanical memory elements, miniature relays, that it claims can be integrated into CMOS, or any other process technology. Cavendish been working with the Institut fur Mikroelektronik Stuttgart, in Germany, to build prototype memories and picked up $6.5 million in venture capital funding in 2001

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Philips, Dutch University Claim Breakthrough in Plastic Electronics

Semiconductors>Equipments & Materials>Technology
12/05/2006 16:53:20 :
Scientists from Philips Research and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands say they have for the first time fabricated arrays of molecular diodes on standard substrates with high yields that could be a promising next step in plastic electronics.
The molecular diodes are as thin as one molecule, 1.5nm, and suitable for integration into standard plastic electronics circuits, according to the researchers. Based on construction principles known as molecular self-organization, molecular electronics is a promising new approach for manufacturing electronics circuits in addition to conventional semiconductor processing, they claim.
Although still a relatively new field, molecular electronics can be regarded as the next evolutionary stage for plastic electronics. Molecular electronics holds the potential to fabricate elements for electronics circuits with a functionality that is embedded in just a single layer of molecules, according to the technology‘s proponents.
Instead of using lithography or printing techniques to etch or print nanoscale circuit features, molecular electronics can be engineered to use organic molecules that spontaneously form the correct structures via self-organization.

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STMicroelectronics Reports 2006 First Quarter Revenues and Earnings

Semiconductors>France>Rest of Europe>Finance
12/05/2006 16:35:20 :
First quarter revenues of $2.36 billion grew 13.5% year over year and decreased 1.1% sequentially.
- Net income per diluted share was $0.14 for the first quarter compared to $ -0.03 in the year ago quarter.
- Net operating cash flow was $187 million in the quarter.
GENEVA, April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) reported financial results for the first quarter ended April 1, 2006.
Revenues, Gross Profit, and Margin Review
Net revenues for the first quarter were $2,364 million, 13.5% above the $2,083 million reported in last year's first quarter. This year-over-year growth was driven by double-digit sales increases in automotive and wireless applications. Wireless revenues grew over 40% compared to the year-ago quarter. Sequentially, net revenues declined 1.1% from the $2,389 million reported in the prior quarter. Sequential sales performance was driven by growth in automotive and digital consumer applications. In addition wireless application revenues, while lower sequentially, experienced less seasonality than originally expected.

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Icera reveals ChipIdea as design partner

Semiconductors>UK>Rest of Europe>Agreement
12/05/2006 17:02:02 :
MUNICH, Germany — Chip Microelectronica SA, a provider of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor circuits in the form of intellectual property, designed a key part of the Livanto mobile communications baseband chip offered to the market by Icera Inc.
The Livanto baseband, which can process HSDPA multimedia signals at up to 7.2-Mbits per second, in fact comprises two die in a single package. While Icera's engineering team designed the digital chip ChipIdea (Lisbon, Portugal) designed the analog baseband chip included in the same package, according to Stan Boland, president and chief executive officer of Icera Inc. (Bristol, England).
Boland named ChipIdea as Icera’s baseband partner during a presentation at a conference organized by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Fabless Semiconductor Association here. He also added Renesas Technology Corp. to Infineon Technologies AG as a radio frequency chip partner and said that Icera is working with RF Micro Devices Inc. and Skyworks Solutions Inc. as providers of discrete RF interface components such as power amplifiers and low-noise amplifier.

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Negevtech secures $36 million investment

Equipments & Materials>Rest of Europe>Startup>Funding
12/05/2006 17:01:08 :
ZICHRON YAACOV, Israel — Wafer inspection equipment company Negevtech Inc. has received $36 million in a fourth financing round at a company value of $54.5 million. Investors in this round include Intel Capital and Lehman Brothers, Munich-based Wellington Partners and a group of Israeli venture funds.
Arnon Gat, Negevtech’s chief executive officer, said he hoped it would be the last round of investment before an initial public offering of shares in the company in 2007.
Founded in 1999, Negevtech (Rehovot, Israel) has produced the 3100 high-resolution wafer defect inspection system that combines Negevtech's Step & Image technology with a high-resolution optical system. The company claims it is also the only system on the market today offering both high resolution brightfield and darkfield capabilities on the same platform. This dual-technology platform enables users to routinely find unique defects and smaller defects missed by competitors' systems, Negevtech claimed.

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IMEC Annual Accounts Confirm Steady Growth

Semiconductors>Rest of Europe>Technology>Finance
12/05/2006 16:39:49 :
LEUVEN, Belgium--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 26, 2006--IMEC, Europe's leading independent research institute for nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, confirms during its General Assembly a sustained annual increase in revenues since its foundation in 1984. IMEC's performance criteria have increased year over year, giving the Belgian-based research institute points in a year when the frame agreement with the government of Flanders will be renewed. The Flemish government accounts for 18% of the financing for IMEC's research activities.
With a total self-generated revenue of 162 million euro, IMEC's annual budget has increased with a firm 23% as compared to 2004. The total budget is now 197 million euro. The rise primarily results from an increase in revenue from contract research with the international industry. For one of its core activities, research on IC process technologies for the sub-45nm generation, IMEC collaborates with eight of the top ten IC manufacturers in the world and other organizations. Besides self-generated revenue, IMEC receives an annual grant from the government of Flanders amounting to 35 million euro. This grant is indispensable in sustaining IMEC's long-term research.
The revenues from contract research were generated through collaboration with local industry (22%) as well as with international industry (68%), through projects of the European Commission (8%) and the European Space Agency (2%). In 2005, more than 550 partners worked with IMEC through a bilateral collaboration, while more than 600 were involved in European projects where IMEC acts as a partner. Additionally, IMEC collaborated with 139 Flemish partners. The quality of IMEC's research was presented in the 1521 scientific papers and conference contributions that IMEC published, often achieved in collaboration with Flemish universities.
"These results prove that the hard work of 2005 has certainly paid rich rewards, both technologically and financially," said Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. "Currently, we are discussing our new business plan for the coming 5 years with the Flemish Government. In this plan, we are highlighting the importance of multi-disciplinary research, heterogeneous technologies, and integration because our future well-being will be marked by a strong synergy of disciplines. By strengthening our 'More-than-(Gordon) Moore' research and our 'More-Moore' research, we are prepared to build this future."

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Infineon moves to foundry services

12/05/2006 16:34:06 :
After spinning off its memory unit, Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG said that it plans to expand its silicon foundry services.
The move is somewhat expected. Late last year,, Infineon (Munich) entered the foundry market with the aid of its French affiliate, Altis Semiconductor SA, according to first customer — Toumaz Technology Ltd. Infineon has initially focused on specialized manufacturing processes: RF-CMOS, bipolar and silicon-germanium, and high-frequency applications.

Infineon achieved positive EBIT in the second quarter after four quarters of losses. EBIT increased significantly to Euro 28 million from an EBIT loss of Euro 122 million in the prior quarter, primarily due to a return to positive EBIT in the Memory Products segment and improved EBIT in the Automotive, Industrial and Multimarket segment.
· Second quarter revenues increased strongly to Euro 1.99 billion, up 19 percent sequentially, reflecting significantly higher sales in the Memory Products and the Automotive, Industrial and Multimarket segments.
· Net loss in the second quarter was Euro 26 million compared to a net loss of Euro 183 million in the prior quarter.
· Total revenues for the first half of the 2006 financial year were Euro 3.67 billion, up 7 percent from Euro 3.42 billion in the same period last year. EBIT in the first half of the 2006 financial year was negative Euro 94 million, a decrease from positive Euro 94 million in the same period last year.

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Soitec Co-Founder Dies After Long Illness

Equipments & Materials>France>People
12/05/2006 16:56:39 :
Europelectronics learned today that Jean-Michel Lamure, executive VP and general manager of Soitec passed away Thursday after battling a long illness. He was 58.
Lamure co-founded Soitec in 1992 with André Auberton-Hervé and had been serving as executive VP and general manager for the company.
He was also the president of Picogiga International, a new division of the Soitec Group concentrated on the development and manufacture of compound-semiconductor products.
Lamure had 15 years of experience in SOI wafer production and development.
From 1977 to 1987, he was in charge of a succession of mask shops in the semiconductor industry, including both Thomson-CSF for device production, and CEA-LETI for device research and development.
Prior to that, Lamure worked at Thomson-CSF where he developed equipment for microelectronics device production.
Lamure graduated with a master’s degree in engineering from the Ecole Catholique des Arts et Métiers in Lyon, France.

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stamps for nanoimprint lithography

Semiconductors>Equipments & Materials>Rest of Europe>Agreement>Technology
12/05/2006 16:38:18 :
MANHASSET, N.Y. — Two Danish PhD students have joined with another university’s nanoscience center to deliver stamps for nanoimprint lithography (NIL), which will be used in life science research.
The stamps make it possible to print and mass-produce structures below 20 nm with very high quality across large areas.
The company, called NIL Technology, was founded by two PhD students from Technical University of Denmark (DTU). NIL has entered into an agreement with the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center at the University of Aarhus and Aalborg University (iNANO).
The order, to be delivered in May, marks the first after NIL’s founding, said co-founder and CEO Theodor Nielsen: "It shows that, already today, there is a demand for our products. It is a very important milestone we have reached after only three months."
Currently, NIL Technology is financed with seed capital and is preparing for a second financing round. NIL is one of 50 companies slated to present at the Nanotech Venture fair in Boston May 7 to 12. "Although it is not expected that nanoimprint lithography will be used in the semiconductor industry until 2013, according to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, I estimate it is very likely that our technology will be used for large-volume fabrication of end user products within 18 to 24 months," said co-founder and CTO Brian Bilenberg.

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IDT names new EMEA boss

Rest of Europe>Americas>People
12/05/2006 16:49:28 :
IDT has appointed Pietro Polidori as new Vice President for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
May 02, 2006 10:25 (channel-e)
by: Jesper Olsson
Pietro Polidori, who has been working at IDT for 11 years, will be responsible for all operations within EMEA including direct sales and marketing. Polidori most recently worked as European Sales Director at IDT

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ASM International Reports 2006 First Quarter Operating Results

Semiconductors>Equipments & Materials>Rest of Europe>Finance
12/05/2006 16:37:13 :
Please use the following link to view the entire release including financial statements:

· First quarter of 2006 net sales of € 206.5 million, up 53% from the first quarter of 2005 and down 12% from the fourth quarter of 2005.

· After charges for impairment and restructuring of € 5.4 million, net earnings of the first quarter of 2006 was € 2.6 million or € 0.05 diluted net earnings per share, as compared to a net loss of € 7.2 million or € 0.14 diluted net loss per share for the first quarter of 2005 and a net loss of € 27.2 million or € 0.52 diluted net loss per share (after charges for impairment and restructuring of € 43.8 million) for the fourth quarter of 2005

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Intel opened an R&D center in Braunschweig, Germany,

12/05/2006 16:36:09 :
PORTLAND, Ore. — Intel GmbH has opened an R&D center in Braunschweig, Germany, complementing its manufacturing operations there. Focusing on the company’s Tera-Scale Computing Research program, the Intel Germany Research Center’s 100 engineers and technicians will integrate hundreds of processor cores with parallel-processing software to propel microprocessors to teraflops performance while lowering power requirements.
“Our researchers and engineers in Braunschweig will help us deliver platforms that are more capable, powerful and energy-efficient," said Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner. "Their expertise will play a central role in our plans for multicore processor architectures."
The research center will work on projects designed to bear commercial fruit five to 10 years down the road, Rattner said. The center will also cooperate with the nearby Technical University of Braunschweig.
Intel's Braunschweig location was already its largest chip research center operation in Europe, specializing in the development and marketing of optical communications components. The chips designed there to date house as many as 100 million transistors and handle data streams running at up to 10 Gbits/second.

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Ember Europe is to double in size of its Cambridge IC design facility

12/05/2006 16:30:37 :
LONDON — Ember Europe is to double in size of its Cambridge IC design facility by the end of 2006, as aprt of its development partnership with STMicroelectronics.
Ember's 11-strong hardware design team has already developed two ICs at the site - including a single chip solution integrating both radio and microcontroller. The company is now finalizing the specifications for several new IC programs with STMicroelectronics, and actively recruiting digital and analogue engineers for the development phases.
"We expect the UK design centre to be at least 20 strong by the end of 2006", said Nick Horne, Director of IC Engineering at Ember Europe.
"Wireless-enabling sensors demands such an extreme combination of price and performance that we expect to set a new standard of innovation, one that could offer a model of economy for the other more performance-oriented wireless schemes for some time to come," added Horne.
Ember Europe is looking for ways to cut the number of external components usually required to build a radio, at the use of fine geometry semiconductor fabrication processes in a way that does not degrade radio performance, obtaining high radio sensitivity in close proximity to high clock rate digital circuits, and optimising operating modes and power management schemes to suit ultra-long lifetime operation from battery power.
"At the moment, we have more opportunities than engineers. The right staff have ample chance not only to exploit their core skill of digital or analogue circuit design, but also to get involved with the wider mixed-signal IC team to integrate the various circuit elements, to verify and test the design, and bring the complete solution to market," said Horne.
In March 2004 Cambridge Consultants sold its portfolio of 802.15.4 radio frequency (RF) integrated circuit technology to Ember Corporation of Boston which has also hired the engineering team that developed it.

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Édition précédente
French semiconductor market rose 4% in Q1
ATI Technologies acquired Bitboys
ADI acquires unit from TTPCom
Firecomms raised 9.6 million euro
AMMC shuts down 2 subsisdaries in France
Filtronic plc and Powerwave Technologies Announce Negotiations
Cavendish Kinetics raised $15.5 million dollars.
Philips, Dutch University Claim Breakthrough in Plastic Electronics
STMicroelectronics Reports 2006 First Quarter Revenues and Earnings
Icera reveals ChipIdea as design partner
Negevtech secures $36 million investment
IMEC Annual Accounts Confirm Steady Growth
Infineon moves to foundry services
Soitec Co-Founder Dies After Long Illness
stamps for nanoimprint lithography
IDT names new EMEA boss
ASM International Reports 2006 First Quarter Operating Results
Intel opened an R&D center in Braunschweig, Germany,
Ember Europe is to double in size of its Cambridge IC design facility
ZVEI expects higher growth
Futuee Horizons confirms a dougle digit groawth in ICs

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