Business | August 23, 2012
Solar downturn spreads to BOS sector
According to EnergyTrend, the green energy research division of TrendForce, the demand in PV market remained sluggish.
Outlook for September appears bleak, and the expected demand rebound may not occur. On the other hand, shrinking end-market subsidies has affected the return on investment (ROI) of solar systems. Manufacturers and makers have become less flexible when it comes to cost control and keeping ROI on a profitable level. Therefore, aside from the price adjustments of module, companies are now shifting their focus to cutting down the BOS (balance-of-system) price. Given the fact that module prices have fallen to suppliers’ variable costs, prices will not see a further decline unless suppliers are willing to sell at a loss. As a result, suppliers started to urge BOS companies to accept higher prices. Furthermore, solar companies’ vertical integration has set foot into EPC and BOS sectors. Over the past few years major brand vendors have been striving to make inroads into the bidding project markets and have achieved certain level of success. Recently they have also invested in the mounting bracket market. According to EnergyTrend survey, due to intensifying competition, prices of solar inverter, mounting bracket and other EPC-related applications are starting to see fluctuations lately. Makers have provided more room for price negotiations in order to acquire market share. According to statistics, mounting bracket ASP dropped by 25%, while solar inverter ASP dipped 5%-10%. Due to the concern about high inventory level, along with certain suppliers’ effort to digest inventories, solar module spot prices saw a sharp decline. On the other hand, on account of their better price-performance ratio, demand for non-standard silicon wafers remained strong. Polysilicon ASP fell by 0.4% to $20.475/kg. As silicon wafers are affected by the rise of non-standard products and the fact that some mid and small-scale manufacturers have stopped their production, multi-Si wafer ASP went down to $1.027/piece, a 1.15% decrease. In addition, suppliers’ effort to sell products with conversion efficiencies between 18% and 18.3% and the pressure from high-efficiency multi-Si wafers made mono-Si wafer ASP plunge to $1.358/piece, a 1.24% decrease. Solar cell ASP slid by 0.23% to $0.425/Watt, while module ASP took a steep dive to $0.704/Watt, a 4.22% decrease, due to certain manufacturers’ aggressive attitude. As for contract prices, suppliers and manufacturers negotiate prices on a monthly basis. Polysilicon contract price dipped 6.82% to $26.296/kg. As for silicon wafers, most manufacturers turned to the spot market for their demand, which caused contract price to plunge further – multi-Si wafer contract price fell by 4.21% to $1.07/piece and mono-Si wafer contract price slid by 6.27% to $1.48/piece.
Cadence to acquire AWR from NI Cadence Design Systems and National Instruments have entered into a definitive agreement under which Cadence expects to acquire AWR Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Instruments (NI).
Nidec completed acquisition of Roboteq Nidec Corporation has completed the acquisition of 90% ownership of Roboteq Inc., a U.S.-based designer of ultra-low voltage (ULV) drives, from its owners through Nidec Motor Corporation.
Vesper's ZPL technology included in Alexa-enabled headset Acoustic sensors developer, Vesper, has had its proprietary ZeroPower Listening (ZPL) technology certified by Amazon for extended battery and far-field voice interactions. Vesper's piezoelectric MEMS microphones are powering the first hands-free, extended battery life Alexa-enabled headset that uses ZPL technology.
AutoChips & X-FAB launch mass production of China’s first TPMS chipset AutoChips Inc., a Chinese automotive electronics chip design company (and a subsidiary of NavInfo), in partnership with X-FAB Silicon Foundries, has successfully initiated volume production of a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) chipset.
Sumitomo launches 150mm GaN-on-SiC production with Aixtron system Japanese group Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations, Inc. (SEDI) has ordered an AIX G5+ tool from Aixtron, with 8x6-inch wafer configuration in order to expand the production capacity of GaN-on-SiC (gallium nitride-on-silicon carbide) radio frequency (RF) devices for wireless applications.
Green light for NXP’s acquisition of Marvell’s wireless connectivity assets NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Marvell have cleared all necessary hurdles and received the required regulatory approvals for NXP’s acquisition of the wireless connectivity portfolio from Marvell.
Murata continues to expand its Okayama operations A production building that had been under construction since October of last year has been completed at Murata’s production subsidiary Okayama Murata Manufacturing, in Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture.
TowerJazz to maintain its TPSCo majority ownership Israeli semiconductor manufacturer, TowerJazz, says that it will not sell its stake and board control in its joint venture with Panasonic Corp in Japan, following the Japanese company's announcement that it is selling its semiconductor business.
NI invests $40M in expansion of multifunctional facility in Penang National Instruments is planning to expand its operations in Penang, Malaysia with a new investment which will create over 250 new jobs.
Rimac chooses Analog Devices to enable precision battery management Rimac Automobili is planning to incorporate Analog Devices, Inc’s precision battery management system (BMS) integrated circuits (ICs) into Rimac’s BMS.
Silicon Mobility opens subsidiary in Japan Automotive semiconductor company, Silicon Mobility, is opening a new subsidiary in Tokyo, Japan. This subsidiary will provide system integration expertise and support for local customers.
STMicro completes acquisition of SiC wafer specialist Norstel STMicroelectronics has completed the full acquisition of Swedish silicon carbide (SiC) wafer manufacturer Norstel AB.
Sunway Research Institute of North America officially opens RF connectivity solutions provider, Sunway Communication, has officially opened its North American Research Institute (NARI). The new R&D facility is located in the Sorrento Valley technology park of San Diego, close to other leading technology firms.
Data Respons receives contract for next gen communication solution Data Respons have signed a contract of NOK 20 million (EUR 1.97 million) with a Nordic customer within the space, defence and security industry.
Harbour Group acquires SpotSee Holdings SpotSee Holdings and its subsidiaries are now part of the Harbour Group family of companies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Intel’s looking to sell its connectivity chips businesses The US chipmaker is reportedly looking for potential buyers for its connected home division, a business unit providing gateway solutions to connect devices and appliances.
Panasonic to sell its chip business to Taiwanese company Panasonic Corporation says that it will transfer the semiconductor business – mainly operated by Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions – to Nuvoton Technology, a Taiwan-based semiconductor company under the umbrella of Winbond Electronics group, in a stock and asset transfer agreement.
First Sensor extends collaboration with Canadian expert for machine vision First Sensor is producing image sensors for a new camera family for a Canadian technology leader for industrial visual inspection in the field of machine vision. The project has a term of seven years.
D3 Engineering moving, expanding in NY Empire State Development (ESD), the economic development arm of New York State, has announced that D3 Engineering will move from its current location in Rochester to a new, larger location in Henrietta, New York, along the state’s northwestern border with Lake Ontario.
Kinetic acquires MegaChips’ smart connectivity division Analog and mixed-signal semiconductor company, Kinetic Technologies, has acquired MegaChips Corporation’s Smart Connectivity Division. Terms of the asset transaction were not disclosed.
Entegris unveils China technology center Entegris has opened its china technology center (CTC) in China’s Silicon Valley, Zhangjiang, Shangha
Seattle start-up to see battery tech investment Group14 Technologies announced it will receive USD 18 million in new financing from several leaders in the battery-industry.Load more news