© photodynamx dreamstime.com Business | October 04, 2012
Hard Drive shipments rebound
A year after the Thailand flooding disaster partially derailed production, the global hard disk drive (HDD) industry has fully recovered, with shipments to the computer market expected to hit a record level this year, driven by the enterprise market as well as the arrival of the Windows 8 operating system.
HDD shipments in 2012 for the overall computer market, including PCs, are forecast to reach 524.0 million units, up 4.3 percent from 502.5 million units last year, according to IHS iSuppli. The 2012 number will be the highest shipment figure on record in the HDD books at year-end—but the achievement will not stand for long. In fact, HDD shipments are projected to climb continually, the stellar results of each year bested by the next in predictable but welcome fashion until at least 2016. By then, HDD shipments will hit 575.1 million units. The forecast includes HDD shipments only to the PC compute segment, which includes client HDDs for desktops and notebooks on the one hand, and enterprise HDDs for servers and storage systems on the other. The forecast does not include HDD shipments for other applications such as in automotive, external hard drives or DVR devices. In contrast to the glowing performance of HDDs for the PC space, annual HDD consumer-related shipments will decline this year from 2011 levels. “HDD shipments for computers will overcome a sluggish third quarter to reach record levels in 2012,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. “The yearly rise in HDD shipments is the result of greater demand from the consumer and enterprise PC segments, both of which continue to clamor for disk space in order to hold storage-intensive media like music, videos and other forms of social media content. As downloadable media content becomes more readily accessible and affordable, so will the quest for storage space continue in order to satisfy unremitting demand. Meanwhile, the HDD industry has completely resolved disruptions to its HDD manufacturing and component supply caused by the Thailand disaster that struck one year ago.” Windows 8 to the rescue Another major growth driver for the HDD industry will be the new Windows 8 operating system to be launched in October. The market also will be boosted by ultrabooks, including those using hybrid HDD/SDD storage solutions, which will see an increase in shipments in the fourth quarter, although volumes will be relatively low this year. Both factors are believed to be the best hope by the beleaguered PC sector to take on smartphones and tablets such as the iPad from Apple Inc.—two devices that have gobbled up the once-flourishing market of mobile computers like notebooks and netbooks. Through the revival of the PC sector, the HDD space—especially the enterprise HDD market—also stands to reap benefits by supplying the storage media for computers. Such encouraging developments overall will help deliver a growth year while compensating for a weak third quarter, blamed by HDD players on persistent economic problems around the globe and the erosion of the PC market by smartphones and tablets.
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