Earth Week Thoughts Turn to Environmental Risk Management for the Semiconductor Supply Chain

shutterstock 60446968Risk management is a staple of good supply chain and business strategies, and disruptions are, unfortunately, part and parcel of the global semiconductor supply chain, at some point affecting each of us. Environmental issues have affected weather patterns, intensifying extremes and forcing us to deal with some serious issues and risks – presently the building drought issues in Taiwan, western United States, and Brazil are on the top of global concerns across industries. For the semiconductor industry, these are serious risks to our supply chain, particularly for chip manufacturing which is a water intensive process. Next week, I will be contributing to an Earth Week series for Electronics Purchasing Strategies looking at these issues and strategic considerations to best prepare for disruptions. The following is a preview of the discussions.

Read more: Earth Week Thoughts Turn to Environmental Risk Management for the Semiconductor Supply Chain

 

Consolidations and Competition Drive New Collaborations and Global Service Demands

shutterstock 65944984One sign of a healthy industry, beyond volume sales and revenue, is positive activity within and along the supply chain, notably consolidations (Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)) that strengthen and extend the core competencies of businesses for greater market reach. Certainly the past few quarters have evidenced this trend of M&A and market extensions which is confirmed in the results from our Annual Smith Global Supply Chain Survey (available soon as Free Download from Smithweb.com) that relate these challenges and the new strategic partnerships being formed.

Read more: Consolidations and Competition Drive New Collaborations and Global Service Demands

 

Semi Growth Strong with Embedded ICs and Sensors for IoT and Wearables Drivers

shutterstock 134950796 (230x148)The expansion of IoT and the wearable device market has significantly added not only to general semiconductor growth but, especially, to the demand for embedded ICs and sensors, as smart, connected devices are the demand drivers across products and markets, including the key growth areas of health, medical, industrial, and consumer. With this growth has come the realities of economic demand trends, increased volume which has pushed down average selling prices (ASPs) and more price declines in the face of volume increases is expected, as IC Insights recently forecasted.

Read more: Semi Growth Strong with Embedded ICs and Sensors for IoT and Wearables Drivers

   

Smartwatch Horse Race to Begin on Friday: The Apple v. Samsung battle expands

shutterstock 202426702 (230x230)Since both Samsung and Apple's public announcements and Samsung's release of their respective smartwatch strategies, the media has been awash with discussion about whether these devices will be flops or major CE hits. Until the numbers actually come in, all we can add is more speculation, but let's look at what's been successful in the market thus far and where IoT is taking us.

Read more: Smartwatch Horse Race to Begin on Friday: The Apple v. Samsung battle expands

 

Chipmaker Consolidations Continue with Intel & Altera on the Heels of NXP & Freescale

intel bldgRecent news of major chipmaker consolidations should dispel any doubt about the expanding and shifting nature of the semiconductor and electronics industry. On the heels of the news of NXP's moves to acquire Freescale, valued at roughly US $16.7 billion, we now have, at the end of March, the news that Intel is moving to acquire Altera, valued at US $10.5 billion. These two March deals follow the earlier news of Cypress Semiconductor and Spansion, Lattice Semiconductor and Silicon Image, Qualcomm and CSR, as well as Infineon and International Rectifier, among others in 2014. Importantly, as Bloomberg also comments, these strategic acquisitions will propel more moves by other chipmakers to ensure their market positions and capabilities through acquisitions this year.

Read more: Chipmaker Consolidations Continue with Intel & Altera on the Heels of NXP & Freescale

   

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