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Showing posts for June 2015

25 June 2015

Texas Instruments Acquisition

Are Texas Instruments next in line for a big acquisition?

Will Texas Instruments be next in line to take on a huge acquisition? It’s no secret they have been after something new for a while. They made a bid on Freescale but were beaten to it by NXP, and TI tried to purchase Maxim but this didn’t work out as Maxim pulled out and decided not to sell after all. TI’s main competitors Intel, NXP and Avago have each had high profile acquisitions worth billions of dollars this year alone.

Texas may be feeling the pressure now, knowing that their peers are one step ahead of them. With the company worth $56 billion, and a desire to expand its share in the analog market, the right deal could see TI expanding their manufacturing and seeing a healthy increase in profits. The last big acquisition for TI was the purchase of National Semiconductor back in 2011. But, the company are very particular about what kind of company they purchase; the target company must be an analog chipmaker and the deal must provide a strong rate of return. TI is in a good position and has already evolved the company almost beyond recognition of where they were in the 1990s. The focus on analog, and particularly on digital will serve them well and can allow them to be fussier than some of their main competitors.

We’ll keep you up to date with any updates regarding Texas Instruments, or any other acquisitions that occur! And don’t forget you can search and order all Texas Instruments’ parts direct from Cyclops Electronics.

Tags: texas instruments acquisitions semiconductor industry

18 June 2015

Semiconductor Stocks to look out for

The Globe and Mail, a newspaper in Canada, have been running a feature called The Future is Smart: How the Internet of things is changing business. In it they look at the Internet of Things (IoT) and how the electronics industry is changing and adapting to it. Their latest post looks at which semiconductor stocks are worth purchasing as these companies are in a better position for creating new and innovative products.

If a semiconductor company wants to make money, they had better look at moving into IoT, if they haven’t already - Analysts at Citigroup forecast IoT semiconductor sales to grow at a 29 per cent annual rate from 2014 to 2017, versus 3 per cent for the overall semiconductor industry.

Of course, as we know, there are a huge number of chipmakers (over 100 on the US exchanges whose primary business is semiconductors) so how do we narrow it down? Harsh Kumar, an analyst at Stephens Inc has realised that the companies most attuned to the IoT are focusing on a broad range of products – sensors, analog chips, microcontrollers and communication chips. This enables them to be the go to company for a new connected device or product – without having to rely on other companies for parts. 

The leader in this respect, according to Harsh, is Silicon Labs who have a pretty impressive portfolio of various chip types and products. The other names to look out for are:

  • Microchip Technology Inc
  • Atmel Corp
  • NXP Semiconductors
  • and, of course, Intel Corp.



For more in depth analysis you can read the Globe and Mail’s report here. Cyclops Electronics stock components from all the major semiconductor companies and offer short lead times and fast delivery. Check out our stock availability by using our Fast Component Search.

Tags: iot semiconductors

17 June 2015

25 Years of Cyclops

We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year and couldn’t be happier to have reached this great milestone. The company has undergone many changes and achieved a great deal over the years – take a trip down memory lane with us....

1990 – Company Started

All those years ago, Cyclops Electronics started out as a small electronic component sourcing and distribution company. Founded by a dynamic entrepreneur, the company literally started in the spare room but soon left those humble beginnings and went on to achieve great things...

1993 - Moves to York

Originally starting out in Scotland, the company moved to its current home in the beautiful city of York. Though perhaps better known for chocolate, York was ideal for Cyclops Electronics as it is a great location and provided lots of scope to grow.

1996 – Achieved ISO Certification

This was a fantastic achievement for the company. It strengthened our commitment to quality assurance and is something that we are still proud to hold today.

1998 – Cyclops House Built

This is our current home and the purpose built facility combines offices with warehouse space, allowing us to order, store, package and ship your electronic components quickly and securely.

1998 – Trading Specialists Created

After 8 years of Cyclops we wanted to offer a solution to all the excess component issues we realised our customers were facing. Thus Trading Specialists was born; the place to go if you have excess or obsolete components you want to get rid of!

2002 – GSS Created

We realised that our customers wanted more from their component distributors so we created a supply chain management solution. Originally known as Unit 8, the company was renamed Global Supply Services and the team will help you with all supply chain issues.

2010 – Daniel Josefsson Acquired (Renamed DJ Assembly)

Wanting to offer a full service we took over the PCB Assembly company Daniel Josefsson, later renamed DJ Assembly. Having our own purpose built manufacturing facility lets us offer so much more to our customers, including PCBA, Box Build and EMS.

2013 – AS9120 Achieved

This is a great accreditation to have and allows us to offer greater commitment to all our customers, particularly those in the aerospace, military and defence industries.

2015 – 25th Anniversary

And here we are, 25 years later. After seeing a lot of changes in the industry as a whole and within the company, we feel proud to be here at this stage. We have grown from a small start up into a company with real global presence; Cyclops has 8 worldwide offices, including Canada, USA and Italy. The future is looking good and here’s to the next 25 (and beyond!)

Tags: cyclops electronics cyclops group

09 June 2015

Microchip and Micrel

Microchip have purchased Micrel for a rather nice $839 million. Micrel specialises in networking and consumer markets and made $13.6 million on revenues of $247.6 million in 2014. Microchip Technology Inc. is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors. The company posted net sales at the end of 2014 of $2.161billion. Net income was a record $593.9 million. The companies are looking to work together to strengthen each other's core business and advance technology together.

Microchip's CEO Steve Sanghi is understandably happy about the deal:

"We believe that combining Micrel's business with Microchip's business will enable significant synergies and cross-selling opportunities," Sanghi said.

Micrel's CEO Raymond Zinn said the following about the acquisition:

"We believe that this acquisition provides the best vehicle for us to realize significant value for Micrel's shareholders and is a fantastic outcome for our employees and customers, as well as the opportunity to scale up to the much stronger sales and manufacturing platforms of Microchip," Zinn said in a prepared statement.

The deal is expected to close in the 3rd quarter of 2015.

Tags: microchip micrel semiconductors

04 June 2015

Conflict Minerals - The votes are in

The European Parliament has voted to pass a law calling for mandatory reporting for the entire supply chain on where they source conflict minerals (Gold, Tantalum, Tungsten and Tin) an act which will affect over 800,00 European companies. The amendments passed by a vote of 378 to 300.

Mineral importers, smelters and refiners will have to ensure that revenues from the minerals they use are not funding conflicts. Not only did the mandatory reporting come as a surprise, many thought it would remain voluntary, so did the decision to apply the act to the entire supply chain. This means that manufacturers of consumer products such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and household appliances will also have to submit reports if they are using any of the conflict minerals in question.

The reason for this bill is to protect workers and miners in several countries, with most of them being in Africa. Mineral production counts for an average of 24% of GDP in African countries and is implicated in no fewer than 27 conflicts on the continent. By making companies look at where they are sourcing materials from and ensure they order from reputable representative, will stop sales from minerals funding war, human rights violations and violence.

There is now a complicated process to follow to ensure the bill in enacted. There is some worry that SMEs will find this more difficult to implement than their larger counterparts. There is also concern that it may affect the legitimate trade of minerals in countries that rely on them as companies will go elsewhere to avoid any issues or pitfalls.

As the law progresses we will keep you updated on what will happen and what companies in the supply chain need to do.

Tags: conflict minerals eu parliament components

01 June 2015

Nail art at MIT?

Love getting your nails done? Love having the latest tech? Your manicure could soon send texts, find recipes and set your alarm to snooze to get your beauty sleep! MIT have created NailO – a miniature wireless trackpad that can connect to your phone, laptop or tablet. It is a wearable device which is worn on the thumbnail (or any other fingernail you may prefer!) and allows the wearer to perform different functions on a phone or PC. It's small and discreet but can be customised with different nail stickers to create your own distinctive look.

The thumbnail itself, as well as being easily accessible from all other fingers is a perfect place for a wearable. It is a hard surface with no nerve endings and the NailO doesn't impair movement, there's no discomfort and it is generally unobtrusive.

NailO uses capacitive sensing (which is the same technology as on the iPhone screen) which allows for a detachable membrane so it can be fully customised to match your outfit, your nail polish or to make a statement.

To make NailO thin and flexible enough to wear, the team worked with flexible PCB factories in Shenzhen for a thinner and bendable prototype, which could conform to the curvature of a fingernail.

The hardware consists of four layers (top to bottom):

1. A decorative nail sticker layer for users to customize sensor appearance

2. The matrix of sensing electrodes

3. A printed circuit board (PCB), consisting of an ATmega328 (Atmel) microcontroller and MTCH6102 (Microchip) capacitive touch controller. The samples are transmitted to a laptop or a phone using Bluetooth Low Energy chip nRF8001 (Nordic Semiconductors).

4. A miniature 10 mAh lithium-polymer battery is used to power the circuit.

Whilst still in prototype stage, NailO is something a little different to the regular wearables we are used to seeing. Smartwatches and exercise trackers are all well and good but more practical, everyday uses need to be thought about too. It also makes a change for a wearable to be thought of with primarily women in mind. Women are just as interested in the latest tech as men and hopefully this project from MIT will lead the way to more female focused and more useable wearable technologies.

For more information see the official NailO website here.

Tags: mit wearable tech nailo

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