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Showing posts for November 2017

21 November 2017

Electronic Component Lead Time News (November 2017)

According to our information, many semiconductor manufacturers have upped their maximum lead times during Q3 2017. Given that the first half of the calendar year was dominated by the threat of widespread component shortages and a real threat of allocation, purchasing departments are unlikely to meet the news with much joy.

A prime example of this would be STMicroelectronics (ST), Europe’s biggest semiconductor firm and a major manufacturer of analog, discrete, memory and microcontroller product lines. ST has recently increased its maximum lead time to forty-two weeks, a rise of four weeks when compared to data from September.

Just like ST, NXP has been plagued by lead time problems. Some lines are now being quoted with a thirty-nine week wait – an increase of fifteen weeks!

Taking a closer look at individual product categories, we have noticed that there has been a lot of fluctuation within the discrete market, while the availability of standard logic and certain memory components remains tight.

Also, due to consistently high demand, franchise companies are beginning to insist that their customers provide a long-term purchasing plan to secure and receive MCU and DSP lines.

In short

  • Lead times for discrete product groups fluctuate, check each manufacturer individually.
  • Long-term demand visibility for DSPs and MCUs required from OEMs to meet delivery from franchise sources.
  • Analog market situation remains stable, albeit with constrained supply. 
  • ST increase lead times for a variety of lines. The maximum figure is now up at forty-two weeks.

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03 November 2017

Qualcomm-NXP Merger Likely To Occur in 2018, CEO Admits

Speaking recently, Richard Clemmer, CEO of NXP Semiconductors, conceded that Qualcomm’s impending acquisition of NXP is likely to be completed in Q1 2018.

“We are working diligently with Qualcomm and the various regulators towards a successful close this year. However, at this point, the timetable is very tight and there is a possibility for the closing to occur in early 2018,” he said.

The admission reverses the long-held public position that the deal will be formally signed off by the end of this calendar year.

Clemmer's comments are the first acknowledgement of the much-publicised challenges that both NXP and Qualcomm have faced in recent months. Although the announcement of the acquisition was announced last year, regulatory bodies are yet to give it the green light.

Regulators in both Europe and Asia are seeking concessions and want the two companies to unload assets, including patents on certain designs and technologies. One major issue that is yet to be resolved involves the European Commission’s (EC) investigation into the acquisition amidst concerns about potential price rises and a reduction in innovation.

Last month, the Reuters news agency reported that Qualcomm would be willing to relinquish some of its patents to receive EC antitrust support. Despite this advancement, it is still unclear which of NXP’s standard essential patents will be sold off to a third party, something that is believed to be delaying the deal being authorised.

There is also concern among European chip vendors as the Qualcomm-NXP acquisition appears to be focused on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. NXP co-invented NFC and rival chip makers are worried that Qualcomm could bundle NXP’s existing NFC functions within its own application processors and effectively gain a monopoly of the lucrative smartphone market.

In order to alleviate said fears, Qualcomm has reportedly agreed to not take legal action against third parties regarding these patents, except for “defensive purposes”. Whether this concession will satisfy rivals and regulators alike is unknown.

Meanwhile, the progress of the deal through the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is unknown, though many regard MOFCOM as the toughest regulatory body to deal with. There have been some murmurings, however, with lawyer Ashely Chang telling EE Times that MOFCOM could “throw a wrench” in the works by actively prolonging any decision.

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