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Whether it's comment on a recent story, a slightly irreverent look at the latest news or an expression of complete disbelief, New Electronics' editorial team brings you its views on the latest from the electronics industry, putting these developments into context.

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Merger means more opportunities

When is an acquisition not an acquisition? When it's a merger. Despite CSR paying close to $680million in stock for multimedia chip developer Zoran and maintaining the chairman, chief executive and chief financial officer positions, the deal is, officially, a merger. CSR says the deal has to potential to double its revenues in the next few years.

Can Carl Icahn change the eda world?

The electronics design automation – or EDA – world is complex, but for one reason and another, it's a world that changes little with time. The big three companies in the EDA industry – Mentor Graphics, Cadence and Synopsys – have been around for years, growing their empires through acquisitions and sniping at each other with predictable regularity. Change, when it does come to the chip design software world, is usually through the removal of competition or innovation; over the years, EDA companies have operated pretty ruthless acquisition strategies .

New Electronics announces embedded world zone

The embedded world Exhibition & Conference is the world´s biggest exhibition of its kind for the international embedded community. Taking place from 1 to 3 March, this year could be the biggest yet, with a record 790 companies from all over the world showcasing their latest products and services.

Freescale looks to raise $1billion to pay down debt

When private equity investors acquired NXP and Freescale a few years ago, the cost of the deals was placed on the acquired company's balance sheet. In that way, NXP and Freescale paid for the privilege of being bought. This approach worked in good times; unfortunately, the timing of the deals was bad.

Experiment brings new meaning to satellite phone

Do we place too much store on technology? More accurately, do we place too much store on processing power? Yes, it's certainly a bonus to have as much processing as you can afford when it comes to a desktop pc or a mobile phone. But after that, you get the feeling that designers are coming up with additional functionality just to use up the excess MIPs.

First in, Best Dressed ...

We look back fondly to when we were fresh faced, would be engineers. Nothing fazed us. We were invincible, adept at facing anything our professors set before us. Attending lectures by day, juggling multiple course projects by night – and even managing to squeeze in a visit or three to the campus bar! No doubt many of us have attended a class reunion in some shape or form since leaving university or college.

Happy New Year UK electronics – now get off your backside?

In my mind, 2011 brings a wealth of opportunities for "UK electronics", especially for those involved in design and innovation. So far, indicators are looking good and the general climate is one of growing optimism. Even the press are speaking about manufacturing-led recovery (even if they don't really know what manufacturing is).

Nothing new under the sun?

The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the site of a 'tablet frenzy' as some 80 devices were launched by product developers desperate to cash in on the phenomenal success of Apple's iPad. But those with a longer memory will know that, while the technology the powers the iPad is certainly new, the concept is anything but. In fact, one of the first suggestions for such as device came in the mid 1990s from National Semiconductor, which floated the idea of the information appliance (IA): a low cost, high performance device that would sell in its 'hundreds of millions' and which would 'displace the pc'.

JTAG testing for everyman (and everywoman)

Believe it or not JTAG testing (the original purpose for the now venerable access port on many of today's micros, DSPs, FPGAs and CPLDs) has finally come of age (21 this year). Yet there still exists a divide in the knowledge of those working in our industry. I have lost count of the amount of times, when manning exhibition stands, that engineers (from all disciplines) have asked: "JTAG ! What's all that about then?"

Qualcomm speculates to accumulate

When you become a big company, you start experiencing big company problems. One of those problems is how you continue to grow the business and to provide that all important return to the investors. The problem is exacerbated when you are a dominant player in a defined market; there is only so much additional business available. That is obviously the problem with which Qualcomm ceo Dr Paul Jacobs has been wrestling with over the last few months. It's been one of the company's goals to expand into adjacent markets.

The 'i's have it

Following the official launch of the 2nd generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors at CES, Las Vegas, the press releases began to come in thick and fast.

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

Late again – but it's the end of the year and we are going strong! The sheer intensity of the project which is now increasing at a massive pace tends to mean that we are dealing with detail on a minute by minute basis and it takes a break like Christmas to give us a chance to look back to see what has been achieved.

A happy and innovative New Year from New Electronics

When the financial crisis hit a couple of years ago, spending on consumer electronics was expected to crash. But it didn't; customers have continued to buy tvs, iPhones, cameras and, more recently, iPads. But sales into 'industrial' markets dropped significantly; a situation that was reversed in 2010, with automotive the biggest growing of all markets. So what does 2011 hold in store for the UK's electronics industry?

Teamwork – really?

It is really quite fascinating to observe the vast range of products and services emerging out of almost all industry sectors, each promising the ideal 'solution'. In these highly competitive markets with relatively shallow barriers to entry and perfect consumer knowledge, there are businesses emerging and fading away daily. Let us take, for example, the consumer electronics industry which boasts an incredible variety of gadgets and toys that are creeping their way into our pockets, cars and homes.

What does it take for a foundry to succeed in the automotive market?

Automotive presents a challenge, but also an opportunity, to the semiconductor foundry industry. The challenge is that automotive has historically been the turf of the IDMs, where the systematic feedback process from designer to technologist to reliability physicist to yield analyst and back to designer creates the wealth of 'how-to' data that accelerates the drive to 0 dppm, which is a key requirement for this market. Since the foundry is physically separate from the IDM in most cases, this communication feedback loop is more difficult – not impossible, but more difficult.

Current forecast: Some sun, but cloudy most of the time

I got shocked recently when I had to learn that a cloud based service I am using needs to shut down all of its operations. The service is free, so one might see it as nothing major, but it's one of the little helpers that makes life easier. The service helps you to synchronize bookmarks between different browsers and different PCs. So you don't need to worry about managing those any more, just save your bookmark once and you're done.

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