All Business News

Apple unveils iPhone at MacWorld

Confirming the recent swirl of rumours, Apple unveiled its iPhone at MacWorld. The device combine three products – a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls and an internet communications device.

US orders increase slightly

Electronic component orders in the US rebounded in December after a slight dip in November, according to the four to five-week index compiled by the Electronic Components, Assemblies and Materials Association (ECA).

ST shakes up product focus

STMicroelectronics is reorganising itself to address three main product areas: application specific groups; flash memory; and the industrial and multisegment sector. In this way, says the company, it is better aligned to meet market requirements, whilst preparing for a strategic repositioning in flash memory. The move, which takes effect at the beginning of 2007, tends to support rumours that ST is about to sell its memory interests to a private investment group.

More spectrum to be auctioned

Ofcom is proposing the largest single release of radio spectrum yet in the UK. It believes the 215MHz it is looking to auction could be used for a range of new services such as mobile broadband.

Electronics KTN names ceo

Ashley Evans, currently chief executive of Electronics Scotland, has been appointed as chief executive officer of the Electronics Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

afdec says watch out for Asia

UK and European distributors should beware of Asia, according to Adam Fletcher, pictured, chairman of distribution body afdec. Presenting afdec’s latest forecast for the sector, Fletcher claimed a challenge for the future would be what Asian distributors want to do in Europe.

One stop prototype shop

A strategic alliance between two Cambridge based companies will offer high tech firms a ‘one stop shop’ for fast turnaround prototypes and volume manufacture. According to the two companies, Hitec and Kaizen Technology, the alliance offers European technology developers possibly the best opportunity for fast product development.

Skills cloud on horizon

One key conclusion from the electronica 2006 ceo round table was the semiconductor industry is becoming less cyclical and this sign of maturity will result in more steady growth. But skills shortages loom.

Record set

Electronica 2006 set new records according to the show organiser, with 78,000 people visiting the show during its four days.

Investing for success

A clear case for R&D expenditure is again made in the 16th annual edition of the DTI’s R&D scoreboard. Introducing the report, Lord Sainsbury said that the Scoreboard ‘illustrates the greatly increased sales for firms that maintained R&D investment through the difficult times in the early part of this decade’.

NMI celebrates 10 years

The National Microelectronics Institute has celebrated its 10th birthday with an Awards Dinner held in London and attended by an international audience of more than 200 people. Speaking at the event, NMI’s CEO Derek Boyd said: “We’ve seen a real resurgence in the UK semiconductor industry."

Cadence launches start up support programme

Access to funding, capital investment in design tools and access to third party partners are three of the most critical issues that a management team faces in getting a start up off the ground. Cadence believes its Start Up Accelerator Program responds to these challenges.

Seed fund closed

Amadeus Capital Partners has closed its £10million Amadeus and Angels Seed Fund (AASF), which will be invested in high growth UK seed technology businesses.

On the money

Cambridge Consultants and Esprit Capital Partners have created a new venture fund with up to £10million available.

EC to launch Euro ‘MIT’

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to establish a European Institute of Technology (EIT), seen as a European version of MIT. Subject to approval by the European Parliament and the Council, the EIT could begin operations in 2008.

A guiding hand

Aiming to provide real world insight into the fund raising process, the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) has published a private equity investment handbook for semiconductor start ups. The handbook features contributions from existing UK silicon entrepreneurs such as CSR, Icera and picoChip, handling topics such as business models, valuation and mitigating risk, plus input from venture capitalists such as Pond Ventures, Quester and Scottish Equity Partners, who address issues such as market sizing, skill sets and smart money. Meanwhile, the SETsquared Partnership of Universities writes on the impact of intellectual property.

Innovation rewarded

Seven businesses have been recognised for their innovation talents by the 2006 Innovation and Design Excellence Awards (iDEAS). At a prestigious ceremony held at the London Hilton on Friday 29 September, Bluetooth leader CSR was named as winner of the Innovation & Design Excellence of the Year award, sponsored by Scientific Generics.

On the up?

Recently released data implies the industry may be in better shape than many think. Paul Dempsey reports.

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