AEI News
Panasonic Sells Chip Business to Nuvoton

JAPAN and TAIWAN – Panasonic Corporation has ceased its semiconductor business, which is mainly operated by its subsidiary, Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd. (PSCS), to Taiwanese semiconductor company, Nuvoton Technology Corporation. Nuvoton, which is under the umbrella of Winbond Electronics Corporation said the acquisition will be an all-cash transaction.

In selling off its business to Nuvoton, Panasonic cited the growing stiff competition in the semiconductor industry. Nuvoton’s acquisition will expand its presence in the global semiconductor industry through greater scale and volume of semiconductor solutions.

PSCS is a leading supplier of semiconductor devices and solutions with products that focus on sensing technologies, microcontroller technologies, and component technologies. The transaction is expected to close in June 2020.;

Samsung Heightens Investments in China Chip Plant

KOREA – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has laid out plans to invest US$8 billion more to the second phase of capacity expansion project for its second NAND flash memory chip fabrication line in Xian in China. The first phase of the 3D NAND flash facility is scheduled to commence operation in March.

The three-year facility build up, which was announced in 2017, involves capital spending of US$7 billion over the period.

The fresh investment came after Samsung Executive Vice President Kang Bong Yong met with high-ranking company officials in Xian City, where it was agreed to infuse an additional US$8 billion to complete the second phase of the second 3D NAND flash memory chip fabrication line.

The plan was made a few weeks before Korea’s hosting of a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping that was supposed to take place in December. Samsung’s capital spending in China started in 2012 when it broke the ground for the first 3D NAND flash facility in Xian. Six years after, the company broke the ground for the second semiconductor facility.

NXP Concludes Buyout of Marvell’s Connectivity Assets

The NETHERLANDS and UNITED STATES – NXP Semiconductors N.V. has moved further to realize acquisition of the wireless connectivity portfolio of Marvell Technology Group Ltd. The Dutch conglomerate said that the acquisition has already met the necessary regulatory approvals and both companies were supposed to complete the transaction last month.

Rick Clemmer, NXP Chief Executive Officer, said the acquisition will complement NXP’s processing, security, and connectivity portfolio in the industrial and internet of things (IoT) spaces, as well as in the automotive and communication infrastructure.

In May 2019, NXP agreed to acquire Marvell’s wireless connectivity portfolio in an all-cash, asset transaction. The acquisition will enable NXP to deliver complete, scalable processing and connectivity solutions to its customers across its end markets, including tailored security and a full suite of wireless connectivity spanning Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, Zigbee, Thread, and Near Field Communications (NFC).;

Sony Jumpstarts AI Foray, Sets up Dedicated AI Body

JAPAN – Sony Corporation has established Sony AI, a new organization that will advance fundamental research and development of artificial intelligence (AI). The new body will have offices globally including in Japan, the United States, as well as in Europe.

Sony AI will combine world class fundamental research and development with Sony’s unique technical assets, especially in imaging and sensing solutions, robotics and entertainment (including games, music and movies), driving transformation across all existing business domains and contributing to the creation of new business domains.

Sony AI will drive the research and development of AI in both physical and virtual space through multiple world-class flagship projects as well as other explorative research projects, including AI ethics. Initially, Sony AI will introduce three flagship projects in the areas of gaming, imaging and sensing, and gastronomy.

Samsung SDI to Supply EV Battery Cells for BMW

KOREA and GERMANY – Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. has signed a long-term deal to supply about 3.8 trillion Korean won (€2 billion) worth of EV battery cells to BMW Group from 2021 through 2031. This as the German car maker plans to roll out 25 electric vehicles by 2025.

Under the deal, Samsung SDI will supply its new line of EV battery cells, also known as the 5th generation cell technology, to power BMW’s next-generation EV models, which it will start to roll out this year.

The 5th generation battery cell will be powerful enough to allow EVs to drive up to 600km per one charge. The relationship between BMW and Samsung SDI dates back to 2009 when the German car maker selected the Korean conglomerate as the supplier for its EV battery cells. In 2013, Samsung also started supplying high performance 60Ah EV battery cells to power BMW’s EV i3 models and expanded its supply to power BMW’s hybrid i8 and plug-in hybrid cars.;

MediaTek, Intel Partner to Bring 5G Connectivity to PCs

TAIWAN and UNITED STATES – MediaTek Inc. and Intel Corporation have partnered to bring new 5G modems for personal computers. In the partnership, Intel will define a 5G solution specification while MediaTek will develop and deliver the actual 5G modems.

Dell and HP computers are expected to be among the first original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to deliver laptops powered by Intel and MediaTek’s 5G solution. The first rollout of devices is expected for early 2021.

MediaTek’s new 5G modem for personal computers is based in part on its Helio M70 5G modem it introduced earlier this year as part of its integrated 5G system-on-chip for the first wave of 5G flagship smartphones.;

SMK Receives Certification for its Dongguan Factory

JAPAN and CHINA – SMK Corporation has earned another nod from the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) after its manufacturing facility in China earned the IATF 16949:2016 certification. The said facility, which is located in Dongguan, is operated by SMK Electronics (Dongguan) Co., Ltd.

The Dongguan factory is the fourth IATF16949-certified manufacturing facility in the SMK Group, following the certifications it earned for its facilities in the Philippines, Mexico, and in Shenzhen, also in China. The IATF is an international standard for automotive quality management system.

SMK plans to further acquire the automotive certification for its Malaysia plant. SMK aims to strive to ensure quality level for auto industry and to expand further its car electronics business.