Changing business models and emerging technology/market segments that could impact your business
With venture capital backing for silicon startups as scarce as hens’ teeth and small companies being snapped up for a song, some semiconductor entrepreneurs are overhauling the business model for new launches. Gone are the days when chip startups doggedly pursued design wins from bigname OEMs.
A lively roundup of what we've heard on the street and what it means for you
Surveying the landscape of both critical and non-traditional industry segments
Along the path to terabit Ethernet, different travelers are feeling the pain of the journey at different wayposts. Those areas of difficulty represent a wide range of product opportunities. Internetclass data center managers at companies such as Facebook are calling for 100Gbit Ethernet now and a terabit version as soon as 2013. That’s because some of their operations already swamp their 10Gbit Ethernet switches.
Tracking the hottest industry startups and gauging their chances for success
As it preps for the notoriously difficult seed and Series A funding rounds, earlystage startup Silicon Basis Ltd. is pitching a novel FPGA approach that its CEO claims can deliver logic up to eight times denser than conventional FPGAs at the same process node while reducing power consumption by a factor of four.
The climate for early-stage venture investment remains frozen. Ultimately, that correlates to what’s happening in the capital markets. With the IPO window still shut and few corporate funds with cash willing to make acquisitions at reasonable valuations, exits for investors in startups have been few and far between. Exits are the lubricants in the venture capital business model that make the whole thing work; in their absence, the engine sputters.
Intel has hit on a way to foster tech entrepreneurship: put it in the syllabus. It’s no secret that the chip giant invests large sums in startups through its venture capital arm, Intel Capital, or that it funds research institutes and collaborative R&D. What is less well known is that Intel (and a smattering of other industry titans, such as IBM) also nudges academic curricula in directions it favors — influencing not just technology course offerings, but also programs in business and entrepreneurship.
Crunching the numbers and discerning trends on varied segments of the global electronics industry
Apple has taken some hits in the South Korean press for reportedly using its commanding purchasing presence to manipulate NAND flash prices. But the practice is legal, if on the dark side of ethical, and Apple isn’t alone in plying it. Reports surfaced late last year that Apple had been placing large advance orders for NAND with companies like Hynix, Samsung and Toshiba and then buying fewer parts than it had indicated it would need. Left with stock on the shelves, memory makers that had churned out parts to fill the anticipated requirement were forced to offer them on the open market at depressed prices.
Plenty of component makers covet a slice of Apple’s hot platforms, but for now, relative to its biggest competitors, Apple’s products still generate more buzz than volume opportunities. Indeed, the company’s component needs trail the demand for parts at some competitors by several multiples, according to an iSuppli report on component spending in the wireless and computing sectors.
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