Noel's Feed
Mar 13, 2014

Texas Instruments wants to hand more cash back to shareholders

SAN FRANCISCO, March 13 (Reuters) – Texas Instruments
said on Thursday it plans to return more cash to
shareholders, expanding a capital management policy that has
helped boost the chipmaker’s stock to its highest level in more
than a decade.

Improved manufacturing efficiencies mean Texas Instruments
will now be able to turn between 20 percent and 30 percent of
its revenue into free cash flow, Chief Financial Officer Kevin
March said on a conference call with analysts.

Mar 10, 2014

Freescale loss in Malaysia tragedy leads to travel policy questions

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The loss of 20 key Freescale Semiconductor (FSL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) employees in the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner on Saturday raises questions about whether the company should have allowed so many of them to board the same plane, but security experts said that at big corporations it’s hard to avoid.

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines’ (MASM.KL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Flight MH370 about an hour into its journey to Beijing remained a mystery on Monday as a search orchestrated by 10 countries failed to find traces of the plane or the 239 people on board.

Mar 9, 2014

Loss of employees on Malaysia flight a blow, U.S. chipmaker says

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Employees of Freescale Semiconductor who were on a Malaysia Airlines flight presumed to have crashed were doing sophisticated work at the U.S. chipmaker, a company spokesman said on Sunday.

The 20 Freescale employees, among 239 people on flight MH370, were mostly engineers and other experts working to make the company’s chip facilities in Tianjin, China, and Kuala Lumpur more efficient, said Mitch Haws, vice president, global communications and investor relations.

Mar 6, 2014

Growth in global tablet shipments to slow in 2014 – research firm

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tablet shipments will increase this year but at a much slower pace than in 2013 as consumers remain content with the devices they already own, market research firm IDC said on Thursday.

Global tablet shipments are set to expand 19.4 percent this year, compared to 51.6 percent in 2013, it said.

Mar 5, 2014

Winklevoss twins use bitcoins to book space trip

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 (Reuters) – You can’t spend bitcoins
at or to pay your mortgage but, as the
Winklevoss twins showed on Wednesday, you can use the digital
currency to book a trip into suborbital space.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who famously accused Facebook
Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea, said
they used bitcoins to buy tickets for a high-altitude voyage on
billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercial
spaceflight venture.

Mar 4, 2014

Qualcomm’s new CEO says smartphone innovation still strong

SAN FRANCISCO, March 4 (Reuters) – Steve Mollenkopf, the new
chief executive of Qualcomm, said on Tuesday that the
mobile chipmaker is developing technologies that will drive
continued demand for smartphones even as others worry that the
smartphone market’s best days are behind it.

Mollenkopf, 45, who was previously chief operating officer,
officially took over as chief executive officer at the company’s
annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. He was named in December
to replace Paul James, the son of a Qualcomm co-founder.

Feb 28, 2014

Bitcoin owners find safe place for digital currency: on paper

SAN FRANCISCO/VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Some savvy bitcoin investors have a solution to cyber-thieves and instability shaking online exchanges: they print out their virtual savings and hide them in the real world.

The shuttering this week of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and fears that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the virtual currency have been lost or stolen are pushing investors to tighten their security.

Feb 26, 2014

Global smartphone growth to fall sharply in 2014 – IDC

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Growth in global
smartphone shipments will fall sharply this year and keep
slowing through 2018, with average prices dropping significantly
as demand shifts to China and other developing countries,
according to market research firm IDC.

Annual growth in 2014 is expected to be 19.3 percent and
then decline to 6.2 percent in 2018, IDC said in a report on
Wednesday. That follows a 39.2 percent jump in 2013 when
smartphone shipments topped 1 billion units for the first time.

Feb 23, 2014

Chipmakers dream of China as they head to Spain’s smartphone gala

SAN FRANCISCO/BARCELONA (Reuters) – The world’s biggest mobile brands will jostle for the spotlight at the premier mobile industry event this week in Spain, but away from the glitzy displays chipmakers will be preoccupied with China, the largest mobile market on the planet.

From Qualcomm and Intel to MediaTek, Marvell and Broadcom, the suppliers of the crucial components that power smartphone applications and drive high-speed wireless connections are scrambling to capitalize on opportunities taking shape as Chinese brands and telecoms carriers such as China Mobile gear up for 4G LTE, or Long-Term Evolution.

Feb 18, 2014

Intel aims to boost corporate demand with high-end server chip

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Intel Corp
unveiled a new high-end processor aimed at boosting lackluster
demand from corporate customers like banks and retailers.

With Intel’s core market of personal computers shrinking,
the chipmaker’s server business is becoming increasingly
important. But its growth has recently fallen short of

    • About Noel

      "Based in Thomson Reuters' San Francisco news bureau, Noel Randewich covers the semiconductor industry and the growing use of microchips in everything from smartphones to home energy management. Prior to his San Francisco posting, Mr Randewich spent a decade covering emerging markets news in Mexico City."
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