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WASHINGTON – The U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to investigate at least 30 electronics companies for allegedly infringing patents covering certain short-wavelength LEDs, laser diodes and products that contain them.

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HERNDON, VAiNEMI has scheduled three regional workshops to give industry the opportunity to review work in progress on the 2009 Roadmap.
 
The North American workshop is scheduled for May 14 at iNEMI headquarters in Herndon, VA. The agenda includes Technology Working Groups presentations and chapter draft discussions.
 
The European workshop will be held on June 18 at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium, and the Asian workshop is scheduled for July 28 in Shanghai.
 
The 2009 Roadmap covers 22 technology, infrastructure and business process areas. New are sections on solid-state illumination, RFID item-level tag and photovoltaics.
 
The North American registration deadline is May 8. For more information, visit www.inemi.org/cms/calendar/2009_RM_NA_May08.html.
 
Further information about the Asian and European workshops will be provided on the iNEMI Website as plans are finalized.  
MANKATO, MN -- Winland Electronics reported fourth-quarter net sales fell 18.8% to $7.5 million versus last year on lower demand from its top customer. Net income fell 86% to $7,000.

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TAIPEI -- Microsoft and H-P will establish a joint technology center in Taiwan, focused on investing in advanced software, hardware and improving technical support to its Taiwan partners. About 80% of the world's PCs are built in Taiwan.

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FRANKFURT -- Siemens AG plans to divest its Electronic Assembly Systems unit by the end of September, the company said today. The unit employs about 2,100 workers and had reported sales in the "medium three-digit million euros range," a German newspaper reported. Read more ...
ST. LOUIS -- LaBarge Inc. today raised its earnings guidance, announcing that it expects financial results for its fiscal third quarter will significantly top those of the last quarter and last year.
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STRATHAM, NH – ITW has acquired Vitronics-Soltec from Francisco Partners for an undisclosed sum. The deal creates the world’s largest supplier, in revenues, of wave soldering equipment.

ITW plans to let the two units operate independent of each other, although there is speculation that arrangement won't last for long.

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SAN JOSE – North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted a 90-day average of $1.23 billion in orders in February, up 8% from the revised January figure and down 12% year-over-year.

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SHANGHAI -- The electronics industry descended on Shanghai this week as four major exhibitions staged a convergence of programs.

The week began March 17 with the opening of the 11th annual Electronic Circuit World Convention. This is the first time this conference has been hosted in Asia.  

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EL SEGUNDO, CA — Surprising fourth-quarter weakness in the memory chip market took the wind out of the sails of the global semiconductor market, causing 2007 growth to fall short of expectations, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global semiconductor market revenue grew 3.3% in 2007, iSuppli says, lower than the firm's 4.1% estimate in November.

For the quarter, semi revenues fell 0.5%, but were up 2.4% excluding memory.

Worldwide DRAM revenue fell 19.1% sequentially in the fourth quarter, below the November estimate of a 4.7% drop. NAND flash revenue declined 3.9%. Overall, memory chip revenue fell 11% sequentially.

“This was a complete role reversal for memory semiconductors compared to 2006,” said Dale Ford, senior vice president, market intelligence, for iSuppli. “During the second half of 2006, memory IC revenues helped to prop up the growth of the overall semiconductor industry. In 2007, the poor results for memory chips restrained overall market growth.”

Application-specific standard products and ASICs enjoyed the strongest performance of all semiconductor segments in 2007 with growth of 12.9%. Sony and Toshiba were the key drivers of growth in this segment due to sales of semiconductors for the PS3 game console. Optical semiconductors were up 7.4%, and discretes grew 4.2%. Overall, microprocessor revenue grew 2.1%.
SHANGHAI -- As first reported by Circuits Assembly, IPC and Messe Munchen International have inked a deal under which the two groups will cooperate on an assembly trade show China. No financial terms were disclosed. The announcement was made yesterday by MMI managing director Klaus Dittrich.

The show, Electronica and Productronica China 2009, will be co-located next year with the CPCA Show and Semicon China at the Shanghai International Exhibition Center in Pudong.

The four shows expect to attract 3,000 exhibitors across 130,000 sq. ft. of display space and draw 100,000 attendees.  Read more ...
SAN JOSE — The U.S. Display Consortium today announced a one-year development contract with Optomec to further develop its M3D Aerosol Jet System for printed electronics. The $750,000 cost-shared award will provide Optomec the opportunity to extend its proprietary additive manufacturing technology to a level that has not been possible before through more traditional printing techniques. 

The USDC is a public/private partnership chartered with developing the flexible electronics and displays industry supply chain.

Under the agreement, Optomec will focus on developing a printing platform for next-generation devices, such as high-density circuitry for printable electronics, displays and photovoltaic cells.  The new printing system will use a multi-nozzle aerosol jet deposition that eliminates the need for screens or stencils required by traditional contact deposition processes, while enabling much finer resolution (4 µm widths). The additive process is said to reduce environmental impact by minimizing waste and chemicals that are part of traditional manufacturing processes. 

“The USDC project will build on Optomec's existing printed electronics solution, which is already gaining traction in the production of more efficient solar cells, embedded sensors and life science devices,” said Optomec president David Ramahi.  

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