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EL SEGUNDO, CA – Spurred by the popularity of Apple’s iPhone and user interface, global shipments of touch-screen display modules are expected to more than double from 2008 to 2012, according to iSuppli Corp.
The worldwide market for touch-screen modules will amount to 341 million units and $3.4 billion in 2008. iSuppli forecasts the market will grow to 833 million units by 2013, expanding at a CAGR of 19.5% from 2008. Global touch-screen module revenue is forecast to grow to $6.4 billion by 2013, rising at a CAGR of 13.7%.
“The total number of touch-screen technologies including those in production and emerging products has increased from 16 distinct approaches in mid 2007 to 20 different touch-screen technologies this month,” said Jennifer Colegrove, senior analyst for emerging displays at iSuppli. “New touch-screen technologies are being commercialized and 12 types of touch-screen technologies now have commenced mass production.”
But this market is still volatile because of numerous acquisitions occurring while touch-screen applications either flourish or begin to die out, Colegrove said.
Catalyzed by the iPhone, sales of touch-screens using projected capacitive technology are growing dramatically. Projected capacitive touch-screen technology is more durable and has better transmittance than the more commonly used resistive technology. More touch-screen manufacturers are developing and commercializing this type of screen, says iSuppli. The average pricing gap between the capacitive and resistive display types is dwindling, making the technology more attractive.
Projected capacitive technology grew at the fastest rate of all the touch technologies in 2007, with 10.5 million units shipped, for a value of $222 million.
iSuppli forecasts that projected capacitive touch screens will maintain high growth momentum and reach 123.5 million units and $1.3 billion in revenue by 2013.
Many providers of alternative touch-screen technologies have announced multi-touch capabilities, such as touch-screen designer and developer NextWindow’s optical imaging camera-based touch screens. Other examples include IR Touch Systems Technology’s infrared touch screen and Stantum (formerly JazzMutant), which has offered a multi-touch music controller since 2004.
Resistive is the most commonly used touch-screen technology in the marketplace, accounting for 91% of global units in 2007, according to the research firm. However, due to low ASPs for this technology, it accounted for only 52% of the total touch-screen market revenue.
Although it is not very durable and has poor transmissivity, resistive’s low price and high responsiveness to both finger and stylus touch has made it the No.-1 touch-screen technology in terms of unit shipments during the last few years.
However, the resistive market now is suffering a shortage of indium tin oxide (ITO) film used to make such screens due to production expansions among several major manufacturers and limited numbers of ITO film suppliers, says iSuppli.
With several large manufacturers expanding capacity, other types of transparent conductive materials such as conductive polymer, carbon nanotube and Antimony Tin Oxide (ATO) have an entry-to-market opportunity now. In fact, Fujitsu already has started using conductive polymer for some of its resistive-type touch screens.
Despite the total of eight distinct, commercialized touch-screen technologies – i.e. resistive, surface capacitive, projected capacitive, surface acoustic wave, infrared, bending wave, active digitizer and optical imaging – even more novel touch-screen approaches are being invented, including new touch technologies from N-trig, Sony, Sharp, TMD and Samsung. Several companies recently have announced plans to commence touch-screen manufacturing. Furthermore, several mergers and acquisitions have occurred, launching new participants into the market, says iSuppli. 
BETHLEHEM, PA – Former DEK executive Neil MacRaild has been named president of Ovation Products.
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ATLANTAUP Media Group next month will present a free webinar on optimizing system performance with FPGA/PCB co-design.
The webinar takes place June 3 at 2 pm Eastern.
Bob Potock, director of FPGA marketing for Mentor Graphics’ Systems Design Division, is the presenter.
The third in a series, this event will discuss elements of an effective FPGA on-board strategy, specific implementation options, and how to boost productivity and PCB quality. The webinar will address effective integration of multiple FPGAs on a PCB. It will focus on new FPGA/PCB concurrent design processes and tools said to significantly improve system performance, product costs and productivity.
UPMG is the parent company of Circuits Assembly and Printed Circuit Design & Fab.
To register, click here: FPGA Webinar.
LOS ANGELES – Nepcon East will take place in May 2009, one month later than this year's show, the event producers said today.
In announcing the new dates, Canon Communications said the shift came at the request of leading exhibitors that felt the show timing was too close to other industry events.
The show, one of the longest running electronics manufacturing events in the world, will take place at the Boston Convention Center.  
"I'm pleased that Canon was able to move Nepcon East to the late May time frame,” said Brian Duffey, president of Mydata Automation, one of the show’s largest exhibitors. “Nepcon East is a good show for us and the new timing will make participation possible for Mydata in 2009. It's great to see that Canon heard the industry concerns and moved proactively to make this happen." 
Nepcon East will co-locate with Design & Manufacturing New England and Assembly New England, giving it an estimated 375 exhibitors.
TAIPEI -- Hon Hai will enter the notebook contract manufacturing market next year, the Commercial Times reported.

Hon Hai, the world's largest ODM and the parent of Foxconn, primarily makes connectors, desktops, MP3 players, game consoles and cellphones.
SIOUX FALLS, SDRaven Industries today announced first-quarter sales of $75.2 million, up 29% year-over-year. Most of the increase was a result of strong sales from the Flow Controls division, the firm said. 
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SCHAUMBURG, IL – Rich Nottenburg, Motorola's chief strategy and technology officer, resigned from the beleaguered cellphone company, to “return to the New York area to be with his family and pursue other opportunities.” He had been chief strategy officer since 2004 and had run the company’s R&D programs since December.
The company promoted Dan Moloney, head of its home networks mobility business, to also oversee Motorola Labs, the company’s research group.
There is speculation that Nottenburg is the latest casualty of Carl Icahn, Motorola's largest private investor, who has been pushing for several changes within the company.

SAN JOSE – The Semiconductor Industry Association issued a statement thanking the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for approving funding increases for science and engineering research in the supplemental appropriations bill before Congress this week.

“Science and engineering research is the backbone of American innovation, and we thank leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee for underscoring this message by appropriating increases in research funding,” said SIA president George Scalise. “Funding for basic research is one of the three components of the U.S. innovation agenda and is critical to ensuring America’s continued innovation and technological leadership in the global economy.”
The fiscal 2008 consolidated appropriations bill reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee last Thursday includes $300 million for basic research in the physical sciences and engineering, one important component of the U.S. innovation agenda. The bill appropriates $200 million for science and engineering research and math and science education, at the National Science Foundation, and $100 million for science and engineering research at the Office of Science in the Department of Energy.
“We are encouraged by this important step toward boosting U.S. competitiveness and urge both chambers of Congress to include these critical research appropriations in the final bill. In addition, we urge the Administration and the Congress to take meaningful action on remaining components of the Innovation Agenda, including reforming the immigration system for highly educated workers and extending an enhanced R&D tax credit,” said SIA chairman Willem Roelandts.
“Other nations have already adopted the components of an innovation agenda that our nation continues to talk about. Congress and the Administration now have an opportunity to fulfill a bipartisan commitment they made to American innovators,” Scalise said.
SINGAPORE – EMS provider Flextronics announced Thomas J. Smach is resigning as chief financial officer to pursue other interests outside the company, effective June 30.
Paul Read, who most recently served as executive vice president of finance for worldwide operations at the firm, will be CFO upon Smach's departure.

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TORONTO – For the first quarter 2008, Adeptron Technologies Corp. reported a loss of $616,000, compared to net income of $163,000 for the same period last year.

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HIALEAH, FL – Contract manufacturer Simclar Inc. reported first-quarter pre-tax income was $59,101, down almost 94% compared to the first quarter 2007.
While this was partly a result of the decrease in sales, the most significant factor was the inclusion in the 2008 results of costs of approximately $797,000 in relation to the closure of Simclar’s North Carolina facility, the firm said.
First-quarter net income was $40,485, down nearly 94% year-over-year as well.
Revenue was $29.9 million, down 4.7% year-over-year. The decrease was a result of the postponement of the introduction of a key customer's new programs until later in the year.
"With the closure now complete and the transferred business now fully integrated into our Mexican facility, we look forward to the future benefits of improved profitability and cash flow. Although it is evident that the economic slowdown has affected some of our key customers, our backlog at the end of the quarter was $28 million, an increase of 6% since the end of 2007, and our forecasts indicate a stronger second quarter," said chairman Sam Russell.
CORK, IRELAND – An electronics firm that has been operating in Cork for 30 years has collapsed, terminating 130 employees this week.
A receiver was appointed to Hormann Electronics last week as a result of financial issues.
Until the end of this month, 20 people will stay on payroll, the company said.

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