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TOKYO – Japan produced 1.67 million yen worth of electronics in February, up 0.5% over last year, the Japan Electronics Industries Technologies Association reported.
 
March exports were down 13.3% to 1.18 million yen, and are down 9% for the year. Components were down 14.6%, while consumer electronics were up 2%. Components make up more than 70% of the value of Japan’s electronics exports.
 
Japan imported 702,714 million yen worth of electronics products in February, the latest month for which data are available, down 5.3% from 2007. Consumer electronics imports were up 107%, but industrial electronics, computers and components were down 9.4%, 8.5% and 10%, respectively.
 
For the year, Japan has imported 1.49 million yen worth of electronics, down 2.6%. Overall production is up 1.1%.
 
JEITA is one of Japan’s largest electronic associations, with 525 member companies.
CHENGDU, CHINA -- Major electronics manufacturers escaped damage from the massive earthquake that rocked central China earlier this week. Among the major companies issuing statements, it appears the worst of the damage amounted to a few fallen ceiling tiles.

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NEWARK, CA -- Phoenix X-Ray will open a West Coast demo and customer service center in Newark next month, the company announced.
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LONDONTT Electronics said its first-half results will be down against last year as result of slow economic conditions in North America. The company left its 2008 full-year guidance unchanged.
 
The company, which supplies EMS services and sensors, said in a published statement, “Although results for the first half will be lower than in the corresponding period in 2007, the board's outlook for the current financial year as a whole is unchanged from that communicated in our recent preliminary results announcement."
 
Overall, the company sees similar market conditions to 2007, North America notwithstanding.
 
The firm said it would continue to move production offshore, and would report losses in the first-half brought on by one-time transfer and reorganization costs.
BOSTON – Global first-quarter service provider switching and routing equipment sales grew to $3.1 billion overall, a 25% increase compared to a year ago, research firm Ovum RHK said.
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SAN JOSE, CA – The worldwide IC packaging market reached $30.5 billion in 2007, reports Electronic Trend Publications. Some 151 billion ICs were produced during the year.
 
Modest growth should continue in 2008 and 2009, before accelerating in 2010, the firm says.
 
ETP found contract-packaging companies assembled nearly 49 billion ICs last year, or one-third of all components – for a value of $12.1 billion. The firm estimates the worldwide semiconductor output will grow to 261 billion ICs in 2012, a value of $47 billion. 
 
FRAMINGHAM, MA – The stagnant economy will drive overall IT spending growth down to 4% in the US this year, compared to last year's growth of 6%, IDC says. Read more ...
MANASSAS, VAZestron America named Neil Murphy Northeast sales manager, responsible for products and services. 
 
Murphy has a bachelor’s from the University of Massachusetts, and 28 years of sales and technical experience in the electronics and semiconductor manufacturing industry.
 
FRAMINGHAM, MA – The worldwide EMS industry grew 17% in 2007 to $268.1 billion, according to research firm IDC. ODMs grew 23%, yet remain a smaller share of the outsourced market, as the EMS sector accounted for more than 60%.

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TUCSON, AZ – The ESD Association’s 30th annual symposium will take place in Tucson, AZ, Sept. 7 to 12. 

The EOS/ESD Symposium consists of tutorials, technical sessions, workshops, and exhibits. Topics of 29 tutorials will include ESD basics for program manager; ESD on-chip protection in advanced and RF technologies; air ionization; EOS/ESD failure models and mechanisms; in-plant ESD survey and evaluation measurements, and CDM design and characterization.
 
A two-day S20.20 seminar on developing and implementing an ESD control program also will be offered.

Technical sessions will include more than 40 papers that will address device testing, ESD-RF design considerations, factory/materials, system level testing, and other ESD-related topics.
 
Ten interactive workshops will include ESD control and design for extremely sensitive (Class0) devices; ESD protection targets; automated equipment and grounding issues, and protecting high frequency circuits.
 
For more information, visit www.esda.org/symposia.html.
TOKYO – Consumer electronics makers Victor Co. of Japan (JVC) and Kenwood Corp. plan to merge under one holding company on Oct. 1 to curb a pricing war. Under terms of the agreement, investors will receive two shares in the holding company for each JVC share held, and one share for each Kenwood share held. No other financial terms were disclosed.
 
JVC president Kunihiko Sato will become president of the new company, called JVC Kenwood Holdings.
 
The decision to unite follows an alliance between the two companies last summer.
 
JVC, an affiliate of Panasonic, made Japan's first TV and pioneered VHS, but lately has been struggling. Last month, JVC said it would halt domestic production of flat-panel TVs.
 
The merged firm will focus on electronics for auto, home/mobile, professional-use wireless systems and entertainment.
 
The companies had combined operating profits of 9.6 billion yen and revenues of 823.7 billion yen in the fiscal year ended in March.
 
($1 = 103.64 yen)

ST. LOUISNorthrop Grumman has awarded EMS provider LaBarge Inc. a $12 million contract to provide electronic subsystems for the MESA (Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array) radar system.
 
The MESA radar is an airborne surveillance radar system used in military aircraft with airborne early warning and control platforms; it currently flies in Boeing’s 737-700 series aircraft.
 
Production is expected to run through mid 2009 at LaBarge's Huntsville, AK, facility.

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