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BEIJING -- A group of leading Chinese consumer electronics companies today announced the formation of an industry consortium whose mission is to build and drive the adoption of the next-generation interactive television and home CE networking interface known as DIVA, or Digital Interface for Video and Audio. The DIVA Consortium's charter members (called the Promoters Group) include major CE and home appliance manufacturers such as Sichuan Chang Hong Electric, Qingdao Haier, Hisense Electric, Konka, Nanjing Panda Electronics, Skyworth Group, SVA Information, TCL, and Synerchip.

The Promoters Group will demonstrate the DIVA bi-directional technology next month and expects to release the specification by the end of 2008.

In addition to the transmission of uncompressed video and audio data, DIVA technology embeds a reliable, high-speed bi-directional data transmission channel to allow the consumer to locate, connect and control various CE devices from a DIVA-enabled digital television (DTV). The DIVA interface purports to help streamline and simplify connections among various electronics devices, offering ease of connection and use. Leveraging a single interface, which integrates multimedia and data communication, the DIVA standard promises to upgrade home networks to a new level, making DTVs the center of the home entertainment network.

Today's digital interfaces are point-to-point connections that are limited in their ability to accommodate a network of devices. DIVA reportedly has the ability to connect multiple source devices to multiple displays, to monitor and control various digital home appliances from the TV in the living room, and to organize various personal and mobile entertainment devices in the same home network.

The China Video Industry Association has agreed to fully support the DIVA standard.


  

DUBLIN -- Printed electronics will be a $300 billion market within 20 years, claims a recent research report, with the largest segment printed transistors and memory.

The technology, says Research and Markets, will drive lighting, displays, signage, electronics, medical disposables, smart packaging and smart labels, among other products. The firm claims more than 150 organizations across the chemical, plastics, printing, electronics and other industries are developing printed transistors and memory, with the first products being sold this year.

NEWARK, NY -- IEC Electronics reported second-quarter revenue of $11.9 million and net profit of $673,000. For the quarter ended March 28, revenues climbed 9% and earnings were up 11.6% over last year. (A year ago, pro forma earnings included a one-time gain; without it, net profits would have been $314,000.)

For the quarter, gross margin improved to 11.6%, from 10.3% sequentially, due to changes in product mix and improved manufacturing efficiency.

In a press release, chairman and CEO Barry Gilbert said, “We had a solid quarter. The current economic slowdown is challenging and some of our customers are experiencing reduced revenue growth in their markets. While we expect some of the demand from these customers to be lower than last year, other customers are substantially increasing their orders with us, and their prospects appear to be bright for the balance of fiscal 2008.” 

SAN JOSE -- Flextronics, the world's second-largest EMS company, reported record fourth quarter net sales on the integration of competitor Solectron.

For the period ended March 31, sales rose 66% year-over-year to $7.8 billion, while operating profit increased 86% to $263 million, and adjusted net income jumped 76% to $215 million. Including one-time charges, the company took a loss of $93 million, down from $121 million last year.

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MOSCOW – JSC Sitronics reported a 7.9% year-on-year gain in sales, to $605 million, but fell to a net loss of $46.1 million, from earnings of $24.3 million, for the period ended Dec. 31.

For the year, Sitronics reported revenues of $1.62 billion and a net loss of $233.9 million. Cash from operating activities rose $147.1 million for the year.

Sitronics makes telecommunications, IT and other electronics products, and suppliers EMS services.

Sitronics EMS reported sales of $69.3 million for the year. Last year, the company merged its Consumer Electronics and Electronics Manufacturing Services units.

Sitronics forecasted growth of more than 15% in 2008.
TAIPEI -- Wistron Corp. will buy Lite-On Technology's monitor business for $300 million in cash, the company said Tuesday.

The deal covers inventory, equipment, IP and personnel, but no manufacturing plants.

Wistron said more acquisitions would be in the offing and the firm has plans to move some manufacturing to Vietnam.


SIEVI, FINLAND – EMS provider Scanfil reported first-quarter profits rose 16% from a year ago to 3.6 million euros despite a 4% drop in sales to 50 million euros. Operating profit rose 31% to 4.7 million euros.

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KYOTO, JAPAN - The Omron Group reported fiscal 2007 net sales of 763 million yen, up 5.4% over last year. Net income rose 10.7% to 42.4 million yen.

Sales were boosted by the weaker yen and business acquisitions.

Operating income rose 5.2% to 65.3 million yen. EBITA from continuing operations fel 0.2% to 64.1 million yen.

Omron makes factory automation equipment and electronics and automotive components.

MANKATO, MN -- EMS firm Winland Electronics has formally promoted Thomas de Petra to chief executive and president.


He had been interim CEO and president since the retirement of longtime CEO Lorin Krueger last January. de Petra has also been Winland's chairman since 2006 and a director since 1994.



TOKYO -- Matsushita reported record profits of 281.9 billion yen ($2.7 billion) for its fiscal year ended in March, up about 30% from last year, on a 0.4% uptick in sales, to 9.07 trillion yen ($86.9 billion).

Operating profit rose 13% to 519.5 billion yen ($4.98 billion).

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MAJORCA, SPAIN – Sales of consumer electronics at retail stores will rise 8% this year, down from 14% in each of the past two years, says a leading analyst.

Jürgen Boyny, a consumer electronics analyst for market research institute GfK, said mobile phones will make up about 25% of consumer electronics sales this year, he said, followed by flat-panel TVs (19%), PCs (17%) and digital cameras (6%).

 

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GREENVILLE, SC – Component maker Kemet Corp. reported its executive vice president and chief financial officer David Gable is resigning.
 
Gable leaves the company to pursue other avenues, Kemet said.
 
The company announced a restructuring plan in January that will dissolve 120 jobs in the U.S. and 250 jobs in Mexico, with some work moving to China. The company said the job cuts would save about $16 million annually, with a one-time cost of about $7 million.
 
Gable will remain with the company during the search for a successor.

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