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来源:LM317 Electronics Components编辑:Tempo Communications时间:2021-06-14 03:51:06

LONDON — EDA company ChipVision Design Systems AG (Oldenburg, Germany), has raised 5 million euro (about $6.3 million) in Series B funding, according to Target Partners GmbH, one of the investors.

Citing a weak pricing environment and a lackluster iPod introduction from Apple Computer Inc., Gartner Inc. last week slashed its 2006 NAND flash memory growth forecast by a whopping $1.5 billion, and predicted a sluggish market for 2007.

The NAND flash market, which has been in the oversupply” mode since the beginning of this year, is fast becoming a mere commodity. I would call it a classical commodity storm for NAND,” said Gartner analyst Joseph Unsworth. There is too much capacity coming online, and we've hit a soft patch in demand.”

ERC552K2600FEEA500_Vishay Dale

NAND flash vendors, not surprisingly, were upbeat about the current climate. ''I don't think we're in an oversupply [mode],'' said Bill Lauer, director of marketing at Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Ida.). ''If [NAND] prices fall, then demand will pick up.''

The demand picture remains bright, he said. ''The iPod phenomena has slowed somewhat, but there are still a ton of untapped applications for NAND,'' Lauer said. Besides the MP3 market, hybrid drives, solid-state drives and other products are expected to drive NAND growth, he said.

Last month, Micron missed Wall Street's estimates in the quarter, due in part to falling margins. At the time, the company said its capital spending will hit $4 billion in fiscal 2007, up from $1.6 billion from the previous year. Much of the spending is targeted for IM Flash Technologies LLC, a joint NAND manufacturing venture between Micron and Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.)

ERC552K2600FEEA500_Vishay Dale

Others are also pouring billions of dollars into new fabs, including the joint NAND venture between Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo) and SanDisk Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.). In August, the companies broke ground on its Fab 4 plant, a 300-mm wafer fab in Yokkaichi, Japan. Investment in Fab 4 is expected to reach about 300 billion yen ($2.6 billion).

''The fundamentals of the market remain strong,'' said Scott Nelson, director of memory marketing for Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (Irvine, Calif.). ''The most significant factor contributing to the decline in the overall market is ASP erosion.''

ERC552K2600FEEA500_Vishay Dale

Last week, Toshiba increased its forecast for the first half of its fiscal year despite a slight decline in its NAND business. Toshiba reported a 26 percent rise in first-half profit, due to strong earnings in its nuclear power business.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Seoul), the world's largest NAND flash supplier, last week posted strong results in the third quarter despite a lull in NAND. ''The NAND market is stabilizing with slower price declines,'' according to Samsung officials in a conference call.

Front and center in the fight is an initiative on November's ballot in California, where Proposition 87 would levy a fee on petroleum to help fund alternative energy technologies.

This is probably going to be the most expensive race in the country this year,” said Vinod Khosla, one of Silicon Valley's best-known venture capitalists, speaking at the Emerging Ventures conference here last week. He estimated oil companies have already spent $67 million attacking the measure and could spend $80 million to $100 million before the November vote.

A little more than half the Proposition 87 fees would be applied to lowering oil consumption and 30 percent to university R&D. Clean tech R&D has been declining in this country for 30 years,” he said. We absolutely need to have more R&D in this area.”

On a separate front, the government could give a huge push for solar energy if it mandated real-time pricing for electricity, said Barney Rush, chief executive for H2Gen Innovations (Alexandria, Va.), a startup developing hydrogen generation equipment for utilities. Such pricing would show consumers they could save money by using solar instead of utility power at home during afternoon hours when utility demand peaks, Rush said.

Such situations have made legislation a major focus for green tech investors and entrepreneurs, said Bill Joy, former chief scientist of Sun Microsystems turned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

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