It’s no secret that EDA and IP companies have had to expand their coverage into the larger system market, thanks to changes in the semiconductor supply chain. Around 2000, the industry was very fragmented. Mobile-chip and IP vendors worked with handset makers, who then partnered with operating-system (OS) suppliers and finally network operators. The next 12 years resulted in various combinations of subsystem integration.To aid that integration, EDA and IP companies such as Cadence, Mentor, and Synopsys had to provide not only hardware but also software (drivers and firmware) to their customers. Now, semiconductor companies face additional challenges as the manufacturing and supply chain have evolved to meet the needs of a consumer-driven global market.With ever-decreasing time-to-market cycles for electronic products, companies in the chip, board, and package markets must expand their systems viewpoint beyond design to include the manufacturing and even the distribution process. … [Read more...] about Beyond Software: The Virtual-Machine Supply System
Supply chain masters
By Heinz Kundert, president, SEMI EuropeEuropean competitiveness in the semiconductor industry was the focus of the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium Europe 2012 executive conference recently held in Munich, Germany. Over 200 delegates from 20 countries gathered to hear about the strengths and issues of concern for chip manufacturing in Europe, including the implications of the industry-wide transition to 450mm manufacturing technologies and the important role that European equipment and materials companies play in the global market.The orientation toward R&D investment strategies occupied much of the discussion in the context of a looming deadline for significant European Union policy decisions. Soon, European Union (EU) officials will determine a series of high-tech investment plans to support Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) and establish public funding mechanisms for the next seven years within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Initiative. The resulting R&D support could … [Read more...] about European Policy Considerations for Supporting the 450mm Supply Chain and Existing Manufacturing
Apple on Wednesday announced that it would delay international shipments of its new iPad tablet computer. It blamed stronger-than-expected demand in the United States.Apple will now begin taking online pre-orders from international markets and announce international pricing May 10.This is the second time that international shipments of the iPad have been delayed in the product's short history; iMac shipments were also delayed, forcing Apple to apologize in December.Does Apple have a serious supply chain problem? Or are the delays -- rooted perhaps in a strong tendency to keep early production numbers conservative -- a savvy marketing strategy by a company that has mastered the art?"Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted, and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks," reads Apple's statement on the matter. "We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery … [Read more...] about iPad Delay: Is Apple’s Supply Chain Allergic to New iThings?
Amidst celebration of a record quarter, during which Apple brought in more than $46 billion in revenue, a stench of worker mistreatment at Foxconn factories in China, where Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad devices are assembled, arose out of the media ether.“In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history,” reads a recent report from The New York Times.“However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.”In the tainted … [Read more...] about Apple’s Tim Cook responds to reports of supply chain worker mistreatment
The supply chain management applications market grew by 3 percent to US$5.6 billion in 2005, according to a new report by AMR Research. It was the second year of growth for the sector, and it exceeded the firm's expectations of a 1 percent increase. 2006 promises to be even stronger, with AMR calling for a 7 percent increase as more and more companies refocus on SCM initiatives.At the same time, certain subsectors with the SC software category surged by double digits last year. These include inventory configuration, which posted a license growth rate of 35 percent, and supply chain network design license growth, which grew by 21 percent.The Software as a Service delivery model is the fastest-growing deployment method, AMR found, having increased at a rate of 16 percent.A number of factors account for these pockets of growth, explained report author and senior research analyst Mark Hillman."Spending is tempered by the fact that corporate supply chain organizational maturity is still … [Read more...] about Supply Chain Subsectors Driving Market Growth
I'm trying to stay excited about Apple's Sept. 10 iPhone-revealing media ceremony, but instead I'm settling into the notion that we'll have a gold iPhone and a bunch of plastic entry iPhone models in vague fugly colors.I should have been more worried when Apple's master of design, Jony Ive, showed off iOS 7 with a palette of pastels at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year, but I gave the company the benefit of the doubt: Surely soft and gentle tones aren't the future of Apple's innovation?At least the sexy new Mac Pro seems to remain black.Apple's dubious color choices are the least worrisome thing come September, however -- the leaky supply chain seems as if it's being run with reins made of stretchy, transparent cheesecloth. This year I've seen multiple photos of polycarbonate cases of an entry-level iPhone 5 featuring the same basic form factor as the current iPhone 5, just thicker. The colors? Wow. I've already gone off about that, but never mind the colors … [Read more...] about OPINION A Year Later, Apple’s Secret Supply Chain Seems Reined in With Cheesecloth
Despite their discovery of a direct link to the funding sources behind the infamous Storm Virus, IronPort Systems researchers are doubtful law enforcement will ever nail the perpetrators. Still, improving technologies may help to block its continuing spread.In its latest Security Trends Report, released Wednesday, Cisco-owned IronPort exposes links between malware originators and online pharmaceutical companies selling fake and unregulated drugs.IronPort announced its discovery of an online criminal ecosystem comprised of illegal pharmaceutical supply chain businesses that recruit botnets to send spam promoting their Web sites. By converting spam into high-value pharmaceutical purchases, these supply chain enterprises allow the monetization of spamming botnets, providing an enormous profit motivation for botnet attacks and continuous innovation.IronPort's study points to these fake drug traffickers as large sources of funding for Storm virus technology. Among the more insidious related … [Read more...] about The Storm Worm’s Elaborate Con Game
Debunking myths around Big Data should be a first step to making better business decisions for improving data analysis and data management capabilities in a company.As the volume and purpose of data and business intelligence has dramatically shifted, older notions and misconceptions -- what amount to myths about data infrastructure -- need to updated and corrected, too.Posing better questions about data can yield better answers for running data-driven businesses that can efficiently and repeatedly predict dynamic market trends and customer wants in real time.As the volume and types of data that are brought to bear on business analytics advance, the means to manage and exploit that sea of data need to be none too costly nor too complex for mid-size companies to master. There are better ways than employing traditional data architectures.In this podcast, Darin Bartik, executive director of products in the Information Management Group at Dell Software, identifies what works best in modern … [Read more...] about PODCAST Sorting Out the Big Data Myths
"Master data management" is a buzzword that is catching the fancy of CXOs. Many organizations have jumped onto the MDM bandwagon and are now at various levels of maturity when it comes to implementation of the MDM hub.So what is MDM? How does an MDM implementation happen?Master data management provides an overview of reference entities in an organization -- your customers, products, accounts or locations. Each of these reference entities is a master data domain and is usually referenced in your transactional process.The highest maturity level in an MDM is typically the strategic level, and this highly elusive state cannot be attained using a big-bang approach.The best recommendation, then, to achieve the "true strategic" level is to use a phase-by-phase approach, and many vendors have proposed a rapid deployment framework.Infosys has already used this approach for implementing an MDM hub; based on this reference implementation, I am now proposing a new phased-implementation approach: … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE R-A-CE: Fast Track to Master Data Management Implementation
At first, I was surprised to see the flurry of blog and comment traffic recently over Scott Forstall, the Apple "CEO-in-waiting," as portrayed by a new book about Apple coming out next week.I thought, What's wrong with current CEO Tim Cook? Is he going somewhere? Didn't he just get a bunch of new compensation packages worth hundreds of millions of dollars? And weren't some of these packages designed to keep top Apple management working at Apple?I thought, Where is this coming from? Why is this getting attention?And then it hit me. First, this appeared to be a carefully packaged promotional excerpt designed to catch attention and drum up excitement for the book, which is Adam Lashinsky's Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired - and Secretive - Company Really Works. The book comes on the heels of the widely popular authorized biography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.But why did it catch so much attention? Is Forstall that amazing? He's been on the stage at Apple's announcements before, … [Read more...] about OPINION What If Cook Really Isn’t a Product Guy?