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Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (TSEM)

  • Wed, Nov. 18, 10:37 AM
    • TowerJazz (NASDAQ:TSEM) is buying analog/mixed-signal chipmaker Maxim's (MXIM +1.3%) San Antonio, TX wafer fab for $40M in stock. The deal is expected to close in January.
    • The fab manufactures chips on 8" (200mm) wafers, supports analog process nodes of 130nm and higher, and will boost TowerJazz's total production capacity to 28K wafers/month.
    • As part of the deal, Maxim (already a TowerJazz client) has struck a long-term supply deal with TowerJazz related to the San Antonio facility. TowerJazz plans to "quickly qualify its core specialty technologies, including its advanced Radio-Frequency Silicon-on-Insulator (RF-SOI) offering," for use at the fab.
    • TowerJazz's shares have hit $16 for the first time since June. The 52-week high is $18.29.
    | Wed, Nov. 18, 10:37 AM | 13 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 1:41 PM
    • The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +2.4%) has rallied to new highs after NXP announced it's buying microcontroller, network processor, and RF amplifier supplier Freescale for $16.7B after factoring net cash/debt, the biggest deal yet in the chip industry's ongoing consolidation wave. The Nasdaq is up 0.5%.
    • Microcontroller makers are among today's big gainers - NXP/Freescale assert they'll be the world's biggest supplier of general-purpose microcontrollers. Standouts include Atmel (ATML +6%) and STMicroelectronics (STM +3.4%), as well as Cypress (CY +3.1%) and merger partner Spansion (CODE +3.2%).
    • Other notable gainers include InvenSense (INVN +3.4%), Ambarella (AMBA +6.3%), Audience (ADNC +5.5%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +3.7%), Cavium (CAVM +4.2%), ON Semi (ONNN +3.5%), Silicon Motion (SIMO +3.5%), InPhi (IPHI +3.8%), and TowerJazz (TSEM +5.5%).
    • With the Mobile World Congress as a backdrop, InvenSense has unveiled a 6-axis SoC that pairs a gyroscope and acceleromoter with a motion processor and related software/algorithms; the company claims 25%-50% better power consumption than rival solutions. It has also launched a software library meant to "provide sensor-assisted positioning in places where GNSS alone cannot provide desired accuracy."
    • Cavium has announced its OCTEON Fusion-M processor line for mobile base stations. The chips support up to 16 custom CPU cores running at 2GHz., and are declared by Cavium to enable "Smart Radio Heads" that can adapt to network conditions. They begin sampling in Q3.
    • Previously: Chip product launches: ARMH, EZCH, BRCM, NXPI, XLNX, IDTI
    | Mon, Mar. 2, 1:41 PM | 3 Comments
  • Jun. 20, 2014, 6:57 PM
    • The Nikkei reports Panasonic (PCRFY) plans to sell 60% of a 120K-sq. meter Japanese TV plant to Daiwa House Industry by next spring for ~¥10B ($97M).
    • Panasonic is also thinking of selling the rest of the plant to other buyers. No TVs have been made there in 2012, but the facility is still used for maintenance work (among other things).
    • The struggling electronics OEM has already been busy restructuring. It recently transferred 3 chip manufacturing plants to a 49/51 JV owned in partnership with Israel's TowerJazz (TSEM). Panasonic received 870K TowerJazz shares (current value of $8.2M) in return.
    • The efforts are yielding results: Panasonic expects to end the current fiscal year (ends March '15) with no net debt for the first time in 6 years.
    | Jun. 20, 2014, 6:57 PM | 5 Comments
  • Dec. 4, 2013, 9:35 AM
    • TowerJazz's (TSEM) CEO Russell Ellwanger said of media reports claiming the company would buy 3 chip plants from Panasonic (PCRFY) for ~$100M, "I am not confirming about Panasonic but Panasonic is a very, very good semiconductor company with good technologies."
    • Ellwanger noted that TowerJazz is keen to find acquisitions that increase capacity through well-run factories, but that "Any type of acquisition we look at would be a few million dollars of cash or equity but nothing more than that."
    • The remarks may simply be the drawing of a line in the sand as TowerJazz negotiates with Panasonic, which has long made its intention to divest large parts of its semi operations clear.
    | Dec. 4, 2013, 9:35 AM | Comment!
Company Description
Tower Semiconductor Ltd is a pure-play independent specialty foundry dedicated to the manufacture of semiconductors. It manufactures ICs on silicon wafers, using the customer's proprietary circuit designs.