Mon, Jan. 26, 5:35 PM
Fri, Jan. 23, 9:26 AM
- Tezzaron Semiconductor, a maker of 3D memory ICs and SoC memory blocks, has obtained a license for Rambus' (NASDAQ:RMBS) ReRAM IP, along with related specs and validation suites.
- Tezzaron plans to "build ReRAM into storage-class 3D memory devices for military, aerospace and commercial applications," as well as to "implement ReRAM in an assortment of SoCs, FPGAs and processors." The company claims its Novati Technologies unit can use ReRAM to "add hundreds of megabytes of storage to a logic device manufactured in a standard commercial fab." The first Tezzaron ReRAM products are due in 2016.
- Though still in development-stage, ReRAM's proponents have declared it to be a potential flash memory replacement (more than a few would-be replacements have come and gone over the years), arguing the technology can deliver better performance and endurance, lower power draw, and a simpler chip architecture than NAND flash. Startup Crossbar Technologies has its own ReRAM development efforts.
- Rambus, which bought ReRAM developer Unity Semiconductor in 2012, has also struck licensing deals for the technology with Micron (NASDAQ:MU) and Freescale (NYSE:FSL) - Micron and Sony researchers showed off a 16Gb ReRam chip last February. Rambus' Q4 results arrive on Monday.
Thu, Jan. 8, 4:18 PM
- Hit hard on Tuesday amid a market rout, chip stocks have more than made up for it today: The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +3%) handily exceeded the Nasdaq's 1.8% gain. The index posted a 1% gain yesterday.
- Micron (MU +4.9%) has been one of the standouts, more than recouping yesterday's post-earnings losses. Ditto Freescale (FSL +9.2%), which benefited from a Deutsche target hike, and Marvell, which got a lift from an MKM note. Others: NVDA +3.8%. NXPI +4.7%. AVGO +5%. SWKS +4.5%. CY +6.1%. CODE +5.9%. CAVM +5.2%. SWKS +4.5%. SLAB +4.5%. KLIC +3.8%. SMTC +3.6%. ATML +3.7%. FCS +4.2%. TSEM +4.2%.
- As is their custom, both chipmakers and their clients have been unveiling plenty of new products at CES.
- ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Dec. 5, 2014, 2:45 PM
Dec. 3, 2014, 12:07 PM
- Freescale (NYSE:FSL) has jumped to levels last seen in mid-September. 2.1M shares have already changed hands; the 3-month daily average is 2.7M.
- The gains come a day after Freescale announced the acquisition of video-processing SoC vendor Zenverge. Freescale touts the ability to Zenverge's data-compression IP to lower the bandwidth needed to stream Ultra HD/4K (HEVC) video by up to 50%. Its products are used in home gateways, DVRs, and media servers; Broadcom is a rival.
Nov. 26, 2014, 2:52 PM
- Chip stocks are outperforming after Analog Devices (ADI +5.2%) beat FQ4 estimates and offered in-line FQ1 guidance. The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +1.9%) has made new highs.
- Notable gainers include many analog/mixed-signal and telecom IC firms: TXN +3%. LLTC +2.7%. SMTC +3.1%. ISIL +3.3%. SWKS +3.7%. AVGO +2.9%. OVTI +3.2%. FSL +3.1%. EZCH +2.5%. XLNX +2.3%. ALTR +2.1%. MX +4.3%. PMCS +2.7%. BRCM +2%.
- On its CC (transcript), ADI noted its telecom equipment chip sales are holding up well in spite of weak capex, aided by the fact its dollar content for 4G base stations is "at least 20% to 30% better" than for 3G base stations. The company also mentioned its lead times were stable in FQ4.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Oct. 31, 2014, 11:31 AM
- Three weeks after providing a calendar Q3 warning that triggered a massive chip stock rout, Microchip (MCHP +7.3%) has provided Q4 guidance that's in-line with lowered estimates. The microcontroller vendor, which has often seen trends emerge ahead of peers, also said it saw most of its inventory correction in Q3, and expects Q4 sales to be just "slightly below typical seasonal levels."
- Chip stocks are up strongly (SOXX +4%) on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.4%. Since Microchip's warning, a slew of analog chipmakers and microcontroller firms (e.g. Atmel, Freescale, STMicro, Intersil, Linear) have offered light Q4 guidance, and other firms have reported seeing high-end Android weakness (e.g. Synaptics, Cirrus Logic, Amkor).
- On the other hand, several mobile chipmakers (Skyworks, RF Micro, TriQuint, Silicon Motion), some of which have decent iPhone exposure, have provided strong results and/or guidance. Other chipmakers, such as Broadcom, Texas Instruments, and Xilinx, have rallied after delivering in-line guidance.
- Susquehanna's Chris Caso: "By now, we think it’s clear that the weakness MCHP saw in September is not company specific ... The question now is if the full extent of the weakness has been dialed into estimates. If it has, then this would be among the shortest and mildest downturns in many years."
- Notable gainers: SNDK +3.9%. MU +4.1%. AMAT +3.9%. TXN +4.7%. NXPI +3.9%. NVDA +3.5%. MXIM +4.7%. LLTC +5.1%. FCS +9.6%. FSL +8.8%. ADI +6.5%. TQNT +6.8%. RFMD +6.5%. ATML +5.9%. AVGO +5.1%. MRVL +4.7%. AMCC +8.9%. BRCM +3.6%. TSM +4.4%. ARMH +3.3%.
- Intel (INTC +3.5%) has recovered most of the losses it saw yesterday due to Intesil's (ISIL +3.3%) results and guidance, and related comments about a PC chip inventory correction.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Oct. 24, 2014, 2:31 PM
- Down AH yesterday due to the light Q4 guidance offered with a Q3 EPS beat, Freescale (NYSE:FSL) has reversed course. Some bullish sell-side notes are helping.
- Credit Suisse's Jonathan Pitzer likes the face Freescale's gross margin rose 110 bps Q/Q in Q3 (better than guidance for a 50 bps drop), and that op. margin reached a record high of 18.7% thanks to a 3.5% Q/Q opex drop. " This should alleviate investor concerns relative to margin drivers that often seemed ambiguous."
- Deutsche's Ross Seymore: "Despite near term revenue headwind, we continue to view FSL as a company that is righting the ship on revenue, focusing on gross margin progression and opex discipline, which should result in better free cash flow to further de-lever the balance sheet and unlock earnings power."
- Oppenheimer's Rick Schafer is more cautious, calling Chinese 4G infrastructure demand "the lone bright spot" for the chipmaker's sales as it deals with auto/industrial softness.
Oct. 23, 2014, 6:25 PM
- Though it posted in-line Q3 revenue and beat EPS estimates, Freescale (NYSE:FSL) is guiding for Q4 revenue of $1.075B-$1.125B, below a $1.18B consensus. In addition, gross margin is expected to drop 75-100 bps from a Q3 level of 46.3%.
- Freescale was among the names clocked earlier this month by fellow microcontroller vendor Microchip's warning.
- Q3 results, PR
Oct. 23, 2014, 4:20 PM
Oct. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
- ADES, ALGN, ALTR, AMZN, BAS, BJRI, BLDR, BMRN, CB, CBI, CERN, CLMS, CLNE, CNMD, CPWR, CTCT, CYN, DECK, DLB, DV, ECHO, ELY, EW, FET, FII, FLS, FSL, GHL, GIMO, HBHC, HUBG, HWAY, IM, INFA, JNPR, KLAC, LOGM, LSCC, MSFT, MTSN, MXIM, MXWL, N, NCR, NTGR, OLN, P, PACB, PCCC, PDFS, PEB, PFG, PFPT, POL, QLIK, RMD, RUBI, RVBD, SHOR, SIVB, SPNC, SRCL, SWFT, SWN, SYNA, VMI, VRSN, WOOF, WRB, WRE, WRI
Oct. 13, 2014, 9:58 AM
- Pac Crest has downgraded analog/mixed-signal IC vendors Freescale (FSL -2.9%), ON Semi (ONNN -5.5%), and Silicon Labs (SLAB -3.4%) following Microchip's calendar Q3 warning. In-line with Microchip's cautious remarks, the firm cites evidence of a distributor inventory correction and weak Chinese demand.
- All three names sold off on Friday on account of Microchip, with Freescale and ON registering double-digit declines.
- Meanwhile, JPMorgan has downgraded European chipmakers STMicroelectronics (STM -3.4%) and Infineon (OTCPK:IFNNF) to Neutral. The firm is worried about the impact of German and Chinese macro trends.
Oct. 10, 2014, 9:59 AM
- Microchip's (MCHP -12.5%) calendar Q3 warning, which was accompanied by a declaration that it believes "another industry correction has begun and that this correction will be seen more broadly across the industry in the near future," is taking a heavy toll on chip stocks (SOXX -5.5%).
- Intel (INTC -4.2%) and many other chipmakers have joined the several firms that sold off AH yesterday in going in the same direction as Microchip: MU -5.8%. FSL -8.5%. BRCM -3.6%. SWKS -7.5%. RFMD -6.2%. XLNX -4.9%. MXIM -5%. AMBA -5.5%. IDTI -6.7%. CAVM -7.4%. AVGO -10.2%. SMTC -4.3%. SYNA -4.1%. POWI -6.9%.
- Chip equipment makers are also getting hit: AMAT -3.5%. KLAC -3.3%. LRCX -2.3%. UTEK -2.5%. KLIC -2%.
- As Microchip noted in yesterday's warning, the company's very diversified customer base, together with its recognition of distributor revenue on a customer sell-through basis rather than a distributor sell-in basis, often allow it to see industry changes before peers.
- The microcontroller vendor added its warning was driven by a September decline in sales to Chinese clients, and observed it has typically "returned to sequential revenue growth after two quarters" during past downturns.
- Chip stocks have had a good run over the last 12 months, aided by healthy mobile demand and the industry's consolidation wave.
Aug. 19, 2014, 7:37 AM
- Collaborating with Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) and chip maker Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL), startup Seek Thermal is planning to sell a thermal imaging add-on camera for smartphones for about ~$250 this fall.
- The new add-on camera is bringing down the price for the cameras, which may ultimately become a built-in feature on many consumer products.
- This past July, Flir Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR) introduced a $349 iPhone accessory that allows a smartphone's display to show glowing heat signatures of people, animals, lights and other objects.
- Such technology is already used for many commercial purposes, such as detecting leaking hot-water pipes and overheating electrical devices, and the further advances in the field may lead cheaper thermal cameras to hit the mass market.
Jul. 25, 2014, 6:19 PM
- Freescale (FSL -9.6%) beat Q2 estimates and issued decent Q3 guidance: Revenue of $1.19B-$1.23B vs. a $1.2B consensus. But the company also disclosed its high-margin IP licensing business saw a major Q/Q revenue drop, and stated on its CC (transcript) it expects IP revenue to "remain at the low levels we saw this quarter over the next several quarters."
- Freescale's Other revenue, which consists of IP licensing and some mobile chips, fell 48% Q/Q and 69% Y/Y to $21M. That led the company's gross margin to come in at 45.2%, +40 bps Q/Q and +270 bps Y/Y, but below guidance for 50-75 bps growth. GM is expected to rise 50 bps Q/Q in Q3.
- Freescale estimates the Q/Q IP decline had a 140 bps impact on GM. It attributes the weakness to "challenges inherent in completing [licensing] deals in the current environment."
- Other parts of Freescale's business are faring much better: Core microcontroller sales +24% Y/Y to $246M; automotive microcontrollers +13% to $308M; digital networking (network processors) +27% to $291M with the help of 4G base station growth; analog/sensors +9% to $205M.
- Q2 results, PR
Jul. 24, 2014, 4:25 PM
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