Around the World

Cadence to Buy Beta CAE Systems for $1.2B

SAN JOSE, CA – Cadence Design Systems will buy Beta CAE Systems, a maker of software for analyzing car and jet engine designs, for $1.24 billion in cash and stock, the company announced.

Cadence said it will pay for the acquisition with around $744 million in cash and the rest in stock, and while it will take on debt to pay for the deal, it will pay that down with cash generated from operations.

Beta CAE’s software is used to analyze designs in automotive and aerospace industries, with customers such as Honda, General Motors and Lockheed Martin. Over the last several years, Cadence has expanded its system analysis portfolio to build out a comprehensive multiphysics platform including electromagnetics, electrothermal and computational fluid dynamics solutions, and with Beta CAE, Cadence will enter structural analysis, the largest system analysis segment, the company said.

“Cadence entered the multiphysics space several years ago through organic innovation and acquisitions. This strategic acquisition reaffirms our commitment to continued growth in this critical domain,” said Anirudh Devgan, president and CEO, Cadence. “Combining our computational software expertise with Beta CAE’s rich technology and talent will enable us to offer a more comprehensive portfolio to customers, while opening significant new opportunities for Cadence by tapping into the structural analysis segment. These solutions are particularly important in automotive, where convergence of electrical and mechanical designs is further driven by an increasing shift toward electric vehicles, requiring deeper design team collaboration in integrated workflows.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of the year and Cadence expects Beta CAE to contribute about $40 million to its 2024 revenue, the company said.Article ending bug


Rogers Announces New Facility in Mexico

CHANDLER, AZ – Rogers Corp. has signed a lease on a factory in Monterrey, Mexico, for advanced busbar manufacturing and engineering services.

The first phase of the new site is slated for completion in late 2024 and continues Rogers’ manufacturing footprint strategy of supporting customers in the regions where they operate, the company said.

“We are excited to expand our presence in North America to better support our global customers and the growing EV/HEV and renewable energy markets in this region. Our new factory in Monterrey will enable us to better support our customers with deeper technical collaboration, and local prototyping and supply capabilities that reduce lead times and improve service levels,” said Jeff Tsao, Advanced Electronic Solutions (AES) senior vice president and general manager.Article ending bug


TTM to Expand in Ohio

NORTH JACKSON, OH – TTM Technologies is planning an expansion at its PCB manufacturing plant here that will add 50 jobs to the existing 200 at the facility.

TTM Technologies’ investment will help produce essential components for many industries that have a large presence in the region, including aerospace, automotive, medical devices and industrial controls and automation, said Team NEO, an economic development organization for Northeast Ohio that worked with TTM to receive a tax credit for the expansion.

“TTM Technologies is pleased to bring this expansion of capability and opportunity for workforce growth to North Jackson, Ohio. The engagement by Team NEO, the Ohio Department of Development and JobsOhio to understand our extensive workforce training requirements was invaluable in our decision to grow this facility,” said Phil Titterton, COO, TTM Technologies. “This successful process has allowed all involved to develop a better understanding of the importance and criticality of US-made printed circuit boards.”Article ending bug


Ge-Shen Acquires Stakes in 3 EMS Firms

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian contract manufacturer Ge-Shen will purchase a 40% stake in EMS firm Local Assembly to expand its presence in electronics manufacturing.

The RM48 million ($10.2 million) transaction will be partially funded via proceeds from a private placement exercise, Ge-Shen said in an exchange filing.

“The board believes the acquisition will complement the existing business, enabling cross-marketing of products with diverse designs and specifications to a broader clientele. This will also drive synergistic value across the company through shared technology know-how,” Ge-Shen said.

Local Assembly is primarily a manufacturer of electronic, electrical, and plastic injection molded components, and a subcontract assembler of electrical appliances and equipment.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the second half of 2024, subject to requisite approvals and barring unforeseen circumstances, Ge-Shen said.

Ge-Shen also signed agreements to purchase 60% stakes each in Amity Research & Development and Amity Technical Services & Consultancy for RM13.5 million ($2.6 million).

Amity Research & Development is an engineering and consultancy services provider for the electronics industry, and Amity Technical Services & Consultancy is a manufacturer of PCBAs, box builds and cable and wire assembly.

Ge-Shen said it expects the transaction to close by the third quarter of 2024.

“This proposed acquisition will expand Ge-Shen’s scale of operations and facilitate the group’s presence in such a market. It is also in line with the group’s objective of acquiring strategic stakes in companies involved in high value-added industries with potential for future growth,” the company said.Article ending bug


Cicor Acquires TT Electronics IoT Solutions

BRONSCHHOFEN, SWITZERLAND – Cicor Group in March announced its acquisition of TT Electronics IoT Solutions and its three production sites in the UK and China.

Cicor is paying GBP20.8 million ($26.5 million) on a cash and debt-free basis, subject to normal working capital adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, has received all required regulatory approvals and is subject to customary closing conditions.

The sites acquired from TT Electronics will combine with Cicor’s own Axis Electronics and STS Defence to create a new leader in the UK EMS market and make Cicor a European market leader in the production of high-end electronics for aerospace and defense applications, the company said in a release announcing the transaction.

TT Electronics employs more than 500 staff at its sites in Hartlepool and Newport in the UK and Dongguan in China and has a total production area of around 25,000 sq. m. In the last financial year, the company reported sales of GBP70 million ($89 million).

The acquired production sites provide much-needed growth reserves for local production in the UK, Cicor said, and the production site in Dongguan will be integrated into its Asian production network.Article ending bug


Celestica to Expand TX Operations, Add 155 Jobs

RICHARDSON, TX – Celestica has signed an economic development deal here that will see the company redevelop a 30,000 sq. ft. office into a manufacturing facility and add 155 jobs.

The expanded facility will produce equipment based on AI learning systems for Celestica’s US-based customers across multiple industries.

As part of the agreement, Celestica must invest at least $5.5 million into converting the newly leased space, which is located near its current operations in Richardson, and the city government will pay a total of $250,000 as the company reaches certain milestones. Celestica must also create 155 new jobs with an average annual salary of $67,200 at the expanded facility.

“Richardson has proven to be a great location for us to expand to meet unique customer demands,” Robert Paiva, general manager of Celestica’s Richardson operation, said in a release. “Between its educational advantages and built-in infrastructure, we are excited about growing in the community and benefiting from the competitive advantages this location offers.”

“Celestica’s growth in our community further strengthens the work we are seeing here for AI learning systems,” said Richardson Mayor Bob Dubey. “This expansion builds on the growth we are seeing for this type of work and adds to the synergies available in Richardson for global technological innovators like Celestica.”Article ending bug


Altium Acquires Valispace Software Platform

SAN DIEGO – Altium has acquired Valispace, a systems and requirements engineering software platform, for $15.6 million.

Valispace’s capabilities in Systems and Requirements Engineering will complement the Altium 365 cloud platform for product and electronics design, the company said in a release announcing the acquisition, and together the solutions connect electronics hardware design and development with systems engineering, encompassing everything from initial requirements definition to PCB design and verification.

Altium’s experience in developing tools for thousands of engineers with essential electronics design software will ensure that the Valispace team can continue to bring the best collaborative and AI-assisted systems and requirements experience to engineers, the company said.

“We’re grateful for everyone who has supported and encouraged us on this journey, amongst others our family, friends, and investors,” Valispace said. “And we’re now excited to, together with Altium, continue our mission of empowering engineers to build great products, accelerating the path to the future in which new technologies and products improve people’s lives.”Article ending bug


Scanfil Updates Growth Strategy, Outlines New Business Segments

OULU, FINLAND – Scanfil in March announced a new growth strategy that will seek acquisitions, as well as a division into three new business segments.

Over the past three years, the company has pushed for organic growth, but it is now shifting to seek a balance between organic and inorganic growth, and grow through potential acquisitions that would complement its customer base and factory network in Asia (outside of China), North America and Eastern Central Europe.

The company will also work to accelerate its organic growth by moving to three business segments: Industrial, Energy & Cleantech and Medtech & Life Science. Industrial was formed by combining its previous three segments: Advance Consumer Applications, Automation & Safety and Communications.

“Segmentations clarify roles and further enhance sales growth for all business segments. To drive factory specific sales, we still have local sales people,” said CEO Christophe Sut. “We can drive our sales more efficiently by re-organizing it and also incentivizing it through specific customer groups.”

Scanfil said it is also placing an emphasis on sustainability and is committed to the Science Based Targets in the short-term 2030 and long-term “Net Zero” 2050, as well as preparing for the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) with full speed.Article ending bug


DoD Awards $12M to Ensign-Bickford to Expand PCBA Production

WASHINGTON – Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense received $11.7 million from the Department of Defense to expand PCBA production at its Simsbury, CT, location.

The company received the award through the DoD’s Defense Production Act Investment (DPAI) Program, and will use the funds to increase its existing capacity and manufacturing processes to reduce cost and accelerate PCBA production for use in hypersonic weapons.

“This effort is a key component of the DoD’s strategy to accelerate the development and fielding of hypersonic systems and deliver cutting-edge capabilities to our armed forces,” said Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy. “This award also represents another investment in domestic manufacturing in accordance with the National Defense Industrial Strategy to help build a modernized defense industrial ecosystem.”Article ending bug


JEDEC Publishes GDDR7 Graphics Memory Standard

ARLINGTON, VA – JEDEC has published JESD239 Graphics Double Data Rate (GDDR7) SGRAM, which offers double the bandwidth over GDDR6, reaching up to 192GB/s per device, and is poised to meet the escalating demand for more memory bandwidth in graphics, gaming, compute, networking and AI applications.

JESD239 GDDR7 is the first JEDEC standard DRAM to use the Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) interface for high frequency operations. Its PAM3 interface improves the signal to noise ratio (SNR) for high frequency operation while enhancing energy efficiency. By using three levels (+1, 0, -1) to transmit 3 bits over 2-cycles versus the traditional NRZ (non-return-to-zero) interface transmitting 2 bits over 2-cycles, PAM3 offers higher data transmission rate per cycle resulting in improved performance.

Additional advanced features include:

  • Core independent LFSR (linear-feedback shift register) training patterns with eye masking and error counters to improve training accuracy while reducing training time.
  • Doubles the number of independent channels doubles from 2 in GDDR6 to 4 in GDDR7.
  • Support for 16Gbit to 32Gbit densities including support for 2-Channel mode to double system capacity.
  • Address the market need for RAS (Reliability, Availability, Serviceability) by incorporating the latest data integrity features including on die ECC (ODECC) with real time reporting, data poison, Error check and Scrub, and command address parity with command blocking (CAPARBLK).

“JESD239 GDDR7 marks a substantial advancement in high-speed memory design,” said Mian Quddus, chair of JEDEC’s board of directors. “With the shift to PAM3 signaling, the memory industry has a new path to extend the performance of GDDR devices and drive the ongoing evolution of graphics and various high-performance applications.”

“GDDR7 is the first GDDR that not only focuses on bandwidth but addresses the market needs for RAS by incorporating the latest data integrity features that allow GDDR devices to better service existing markets such as cloud gaming and compute and extend into new applications such as AI,” said Michael Litt, chair of the JEDEC GDDR Subcommittee.Article ending bug


Jinlu Electronics Begins $320M Expansion Project

QINGYUAN, CHINA – Chinese PCB fabricator Jinlu Electronics has begun construction on a 2.3 billion yuan ($320 million) expansion project that will add an additional 3 million sq. m. of production capacity for multi-layer rigid boards and high-density interconnect boards.

The company purchased approximately 63 acres adjacent to the company’s existing factory in the Guangdong Qingyuan High-tech Industrial Development Zone, and plans to build two factories, a wastewater station and chemical warehouse, and worker dorms.

Jinlu said the project will be constructed in three phases, with construction and production at the same time. Over the planned 60 months for construction, the first phase construction period (including preliminary planning) is expected to be 18 months, and is expected to be put into operation in July this year, with a planned production capacity of 1.2 million sq. m.

The second phase construction period is six months, and is expected to be completed and put into operation in July 2026, with a planned production capacity of 1.2 million sq. m. The construction period of the third phase is 12 months, with plans to be completed and put into operation in January 2028 with a planned production capacity of 600,000 sq. m.Article ending bug


Toppan Plans Singapore Chip Package Substrate Plant

TOKYO – Toppan Holdings will build a semiconductor package substrate plant in Singapore, with plans to begin operations at the end of 2026.

The company said it anticipates the factory to create 200 jobs, with a capacity that will likely increase in line with demand and a total investment of 100 billion yen with the planned growth. Toppan will bear the majority of the initial 50 billion yen investment of the plant, while capacity expansions later could receive financial support from the company’s main customer, Broadcom, the company said.

Toppan currently produces package substrates only at its plant in central Japan’s Niigata prefecture. The planned Singapore factory will be near many back-end processing contractors that handle semiconductor assembly and testing in Malaysia and Taiwan. The company looks to boost its overall substrate production capacity 150% by fiscal 2027 compared with fiscal 2022 by expanding the Niigata facility and opening new facilities.Article ending bug


Apple Acquires AI Inspection OEM

WATERLOO, ON – Apple has acquired artificial intelligence startup DarwinAI as it looks to add technology for a push into generative AI, Bloomberg reported. Financial and other terms were not disclosed.

Dozens of DarwinAI’s employees have joined Apple’s artificial intelligence division, including Alexander Wong, an AI researcher at the University of Waterloo who helped build the business, who joined Apple as a director in its AI group, according to the report. Apple is not expected to maintain the assembly inspection equipment that DarwinAI developed, however.

DarwinAI is a Canadian startup that has developed AI technology for visual inspection of components, and it also has a stated goal of making AI systems smaller and faster.

During Apple’s earnings call in February, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple will share details on its AI work later this year, and during the company’s shareholder meeting a few weeks later, he teased that Apple will “break new ground” in generative AI this year.Article ending bug


Kemppi Forming Electronics-Focused Subsidiary

LAHTI, FINLAND – Kemppi Group is splitting its electronics business into its own company, Kemptron, to strengthen its position in the electronics industry.

The newly formed company will manufacture circuit boards, subassemblies, modules, transformers and chokes, Kemppi said, and will operate as a subsidiary of the group.

“Kemptron Oy will strengthen the positioning of Kemppi Group’s electronics business and enable business growth,” said Jari Takala, general manager of Lahti operations, Kemptron. The company will take into account the specific needs of its customer industries. Kemptron Oy will provide power electronics components for Kemppi Group companies’ products.”

Once the demerger takes place, Kemptron will be one of the largest contract manufacturers of electronics for power electronics and related control electronics and assembly in Finland, the company said.Article ending bug


Katek to Delist Following Agreement with Kontron

MUNICH – Katek will enter into a delisting agreement with Kontron following Kontron’s acquisition of a controlling stake in the company earlier this year.

In January, Kontron announced the acquisition of 59.4% of Katek’s shares by its subsidiary, Kontron Acquisition, which is obliged to make a mandatory offer to the shareholders of Katek SE in the coming weeks in accordance with the provisions of the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act.

Katek’s board has decided that the delisting is in the interests of the company since the stock market listing has lost its significance, and the delisting is therefore advantageous from a strategic and financial perspective, the company said in a release.

As part of the intended delisting agreement, Katek is to apply for revocation of the admission of its shares to the regulated market following publication of the mandatory offer by Kontron Acquisition, which is also to be structured as a delisting tender offer.

Conversely, Kontron Acquisition is to offer the Katek shareholders a consideration in accordance with the statutory minimum price rules as part of this offer. Kontron Acquisition had already announced in its control notification that the price offered in the context of this offer would be EUR15 per Katek share. In addition, Kontron Acquisition is also working on an exchange offer with shares of Kontron AG, its listed parent company, which will be open to Katek shareholders as an alternative.Article ending bug


VDL to Build Vietnam Manufacturing Facility

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS – VDL is planning to build a new manufacturing facility in Vietnam, with an anticipated opening in early 2025.

The company said its global customers have asked for more local production for local markets, and the new facility is part of a larger plan to invest in Europe, America and Asia. VDL Emerging Technology Group, its high-tech cluster, also has Asian locations in Singapore and Suzhou, China.

“Being able to deliver anywhere is a major advantage for VDL’s existing and new customers,” the company said in a release.

VDL said 60 employees will initially work at the facility when it opens, which is expected to be at the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter of 2025.Article ending bug


Mycronic Makes Optical Fab Acquisition

TÄBY, SWEDEN – Mycronic’s Global Technologies division signed an agreement in March to acquire Vanguard Automation, a German company that has developed a technology and automated equipment for 3-D microfabrication of optical interconnects.

Karlsruhe, Germany-based Vanguard Automation’s area of expertise complements the Mycronic’s die bonding business line and enables the offering of a wider range of die bonding and optical packaging-related solutions, Mycronic said.

“Joining the Mycronic group marks a pivotal milestone for Vanguard Automation in its mission to deploy 3-D nano-printing solutions in volume production for cutting-edge photonic devices,” said Vanguard Automation CEO Thorsten Mayer. “We are looking forward to joining forces with Mycronic’s Global Technologies division, enriching the offerings for our global customer base.”

“Megatrends such as AI, cloud computing and augmented reality are boosting demand for computational power, leading to larger, more energy-intensive data centers,” said Magnus Marthinsson, senior VP of Global Technologies, Mycronic. “Vanguard Automation’s unique solutions will help speed up optical interconnects and cut energy consumption at the same time.”

Vanguard Automation’s net sales amounted to EUR5.2 million ($5.6 million) in 2023. The company has 26 employees.

The transaction is expected to be finalized in April 2024, after which Vanguard Automation will form a new business line within the Global Technologies division.Article ending bug