Around the World

Renesas to Buy Altium for $5.9B

TOKYO – Renesas Electronics will acquire Altium for A$9.1 billion (US$5.9 billion) in cash, subject to a number of conditions, the companies announced in mid-February. The deal has an enterprise value of A$8.8 billion ($5.7 billion).

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of 2024. Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Altium shareholders, Australian court approval as well as regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Renesas plans to finance the transaction with bank loans and cash on hand and the transaction is not subject to any financing conditions. Altium will continue to be led by its CEO, Aram Mirkazemi, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Renesas.

The acquisition enables two industry leaders to join forces and establish an integrated and open electronics system design and lifecycle management platform that permits collaboration across component, subsystem and system-level design, the companies said in a press release. Renesas said the transaction aligns with its digitalization strategy and represents its first significant step in bringing enhanced user experience and innovation at the system level for electronics system designers.

Renesas and Altium aim to build an integrated and open electronics system design and lifecycle management platform that unifies these steps at a system level. The acquisition brings together Altium’s cloud platform capabilities with Renesas’ portfolio of embedded solutions, combining high-performance processors, analog, power and connectivity. The combination will also enable integration with third-party vendors across the ecosystem to execute all electronics design steps on the cloud. The electronics system design and lifecycle management platform will deliver integration and standardization of various electronics design data and functions and enhanced component lifecycle management, while enabling seamless digital iteration of design processes to increase overall productivity.

“Development processes continue to evolve and accelerate,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, CEO, Renesas. “Our vision is to make electronics design accessible to the broader market to allow more innovation through a cloud-based platform. [The] addition of Altium will enable us to deliver an integrated and open development platform, making it easier for businesses of all sizes and industries to build and scale their systems.”

“I strongly believe that electronics is the single most critical industry to building a smart and sustainable world. Renesas’s visionary leadership and commitment to making electronics accessible to all resonates strongly with Altium,” said Aram Mirkazemi, CEO, Altium. “Having worked closely with Renesas as a partner for nearly two years, we are excited to be part of the Renesas team as we continue to successfully execute and grow.”

Altium common stockholders will receive A$68.50 per share in cash, a premium of approximately 34% to the closing price of Altium common stock on Feb. 14 and a premium of approximately 39% to Altium’s one-month volume-weighted average price from Jan. 15.

The all-cash transaction represents an equity value of approximately A$9.1 billion (approximately 887.9 billion yen at an exchange rate of 97 yen to A$1), and an enterprise value of approximately A$8.8 billion (approximately 859.3 billion yen at an exchange rate of 97 yen to A$1).

The transaction is immediately accretive to earnings without synergies; the combined company expects to achieve earnings impact from revenue and cost synergies after the completion of the transaction. Altium had US$263 million revenue, 36.5% EBITDA margin, and 77% recurring revenue in its fiscal year ended Jun. 30, 2023.

Altium was founded in 1985 in Australia as a PCB design tool provider. In June 2023, Renesas announced that it had standardized development of all PCB design on the Altium 365 cloud-based platform from Altium. Renesas has been working with Altium to publish all its products’ ECAD libraries to the Altium Public Vault. With features such as manufacturer part search on Altium365, customers can choose Renesas parts directly from the Altium library.Article ending bug


Tata Gets Green Light for Wistron iPhone Unit Acquisition

MUMBAI, INDIA – Tata Group received approval from India’s Competition Commission to acquire Wistron’s Indian iPhone production unit, paving the way for Tata to become India’s first homegrown iPhone maker.

Tata and Wistron agreed to the $125 million sale of Wistron’s iPhone factory near Bengaluru in October after Wistron sought to diversify its business beyond iPhone manufacturing into areas such as servers. The company also sold its iPhone production business in China to a competitor in 2020.

Tata was in talks for more than a year to take over the plant as it seeks to forge closer ties with Apple. The deal also advances India’s efforts to create local contenders to challenge China’s dominance in electronics.Article ending bug


EOS/ESD Association Releases Technology Roadmap

ROME, NY – The EOS/ESD Association released its Technology Roadmap, which presents estimated threshold changes in electrostatic discharge (ESD) and the potential impact on ESD control practices through 2030.

In an effort to keep abreast of the evolving electronics industry, the document is updated annually by EOS/ESD Association.

The first section of the roadmap provides estimates of future electrostatic discharge (ESD) thresholds of semiconductor devices and the potential impact on ESD control practices. These levels are strongly technology- and design-dependent and need to be periodically revised in the context of advances in the electronics industry. The second section contains information on device testing trends and characterization from the ESDA and ESDA/Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (Jedec) teams working on these methods. The roadmap also includes an outlook on important trends in the semiconductor industry looking toward 2030 and closes with a section on electronic design, an important contributor to reliable and robust ESD and latch-up design.

“EOS/ESD Association is the independent association with the technical expertise to provide the roadmap for research and development (R&D) as well as education in electrostatic discharge,” said executive director Lisa Pimpinella. “As an association that combines representatives from all of the major semiconductor companies in the world, we are highlighting the criticality of research, development, education, and funding to ensure electrostatic discharge is recognized as the major thrust behind reliability.”

Details of the roadmap can be found here. Article ending bug


UK-Based EC Electronics Acquires Liad Electronics

BASINGSTOKE, UK – EC Electronics has acquired Dutch EMS provider Liad Electronics, growing EC’s presence in mainland Europe and expanding its manufacturing capacity.

Liad Electronics Breda specializes in printed circuit board assemblies, and the company’s operations in the Netherlands will continue to be overseen by Rick Meesters, who will be reinvesting in the group and joining the board, said EC Electronics.

“We are very excited about Liad Electronics joining the EC Group and working with the incredibly experienced team there,” said Phil Simmonds, CEO, EC Electronics. “Liad will now be the foundation for the next stage of our growth plans in mainland Europe and a key part of the future success of the group.”

“The additional services offered by EC will allow us to significantly improve our position and provide extra support to existing relationships,” said Meesters.Article ending bug


Lean Stream, Fuji, Koh Young Unite for Collaborative Workspace

ATLANTA – Lean Stream, Fuji America and Koh Young America have partnered to launch a collaborative workspace in Fremont, CA.

Recognizing the importance of skilled professionals in driving industry progress, the workspace will host comprehensive training programs to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the evolving landscape of electronics manufacturing. Attendees will explore interconnected systems, artificial intelligence and data analytics that enhance decision-making and streamline production. The goal is to empower manufacturers to embrace Industry 4.0 standards, fostering a new era of efficiency and competitiveness.

“The grand opening event was not just a ribbon-cutting ceremony; it was celebration of collaboration, technology, and progress,” said Joel Scutchfield, general manager of SMT operations, Koh Young. “As we unite our expertise, this innovative hub promises to be a game-changer, showcasing live demonstrations, immersive training sessions, and cutting-edge smart factory solutions for advancements in electronics manufacturing.”

Lean Stream, Fuji America, and Koh Young each bring a wealth of experience and innovation to the table, and by pooling their resources, they aim to create a synergy that will elevate electronics manufacturing processes to new heights.

“The collaborative workspace will feature live demonstrations that offer a firsthand look at innovative technologies shaping the future of electronics manufacturing,” said Tom Zabkiewicz, executive vice president, Fuji America. “From advanced assembly line solutions to precision machinery, attendees will witness the seamless integration of hardware and software designed to optimize efficiency and quality.”

One of the key pillars of the collaborative workspace is its strategic proximity to customers. Nestled in the heart of the Bay Area, the facility is strategically located to be easily accessible to electronics manufacturers in the region.

“Being close to customers allows us to deliver solutions tuned to the specific requirements of area manufacturers,” said Lean Stream president Robert Jones. “The collaborative workspace becomes a responsive hub where industry players can actively take part in shaping the technologies and processes that will drive their businesses forward.”

The collaborative workspace’s proximity to customers enables real-time collaboration, allowing manufacturers to engage directly with experts, troubleshoot issues and explore tailored solutions, ensuring a rapid response to industry demands. Beyond business transactions, the collaborative workspace is also meant to foster an environment for building lasting relationships, the companies said.

“This collaborative workspace isn’t just a facility – it’s a hub for area manufacturers to stay at the forefront of industry trends,” Jones said. “By providing a space for networking, knowledge exchange, and collaboration, the workspace aims to create a vibrant community that propels the entire region into a leadership position in electronics manufacturing.”Article ending bug


Celestica Adding Capacity in Asia to Meet Higher Demand Needs

TORONTO – Celestica is expanding at electronics manufacturing sites in Thailand and Malaysia in anticipation of greater demand for hyperscale computing applications, the company said on a conference call in January.

Celestica is raising its capital expenditure budget from 1.6% of revenue – $125 million – to 1.75% to 2.25% of anticipated 2024 revenues, said Mandeep Chawla, CFO. The EMS firm expects to front-load the capex spend as it expands capacity in support of its customers’ AI/ML compute and HPS programs.

In Thailand, Celestica is adding more than 100,000 sq. ft. of capacity over multiple phases. Phase one will come online in the current quarter and phase two is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025. The expansion, Chawla said, is “partially funded by a co-investment with one of our hyperscale customers to facilitate demand for highly specialized data center products.”

The Malaysia operations are seeing a slightly smaller expansion, where some 80,000 square feet of capacity is being added for customers in its connective and cloud solutions (CCS) segment. That expansion is expected to come online in the first half of this year, Chawla said.Article ending bug


Tata, Pegatron in Talks for iPhone Assembly Partnership

BENGALURU, INDIA – Tata and Pegatron are reportedly in talks to form a partnership to run an iPhone assembly plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Tata is building the plant – its second in India – in Hosur, and is in talks to partner with Pegatron to speed up its plans to start manufacturing, two sources told Reuters.

Pegatron would provide technical and engineering support at the plant, which is expected to have 20 iPhone assembly lines, the sources said, while Tata would hold a majority stake in the venture.

Tata’s other iPhone assembly plant is in the state of Karnataka, which it took over from Wistron last year, and Pegatron operates another assembly plant in Tamil Nadu.Article ending bug


EMA, Hawk Ridge Systems Enter ECAD/MCAD Partnership

ROCHESTER, NY – EMA Design Automation and Hawk Ridge Systems have entered a strategic partnership to offer a full ECAD/MCAD design experience.

Through the partnership, Hawk Ridge Systems will now sell and distribute Cadence and EMA ECAD design solutions to their customers, including Cadence OrCAD X and Allegro X.

“As the ECAD and MCAD domains continue to converge, there is a great need to help customers manage the realities and requirements of a fully integrated design environment across the electrical and mechanical product development process,” said Manny Marcano, President of EMA Design Automation. “Partnering with Hawk Ridge Systems brings two companies together with unmatched expertise in electrical and mechanical design to help customers confidently deliver successfully electromechanical products on the first pass.”

“Our customers are looking for solutions to help them bridge the gap between MCAD and ECAD to operate more efficiently and effectively as they design their products,” said Dale Ford, CEO, Hawk Ridge Systems. “This partnership with EMA allows us to instantly provide expert guidance and support to our customers for the electronics in their electromechanical EMA and Hawk Ridge Systems Reshape Engineering systems. We’re excited to be working with EMA.”Article ending bug


Epoch Expands EMS Operations, Moves to New HQ

SAN JOSE, CA – EMS company Epoch International announced the relocation of its US headquarters to a new larger facility here.

The move will permit its manufacturing subsidiary, Epoch Technologies, to double its production capacity augmented by its UL508 and ISO certification, and underscores its commitment to meeting growing demands with superior design, engineering, and manufacturing services in the North American market, the company said in a release.

The new facility’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) designation and its proximity to the San Jose International Airport also make it logistically convenient and accessible to its international supply chain, Epoch said.Article ending bug


NationGate Acquires Hesechan Industries

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian EMS company NationGate Holdings announced the acquisition of Pengang-based Hesechan Industries for RM25 million ($5.2 million).

The acquisition, which includes four factories and an office block, comes as NationGate seeks to acquire additional manufacturing space to facilitate its business expansion, the company said.

“The acquisition represents a strategic investment for expansion, and is undertaken in line with NationGate and its subsidiaries’ long-term plan to grow its business,” NationGate said. “As the group intends to continue expanding its business, it envisages the requirements of additional manufacturing space to facilitate the expansion.”Article ending bug


Kerafol, X2F Strike Thermal Solutions Partnership

LOVELAND, CO – Kerafol and X2F are partnering to develop thermal management solutions for electronic devices using Kerafol’s thermally conductive materials and X2F’s controlled-viscosity molding technologies.

The partnership aims to provide advanced thermal management solutions that meet the ever-increasing high-performance demands of the electronics industry, the companies said in a release.

Combining Kerafol’s high-performance thermoplastic elastomeric materials with X2F’s controlled- viscosity molding (CVM) technology delivers a higher-performance alternative to conformal coating, potting, and sealing of electronics, achieving superior environmental protection and heat dissipation while reducing processing times and manufacturing costs, the companies said.

The companies aim to create a strategic partnership to deliver advanced protection for electronic devices, ensuring long-term reliability by safeguarding against contamination, vibration, shock, ESD, and thermal stresses, all in a streamlined, one-step process.

Kerafol’s silicone-free Keramold materials are soft and flexible, highly electrically isolating, thermally conductive and can be molded into complex geometric shapes, making them ideal for overmolding electronics. Additionally, Keramold materials are easy to handle, process at room temperature and require no refrigeration, drying, pre-treatment or post cure.

The X2F CVM approach to overmolding electronics combines patented hardware, sensors, and software to control the viscosity of ultra-high-performance materials and optimize mold pressure. Heat is generated electrically for continuous temperature control, and a multi-step “pulse-pack” extrusion process is used to fill the mold. By continuously sensing mold cavity pressure and deploying its “pack-hold-and-repack” process, X2F builds to the best mold pressure for the application. As a result, X2F can mold ultra-high-performance materials and complex geometries that were previously considered unmoldable.

“Our Keramold thermoplastic elastomers flow extremely well on X2F’s CVM equipment, wrapping the complex contours of components and PCBs. And because of its softness, when pressure is applied it conforms to surfaces unlike any other material in the industry, without damaging sensitive components,” said Wolfgang Hoefer, Thermal Products Division manager at Kerafol.

“We are excited about this collaboration because it provides our customers a new approach for heat management in electronics that is far superior to conformal coating and potting in many applications,” said X2F CEO Mike Slowik.Article ending bug


Icape Makes 2 Italian Acquisitions

FONTENAY-AUX-ROSES, FRANCE – Icape Group in February announced the acquisition of the operating assets of Italian PCB distributor PCS and design company Studio E2.

A PCB producer for more than 30 years, PCS switched to printed circuit board distribution in 2015, and has a portfolio of around 80 customers from the Lombardy industrial area, from all sectors. In 2022, PCS generated an annual net revenue of more than €700,000 ($754,000).

Studio E2 has more than 40 years of experience in project management applied to all sectors of civil and industrial electronics. The company, which consists of three engineers, provides more than 70 customers with a full range of services, from printed circuit design to mechanical and electronic engineering, as well as producing the documentation required at every stage of the product’s life. Studio E2 recorded net annual revenue of more than €275,000 in 2022 ($296,000).

Through the acquisition of PCS, Icape expands its presence in Italy, and enhances purchasing and commercial synergies with its local subsidiary while benefiting from a high level of profitability, Icape said in a release.

The integration of Studio E2 completes the already extensive range of services provided by Icape to its customers, with the addition of printed circuit board design, giving the company proven expertise across the entire printed circuit board value chain, from design to delivery to the end customer, Icape said.

“Although modest compared with our previous acquisitions in Europe, these operations consolidate our strategic position in the PCB value chain while providing us with a new solid base in Lombardy, an Italian region renowned for its economic dynamism,” said CEO Yann Duigou. “PCS has a customer base of eighty manufacturers representing all the sectors of activity that drive this industrial area. As with each of our acquisitions, we targeted the synergy potential between our two entities as a key selection criterion. Given this potential, our subsidiary Icape Italia should rapidly benefit from the experience brought in by PCS. The acquisition of Studio E2 will enable us to bring in new, high added-value expertise for our local and international customers. Moreover, by offering this additional PCB design activity, we are reaffirming the Icape Group’s role as a key technological intermediary for its customers.”Article ending bug


MacDermid Enthone Opens PCB Chemistry Lab in Japan

NAGOYA, JAPAN – MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions celebrated the opening of its new lab here on Feb. 1 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and customer event.

The event commenced with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the laboratory, hosted by local MacDermid Enthone representatives and global leaders. Matthew Cenzer, principal officer, US Consulate in Nagoya, was in attendance along with automotive customers from across Japan.

“The opening of our laboratory facility in Nagoya is an exciting new chapter for MacDermid Enthone and our partners,” said Hui Hui Kiw, vice president of Asia, MacDermid Enthone. “Our local presence enables us to deliver superior customer support while bringing global capabilities to customers in Japan.”

Throughout the day MacDermid Enthone industry experts delivered presentations on sustainable anti-corrosion solutions, their trivalent chromium portfolio, including evolve and evolve BOND, and electroless nickel technologies. Attendees were able to tour the Nagoya laboratory and learn about the global manufacturing, testing, and supply chain capabilities that MacDermid Enthone can bring to Japanese OEMs.

“It is a privilege to host this event in Nagoya and share a milestone in our history with local customers and colleagues,” said Richard Lynch, senior global vice president, MacDermid Enthone. “Our commitment to future-focused innovation, coupled with Japan’s focus on sustainability, is a partnership that will help drive the automotive industry forward. Thank you to all who joined us.”Article ending bug


CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Opens 2024 Service Excellence Awards

PEACHTREE CITY, GA – CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY has opened registration for its annual Service Excellence Awards (SEAs) for EMS providers and electronics assembly equipment, material, service, and software suppliers.

Now in its 32nd year, the SEAs honor companies for excelling in the critical area of customer service, permitting participants to benchmark customer service against their peers. It is the only industry awards program that uses direct customer feedback to determine best-in-class.

Customers are surveyed to determine their satisfaction with a participating company in various categories, including dependability/timely delivery; manufacturing quality; responsiveness to requests and changes; technology; value for the price; and flexibility/ease of doing business. For each EMS category, the overall best-in-show winner is selected.

All customer responses and ratings are tabulated and provided in a confidential report to the participating company. The deadline to enter is Mar. 25, 2024.

“We get customer scorecards all year long. We work hard to continuously improve. When we win the CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Service Excellence Awards, it means we’ve done everything right,” said Gary Larson, CEO, Electronic Systems Inc. (2023 Overall Winner, EMS Revenues $20 Million to $100 Million)

About the awards. The SEAs recognize four categories of EMS providers based on revenues (under $20 million; $20 million to $100 million; $101 million to $500 million, and over $500 million).

Equipment, material or software supplier awards will be presented in each of the following categories: component storage systems; automation and handling equipment; cleaning processing or materials; device programming equipment; dispensing; pick-and-place; repair and rework; screen printing; test and inspection; materials (solder, encapsulants and adhesives); soldering equipment; automation/manufacturing software (not ERP/MRP); and supply-chain/ERP/MRP software.

Non-manufacturing service providers will be honored in the following categories: test laboratories; recycling, cleaning or other non-manufacturing process providers; and design service bureaus. Reps or agents and/or distributors will also be honored.

CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY will honor winners in person at SMTA International in October 2024 at the Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. Participants will receive their report as an Excel file after the show.

For more information, visit To register, visit ending bug


USCAR Announces Publication of ‘Roadmap for Automotive Smart Manufacturing’

SOUTHFIELD, MI – The United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR) in February announced the publication of its “Roadmap for Automotive Smart Manufacturing” for standards-based openness and interoperability of platforms and applications to enable a more productive, competitive and resilient automotive manufacturing environment in the US.

The roadmap was developed by a working group of USCAR, whose members are Ford, GM and Stellantis, in collaboration with CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute. The roadmap’s scope includes strategies to improve interoperability of manufacturing systems and to break down digital silos of legacy platforms.

Smart manufacturing requires a high degree of automation and integration of systems on the shop floor to deliver optimal performance. These systems have evolved over decades in a highly proprietary, closed manner. The resulting landscape of incompatible machine communication creates costly delays and complexity in product launches for automotive companies. Interoperability and extensibility of these machines is imperative to ensure cost-efficient operation and viability.

The Roadmap focuses on three pivotal strategies essential for fostering a more productive and sustainable automotive manufacturing environment in the U.S. These strategies are:

  • Collaborate via real-time, data-driven business orchestration of digital processes within plants and across the value chain. Goal: flexible and agile processes and supply chains easily reconfigured for changing market demands.
  • Enable innovation through application and data interoperability based on standardized, open interfaces that eliminate data silos, stovepipe architectures, and vendor lock-in. Goal: reduce complexity and improve efficiency and innovation agility.
  • Develop a Smart Manufacturing Mindset aligning education, workforce development, and continuous improvement strategies to create data-driven cultures. Goal: organizational structures that align resources and people.

USCAR engaged CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute – to aid in the development of the roadmap. CESMII has a total investment of $140 million from US Department of Energy funding and public/private partnership contributions.

“The ‘Roadmap for Automotive Smart Manufacturing’ is a strategic initiative to enable sustainable smart manufacturing for our USCAR Members and their suppliers,” said Dr. Steven Przesmitzki, executive director, USCAR. “By working with CESMII, we are able to leverage not only their expertise, but relationships with their members, the US Department of Energy, and additional industry contacts to promote smart manufacturing as a critical enabler for advancing and improving US automotive manufacturing processes.”

Plans are in the works for members of the roadmap’s research team to present their findings as part of a workshop on Apr. 15 in Detroit. To be added to the notification list for this event, email ending bug


TTM Expanding VA Operations

STERLING, VA – TTM Technologies in February announced a $13.4 million expansion of its manufacturing plant in Virginia. The expansion involves the purchase of new equipment and a renovation of its plant, which will add 43 jobs to the 200 already located in Sterling, VA.

Loudoun County awarded TTM a Commercial Business Incentive Fund grant for the expansion project, and the company received a Virginia Jobs Investment Program grant from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

“TTM Technologies’ decision to go all in with Loudoun is a testament to the strength of our local economy and the quality of our workforce,” said Koran Saines, supervisor, Loudon County. “This expansion will provide valuable job opportunities for Loudoun’s skilled workers and further solidify the county’s position as a leader in advanced manufacturing.”

Headquartered in California, TTM also has facilities in Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Utah and Ontario, Canada. In November, the company announced plans for a new $130 million manufacturing facility in New York.Article ending bug


TT Electronics Opens Mexico Facility

MEXICALI, MEXICO – TT Electronics has expanded its North American operations with a new manufacturing facility here. The 75,000 sq. ft. facility is equipped with the latest technology and manufacturing capabilities to meet the increasing demand for electronics manufacturing solutions in the North America region, the company said.

The plant has capacity for 250 workers and is equipped with up to six automated SMT lines.

“We are thrilled to inaugurate our new manufacturing facility in Mexico, a testament to our dedication to meeting the evolving needs of our customers and expanding our global footprint,” said Michael Leahan, chief operating officer, TT Electronics. “This strategic investment reinforces our commitment to deliver increased value, a world-class service and the capacity to enable our customer’s growth.”Article ending bug