Most Read articles – TSMC fab, Apple phenomenon, Imagination IPO

What are the topics covered this week? There’s a Mannerisms blog on China’s tech industry crackdown, Digi-Key signing a distribution deal with Siemens, Kaohsiung getting its first TSMC fab, consideration of Apple’s phenomenal revenue growth and the possibility of an Imagination Technologies IPO or sale…

5. China’s Intentions [Mannerisms]
Incomprehension over the China government’s intentions in its crackdown on the tech industry became clearer last week. It’s embarked on a project not so much of nation building as nation-forming. Last week the government came up with new regulations on the games industry – telling the companies they must break from “the solitary focus of pursuing profit” and avoid “unhealthy tendencies, such as money-worship and effeminacy.” The companies were asked to “profoundly understand the importance and urgency of preventing minors from online game addiction.”

4. Siemens partners with Digi-Key for Automation and Control products
Digi-Key Electronics has signed a distribution deal with Siemens for its range of automation and control products, the companies have announced. The partnership will cover products such as power supplies, human-machine interface (HMI) technology, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and heavy duty switches. Sectors addressed include automotive manufacturing, data centers, electronics manufacturing, healthcare.

3. TSMC to build 6/7nm fab in Kaohsiung
The southern Taiwan port of Kaohsiung is to get its first TSMC fab, reports the Nikkei. Up to now, TSMC has built its fabs in the northern city of HsinchuTSMC and the central city of Taichung where it has a 7nm fab. In July, TSMC got permission to build a 2nm fab in Hsinchu in which manufacturing equipment is set to be installed in 2023. One reason for choosing Kaohsiung may be that it is the base of ASE Technology – the world’s largest test and packaging house. The intention is to break ground this year and run first wafers in 2023/4.

2. The Phenomenon [Mannerisms]
Only 25 US companies made more than $10 billion profit in 2019, but Apple has done so in each of the last 13 quarters – which puts in context the scale of Apple’s achievement. In 20 years Apple went from $5.36 billion in sales in 2001 to $274 billion in its FY ending September 2020 – an average sales growth of 23% for nearly two decades.

Imagination HQ1. Imagination looking at IPO or sale
Imagination Technologies has engaged investment bank Lazard to look at options for selling or IPO-ing the company, reports Bloomberg. Imagination’s owners are the Chinese-backed private equity company Canyon Bridge which bought Imagination in 2017 for about $760 million. Imagination’s share price had been slashed in 2017 when Apple, which was providing half its revenues, announced it would be reducing its business with Imagination. Last year, Apple signed a new licensing agreement with Imagination.

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