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At the end of the day, people in the overall survey seemed more happier than they did a year ago. Fifty-three percent of women and 50 percent of men said they are satisfied with their jobs and not looking for new opportunities, compared to 43 percent of women and 41 percent of men in Accenture's 2012 research.

SJS860901_Datasheet PDF

At the end of the day, people in the overall survey seemed more happier than they did a year ago. Fifty-three percent of women and 50 percent of men said they are satisfied with their jobs and not looking for new opportunities, compared to 43 percent of women and 41 percent of men in Accenture's 2012 research.

All this suggests distributors may be facing more than a minor inventory correction. First-quarter sales are likely to be below those of the fourth. Without a powerful new growth driver, forecasts of a vigorous second half seem based more on hope than on evidence. In that environment, margin pressure is likely to increase.

All in all, after 30%-plus growth in 2000, North American distributor sales will do well to increase 15% this year, and profits in that sector will do well to match their year-earlier levels.

SJS860901_Datasheet PDF

And that's a forecast that I hope proves wrong.

Cambridge Consultants (CCL) is setting up a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary to focus on wireless technologies.

Dubbed Mezoe, the research and product development unit launches at the 3GSM Congress. It will concentrate on reference designs, protocol stacks and development tools for various wireless technologies, but with an initial emphasis on Bluetooth.

SJS860901_Datasheet PDF

The unit is to be led by Jim Schoenenberger, currently head of CCL's telecoms practice.

We will be developing and offering the bits that companies need to incorporate wireless technologies such as Bluetooth into their products and applications,” said Schoenenberger. If a company wants to incorporate the design into its product, then we will refer them to our parent.”

SJS860901_Datasheet PDF

At the Congress, Mezoe will be highlighting Bluetooth software, profiles and a protocol stack specific to GSM mobile handsets. CCL's Bluetooth solutions are already used by companies such as Cambridge Silicon Radio, Alcatel and Socket Communications.

About 25 engineers at CCL have transferred to the new business unit. Schoenenberger likens the business strategy to The Technology Partnership's creation of TTPcom and PA Consulting's launch of Ubinetics.

Despite short-term uncertainty around the softening in end-market demand, we feel it is important to invest prudently now for the long-term needs of our customers, while retaining our flexibility to respond to their capacity requirement for other production technologies.”

The 300mm fab will produce Chartered's most advanced process technologies down to 0.10-micron. The fab's 170,000 square-foot cleanroom will have a maximum production capacity of 30,000 300mm wafers per month.

To meet customers' 200mm demands, Chartered said it will maximize its existing capacity, including the scheduled expansion of Fab 6, which was first brought online in 2000.

Chartered joins rival foundries Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and UMC in shifting capacity expansion to 300mm wafers, and scaling back or cancelling 200mm expansion. Earlier, Intel also changed a planned expansion of its Irish wafer fab from 200mm to 300mm wafers, which will result in a year's delay in opening the facility.

United Microelectronics Corp. has slashed its capital expenditure budget for this year by almost half, as large inventory buildups at personal computer and communications companies show no signs of easing.

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