Monday, June 06, 2016

Random Notes on a Monday

Linkfest with just a few comments: 

Okay, this is worth ~5 minutes of your time because it has the potential to be very disruptive.   

They really asked him a question about Donald Trump?  WTH??

If you don't want to watch a video this is worth a read:  

I have a lot of homework to do on this one.


VR headsets are all over the place but even at $150 or less I am simply not moved to buy one. Now, a contact lens that delivers information (voice, video, you name it), record what you are looking at and anticipates what you are thinking?  A million other little features could be incorporated but when we are talking about an advance this makes total sense. Plunk your Virtual Assistant(s) right in to your eye: 

This is going to take time to come to the market and I’m only noting it because this weekend my son and I were watching a Hero in a video-game-like movie, endowed with an amazing contact lens that pretty much told him everything. save the world and the life of the US President.  

Yes, over the last two days I have seen a vision of the future!  (pun intended)


Last week the SIA released chip sales for the month of April.  Slow economic growth = slow, or lower, chip sales. Others have commented about this but in the big picture we know that because of really slow global economic growth chip sales could be up or down 5% this year. Right now production is ramping and the industry is coming out of pretty large hole. EPS estimates are ticking up as quarterly confessionals pointed to a build/ramp taking place at the largest smartphone maker in the US.  Do I have to tell you who it is?  No.

Earlier this year I thought that the industry would turn around sooner but the innovation side, coupled with a gentle phase of austerity, has put end demand on hold. I don’t believe consumers have abandoned tech upgrades. They will buy if there is a compelling reason. Right now, I don’t see any reason to rush out and buy today’s offerings. (If you need it, yes. If what you have is working then more than likely you are better off waiting.  JMO)
As for the stocks, my favorites continue to be the analog houses and some of the RF suppliers.  Drop a comment here or send a note to carl at infras dot com if you are interested in learning more.  


Last week the SID Conference was held in San Francisco. This conference follows solid news of a ramp in OLED production and, at least to me, some signs of a product refresh for those companies that want to grab a share of your eyeball. A fairly decent overview of things presented at SID can be found here:  

Last Friday the Korea Herald did a tour of LG’s A3 factory in Gumi City, North Gyeongsang Province. LG believes OLED is the way of the future so they showed the visitors. flexible, rollable, large displays:   

The last display conference I went to was held by the USDC (US Display Consortium). Advances in display technology have been noted in numerous presentations I have seen since that time but the overall pace of advancement has been hamstrung by a lack of standards and challenges in material science. I mean, back with the USDC was doing conferences in the late 90’s and early ’00’s there were showings of flexible, OALED and AMOLED devices. Quantum Dots were even talked about at the time!  There were interactive screens and projectors that could produce wonderful images from small form factors. 

Yes, it was all there but simply not ready to hit the street.

Now it is coming to a device near you.  (This is, perhaps, my most overused phrase)  

Oh!  And if this ramp is going to take a while to play out Applied Materials should really benefit.  Right now the ball is in their court.


Amidst all the worry about sales of the coming iPhone the Monday Note writes about the iWatch and it’s success:  

It is not unusual for the Monday Note to reach for a silver lining in the Apple story. They recently wrote about the overlooked growth in Apple services. With iPhone and iMac sales hitting the skids you have to search for positives. Watches and Services are where it’s at right now.

If you think a bit about the progression between a watch all the way to connected contact lenses you can see that this tech cycle has a long way to go. I’m all down for the lenses. Would be nice to seem the application of some really big R&D dollars to advance this agenda.

As for the watch....  I will wait awhile.


Next week in Las Vegas is the Confab and you can bet that toes will be bruised from kicking over IoT rocks. Global Foundries leads off and has a been calling the IoT the Golden Age for Semiconductors. 
Here is the agenda:  

This event is kinda close to my heart because years ago I was the Chairman for the Committee that ran this conference for SEMI The whole goal of the Strategic Business Conference (SBC) was to bring the material and equipment supply chains together with the semi-fab decision makers. It was a fantastic venue and in looking at the lineup Solid State Technology has put together I am sure this one is just as good. I should really consider going to this next week given that I am on the West Coast right now. 

Either way, someone will write up the presentations and give us a few hints about the conversations.  I will be listening.


Let’s face it, all is not roses with the IoT. Many on Wall Street are skeptical about the hope and promise of this fully connected vision. I say Wall Street but there are members of the media covering the electronic industry that are just as perplexed: 

Then again….. 


Spinning today’s topic wheel for a couple more:

First hand experience:  I have brothers that are homebuilders and the labor shortage is strangling the growth of their business.  

Man, that is terrible. How are we going to deal with it?  Maybe it is not that gloomy but the stark reality is hard to grasp. How do you deal with it?  

I say, "All is not lost!"  Labor shortage?  No problem. Why not use 3D printers to build houses? Less labor, good use of material, blazing fast and cost efficient."  You've probably saw this a few years ago but it is worth another view: 

Sure, it’s not ready yet but if we can see a problem coming why not fix it now?  Never surrender, never give up!


Fascinating…. The SEC wants leveraged ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) to reduce their leverage because they are too risky for the average investor. Are hedge funds and banks experiencing the same thing?   

This particular piece is only of interest because I have been tracking the action in the Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X ETF (SOXL) since the first big bottom back in August of last year. It’s thinly traded but the performance has been pretty good.  


Until my next post, enjoy the bull market and have a nice day!

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