Smart Grid: Part of a Bigger Opportunity

A few years ago the smart grid represented an opportunity for electronics companies to tap into a rapidly growing market. Thanks to new energy standards, increased public concern for energy savings; volatile gas and oil prices; potential government subsidies and advanced electronics technologies, the grid and its offshoots looked ripe for the picking. Has the…

Navigating the Dev Kit Market

The development kit will play an important role in changing the electronics industry – for designers, distributors and purchasing professionals alike. In the last year alone development kits were used in 45 percent of all designs, according to an element14 survey. Today’s development tools have become so sophisticated, it’s easy to forget they were once…

Counterfeit vs. ‘Nonconforming’ Parts Rule Stirs Industry Concern

The much ballyhooed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which tackles the issue of counterfeit components in the Department of Defense supply chain, has left many in the electronics industry scratching their heads. Although it is not unusual for the language of a rule to be either too vague or too restrictive, the Federal Acquisition Regulation…

How Does Cisco Manage Supply Chain Risk?

Cisco, the high-tech electronics manufacturer, has long been regarded by the business community as having one of the best supply chains in the industry. Cisco regards supply chain resilience as a core business challenge across the enterprise, not just a logistics problem. In its efforts to improve its resilience, the company  has gone from a…

Microchip Warns Customers to Prepare for Tight Supplies

Microchip Technology Inc. has alerted customers to possible component shortages as demand surge in multiple product segments, resulting in extended lead times and rising capacity constraints. Steve Sanghi, chairman, president and CEO of the semiconductor vendor, warned in a memo to customers that continued misalignment in orders at a time of rising demand and plant…

Fab Capacity Stretched: Uptick in Sight?

For an industry that’s been in the doldrums since the 2009 recession, the words “strained capacity at chip players across the industry” are, ironically, welcome. The electronics components market has enjoyed an extended period of ample supply, and only a shortage or an unexpected surge in demand will spur the market into proactive purchasing for…

Emerging Markets Attract High-Tech but Dangers Lurk

Two demographic trends are positioning emerging markets at the forefront of the technology sector’s future: The rise of the global middle class and urbanization. Over the last decade, the cumulative proportion of global output for the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) has increased from 38 to 50 percent. Other emerging markets,…

Distribution M&A Takes a Different Tack

The electronics distribution industry will never again see the kind of merger and acquisition activity that took place in the 1990s. During that period, trade journals’ rankings of the Top 100 Distributors became the Top 50 and then the Top 25. The driver, of course, was nationalization and then globalization. Distributors were filling in the…

Surging China Alters Components Distribution Hierarchy

The East vs. West struggle for economic dominance and relevance is turning the global electronics components distribution market on its head. A mere nine years after it was incorporated, WPG Holdings Ltd. is threatening to upstage Arrow Electronics Inc. as the No. 2 global electronics components distributor in what is shaping up as the most…