What are the topics covered this week? There’s the Next Best Things that didn’t quite happen, Ed confiding more indiscretions to his diary, Hynix under U.S. pressure, Bill Jewell’s Semiconductor Intelligence forecasting a 6% decline in the semiconductor industry and accounting errors at Imagination…
5. AR/VR – The Lost NBT [Mannerisms]
Like autonomous cars, the VR/AR revolution was the NBT that didn’t happen. According to Statista’s Advertising & Media Outlook, users of AR and VR devices are still few and far between, with growth projections until 2027 nowhere near the scale that would make mixed reality “the next computing platform”, at least for now. Statista estimates that 74 million will be using VR hardware this year, with AR users just short of 10 million worldwide.
4. Ed Exploits China’s Chip Vulnerability [Mannerisms]
My mate at the Chinese Embassy has been on to me sotto voce to see if I can help with the dilemma they are in following the ban on US nationals and residents working for Chinese chip companies, Ed confides to his diary. My mate at the Chinese Embassy has been on to me sotto voce to see if I can help with the dilemma they are in following the ban on US nationals and residents working for Chinese chip companies, Ed confides to his diary. The bounty the Chinese are paying per head of semiconductor engineers and execs who will work for them is huge, and I am sorely tempted.
3. Hynix may pull out of China
Hynix is considering pulling out of China after US restrictions have put difficulties in the way of it continuing its operations there. “As a contingency plan, we are considering selling the fab, selling the equipment or transferring the equipment to South Korea,” said Hynix CMO Kevin Noh earlier today. Two weeks ago, Hynix said it had been given permission by the US to use US technology for producing advanced memory in China for one year only. “We expect to extend it each year, but it is not for sure. It is very uncertain,” said Noh.
2. Semis down 6% next year as PC and smartphone sales decline
Bill Jewell’s Semiconductor Intelligence forecasts a 6% decline in the semiconductor industry next year driven by falling PC and smartphone sales. Third quarter 2022 data on PC and smartphone shipments shows a continuing year-to-year decline: IDC estimates PC units in 3Q 2022 were down 15% from a year earlier, matching the 2Q 2022 decline. IDC’s September forecast for PC units was a 12.8% decline for the year 2022, which is in line with the latest quarterly data.
1. Accounting errors at Imagination
As Imagination prepares to IPO, it has admitted to multiple accounting errors. Errors described as “prior year errors” worth £8.7 million were found in Imagination’s 2020 accounts. The accounts also failed to report a £711,000 share bonus scheme for execs started in 2020, which gave execs shares in its Chinese owner. In an IPO of Imagination at a valuation of more than $800 million these shares would be paid out in full at the listing price. The accounts also recognised revenues and costs as occurring in the wrong period which increased stated profits by £680,000 in 2020.