As the leading independent distributor of electronic components, Smith tracks open-market activity and conditions as an early indicator of trends and supply chain disruptions. Industry news provides important and time-sensitive information when strategically procuring components, planning for NPIs, or making any critical decisions in the supply chain.
We’ve curated a selection of this week’s industry articles that we feel can help customers gain relevant, useful knowledge and prepare for any supply chain requirements.
SK hynix’s new China plant to stay idle over Huawei fallout
Chip manufacturer SK Hynix is reportedly slowing the production ramp-up at its new DRAM manufacturing plant in China amid falling demand for memory chips from the company’s Chinese partners. The facility, located in Wuxi, was completed in April and expected to start full operations in the third quarter. Last year, SK Hynix’s sales in China accounted for nearly 40% of its total revenue. Sales to the embattled Huawei accounted for 12% alone. DRAM accounted for 80% of total sales, and, with prices continuing to fall, many analysts predict that SK Hynix could report a deficit in operating profit in the fourth quarter this year. Read More
Notebook supply chain sees significant increases in orders for June and July
ODMs are believed to be increasing orders on behalf of the brands they build for through their supply chain partners amid ongoing U.S.-China tariff concerns. Their goal is to build buffer stock to maintain product manufacturing lines as suppliers move their production lines out of China and into other locations. Inventec, for example, is moving its production of U.S.-marketed notebook computers back to Taiwan and is building inventory to prevent supply chain disruptions. As a result of the relocation, the company expects its notebook capacity in Taiwan to triple in 2019. The current buildup of inventory could lead to slower purchasing activity in the second half of the year. Additionally, a U.S./China resolution of trade disputes could lead to a sudden excess of inventory in the second half of the year, as built-up inventories would no longer be necessary. Read More 
Volvo partners with NVIDIA to develop AI for autonomous trucks
The Volvo Group signed an agreement with NVIDIA this week to develop AI for autonomous trucks. The solution, built on NVIDIA’s full software stack for sensor processing, perception, map localization, and path planning, aims to enable a wide range of possible applications, including freight transport, refuse and recycling collection, and public transport.
“We continue to gradually introduce automated applications in the entire spectrum of automation, from driver support systems to fully autonomous vehicles and machines. This partnership with NVIDIA is an important next step on that journey,” said Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group, in a press release. The collaboration is expected to begin immediately, with co-locations in Gothenburg, Sweden and Santa Clara, California. Read More
Texas wins a slice of tech giant Google’s $13B expansion in US
Google just announced a $13 billion expansion in the U.S. to increase its presence outside of Silicon Valley. The two largest single investments announced include a $600 million data center in the Dallas, Texas area and a $600 million investment for a data center in Pryor, Oklahoma. The total planned investments for 2019 will include 14 U.S. states in total, significantly increasing Google’s data-center footprint, which supports customers around the globe.
In related news, Google is moving the production of Nest thermostats and server hardware out of China in an ongoing effort to combat U.S. tariff concerns. The company has already shifted most of its production of U.S.-bound motherboards to Taiwan to avoid the tariffs. Read More
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