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<p>The only protection that end users have is with a testing program that will certify modules will meet the full JEDEC specifications,” Rhoden said, adding that some module firms are cutting corners to save costs by not meeting JEDEC specs” in order to reduce their prices.</p>

Robert Keenan contributed to this story

ST didn't disclose how much capital the two partners will devote to the joint program, but said about 20 engineers are working on the project. ST will retain the right to manufacture the products in its own fabs and has already earmarked two potential plants, including its Singapore facility.

Analysts said ST chose to team with Hynix because it can benefit from the Korean company's DRAM expertise. Hynix, on the other hand, gains a financially stronger ally and the opportunity to use its existing DRAM fab to make NAND flash, which is significantly easier to do than converting a DRAM plant to produce NOR flash, Niebel said.

9T12062A47R0DAHFT_Yageo_Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

The alliance could also give ST a chance to take over Hynix's memory business in the event Hynix is broken up, analysts said.

ST denies any intention to acquire the memory business of Hynix,” said Francois Colli, an analyst at BNP Paribas, Paris. However, we view this alliance as a way for ST to develop quickly a new product while monitoring closely the developments at Hynix, which we believe could be split up.”

Belden Inc. reported a loss of $2.3 million, or 9 cents per share, on sales of $196.3 million in the first quarter as the St. Louis-based cable and wire products supplier continued to bear the brunt of weak demand in its communications segment.

9T12062A47R0DAHFT_Yageo_Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

In the year-ago quarter, Belden posted net earnings of $1.2 million, or 5 cents per share, on sales of $207.1 million.

Belden recorded sales in its electronics segment of $137.0 million, flat with the year-ago quarter. But sales in the communications segment fell to $59.3 million from $70.0 million a year ago.

9T12062A47R0DAHFT_Yageo_Chip Resistor - Surface Mount

These results reflect that fact that, while our electronics markets continue to be relatively stable, the communications market is weakening and has been very difficult for us to forecast,” said C. Baker Cunningham, chairman and chief executive of Belden.

Belden expects to close its Kingston, Ontario communications cable plant at the end of June and plants in Australia and Germany later in the year. The actions are expected to save $7 million annually.

Probleme mit der Komplexität der Leiterbahnen hindern uns daran, Befehle parallel auszuführen”, erklärte er.

Um diese Designprobleme zu überwinden, setzen die Chiphersteller auf eine verbesserte Prozesstechnologie. Doch auch hier werde es Grenzen geben, wenn Probleme mit Stömen durch Tunneleffekte und so genannte Soft Errors ins Spiel kommen.

Dennoch sei die Elektronikbranche schon deshalb an das Silizium gebunden, weil sich damit eine Menge Geld machen lässt. Auch die grundlegendsten Aspekte der Elektronik — wie binäre Logik — basierten auf Silizium, so Horowitz.

Dazu käme, dass jüngste Innovationen wie organische Transistoren und Nanoverbindungen noch für einige Zeit nicht mit Silizium mithalten könnten. Man kann nur schwer etwas zum Laufen bekommen, wenn man nicht genug Geld hat. Und wie soll man genug Geld bekommen, wenn die Kunden fehlen?” räsonierte Horowitz.

Zwar wird Silizium seiner Ansicht nach in den kommenden Jahren nicht das aufregendste Medium in der Elektronikbranche sein, aber auch nicht an Bedeutung verlieren.