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Thursday 6th December 2001

Siemens End Control of Infineon

Siemens has relinquished its controlling share in Infineon with the transfer of its majority shares to an open market transaction. Siemens previously held a 50.4% share in the company and this has now been cut to under 50% with Siemens effectively giving up its voting right majority.

According to Siemens the move is a natural consequence of the launch of Siemens semiconductor division and the subsequent initial public offering of Infineon. The company also claimed that the deconsolidation is an interim step and that Siemens' overall goal is to withdraw from Infineon completely.

"I welcome this step, which was always planned. We are pleased that Siemens found a way to deconsolidate Infineon in a way that is friendly to Infineon's shareholders", commented Dr. Ulrich Schumacher, CEO and president of Infineon.


Worldwide Chip Sales to Plunge 38% in 2001

Worldwide sales of chip production equipment for 2001 will fall by 38% to $29.6 billion, according to a new report from Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI). SEMI claim that the 38% drop will mark the biggest annual decline in the sector's history.

The company said that the current quarter is likely to be seen as the 'cyclic trough' for the industry but that the market will still remain flat to slightly down throughout 2002. Spending cuts on plant and machinery and a general slowdown in the global economy was highlighted as reasons for the decline.


Welcome Real Time and Cards etc in Smart Card Alliance

Welcome Real Time and Cards etc. have formed an alliance in an attempt to simplify the implementation of the companies' Smart Card programs. The agreement will build upon the integration of Welcome Real Time's XLS and Cards etc's Arterium solution and claims to offer a significant reduction in Smart Card implementation cost and time.

"Issuers face important new support issues as they upgrade to Smart Cards," said Aneace Haddad, president and CEO of Welcome Real Time. "Integrating XLS and Arterium from Cards etc provides issuers the tools they need for everything from fast and accurate answers on programs or card replacement, to managing application programs and security across multiple card technologies and loyalty systems."


Gemplus Win eConnect Contract

Gemplus has won an order from eConnect to provide the company with consulting services and loyalty-based Smart Cards. eConnect are to develop Smart Card loyalty and micro-payment Internet applications that will be compatible with its eCashPad USB hybrid magnetic stripe reader, PINPad and Smart Card connector.

eConnect aim to provide Internet merchants who offer the eConnect Bank Eyes Only service with the ability to allow customers to use the eCashPad USB when purchasing online.


Cintelia and Iridian Announce Biometric Agreement

Cash Technologies subsidiary Cintelia, and Iridian Technologies have announced that they have signed an agreement to market biometric security systems based on Iridian's iris recognition technology and Cintelia's PrISM software.

Under the arrangement, Iridian will provide its iris recognition hardware and iris-code management tools whilst PrISM will perform all other data processing functions, including enterprise support for the iris recognition devices, enrolment processing, risk analysis engine and connectivity to third party networks.

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