Modern Portfolio Theory contains within it a very simple yet very powerful concept, known as the Efficient Frontier.
Wikipedia states it succinctly, as:
“A combination of assets, i.e. a portfolio, is referred to as “efficient” if it has the best possible expected level of return for its level of risk (usually proxied by the standard deviation of the portfolio’s return).
Every possible combination of risky assets, without including the risk-free asset, can be plotted in Risk -Expected Return space, and the collection of all such possible portfolios defines a region in this space. The upward-sloped (positively-sloped) part of the left boundary of this region is called the “efficient frontier”. The efficient frontier is then the portion of the opportunity set that offers the highest expected return for a given level of risk.”
The simpler explanation, for those not statistically inclined, is this:
Consider the universe of investments, or assets.
Each asset carries with it a certain level of risk and expected return.
Top 5 Semiconductor Companies To Own In Right Now: Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASX)
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc. is principally engaged in the manufacture, assembly, processing, testing and distribution of integrated circuits (ICs). The Company provides semiconductor packaging and testing services, including plastic leaded chip carriers (PLCCs), quad flat packages (QFPs) and flip chip packaging technology, among others, which are applied in the manufacture of household electrical appliances, communication devices, automobile components, personal computers, set top boxes, servers, memory integrated circuits (ICs), mobile phones, digital cameras, game consoles, projectors, high definition (HD) televisions, wireless communication network products and power management ICs, among others. The Company operates its businesses primarily in Taiwan, Europe and the Americas. In August 2010, the Company acquired a 100% interest in EEMS Test Singapore.
The Company is focused on packaging and testing logic semiconductors. The Company offers its customers turnkey services, which consist of packaging, testing and direct shipment of semiconductors to end users designated by its customers. The Company’s global base of over 200 customers includes semiconductor companies across a range of end use applications, including Altera Corporation, ATI Technologies, Inc., Broadcom Corporation, Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited and Microsoft Corporation. During the year ended December 31, 2008, the Company’s packaging revenues accounted for 77.7% of its net revenues and its testing revenues accounted for 20.1% of its net revenues.
The Company offers a range of package types to meet the requirements of its customers, with a focus on packaging solutions. Within its portfolio of package types, the Company focuses on the packaging of semiconductors. These include advanced leadframe-based package types, such as quad flat package, thin quad flat package, bump chip carrier and quad flat no -lead package, and package types based on substrates, such a! s flip-chip ball grid array (BGA) and other BGA types, as well as other packages, such as wafer-bumping products. Leadframe-based packages are packaged by connecting the die, using wire bonders, to the leadframe with gold wire. The Company’s leadframe-based packages include quad flat package (QFP)/ thin quad flat package (TQFP), quad flat no-lead package (QFN)/microchip carrier (MCC), advanced quad flat no-lead package (AQFN), bump chip carrier (BCC), small outline plastic package (SOP)/thin small outline plastic package (TSOP), small outline plastic j-bend package (SOJ), plastic leaded chip carrier (PLCC) and plastic dual in-line package (PDIP). Substrate-based packages employ the BGA design, which utilizes a substrate rather than a leadframe. It also assembles system-in-a-package products, which involve the integration of more than one chip into the same package. The Company’s substrate-based packages include Plastic BGA, Cavity Down BGA, Stacked-Die BGA, Flip-Chip BGA and land grid array (LGA).
The Company’s wafer-level packaging products include wafer level chip scale package (aCSP) and advanced wafer level package (aWLP). The Company offers module assembly services, which combine one or more packaged semiconductors with other components in an integrated module to enable functionality, typically using surface mount technology (SMT) machines and other machinery and equipment for system-level assembly. End use applications for modules include cellular phones, personal digital assistant (PDAs), wireless local area network (LAN) applications, bluetooth applications, camera modules, automotive applications and toys.
The Company provides module assembly services primarily at its facilities in Korea for radio frequency and power amplifier modules used in wireless communications and automotive applications. Interconnect materials connect the input/output on the semiconductor dies to the printed circuit board. Interc onnect materials include substrate, which is a multi-layer m! iniature ! printed circuit board. The Company produces substrates for use in its packaging operations.
The Company provides a range of semiconductor testing services, including front-end engineering testing, wafer probing, final testing of logic/mixed-signal/radio frequency (RF) and memory semiconductors and other test-related services. The Company provides front-end engineering testing services, including customized software development, electrical design validation, and reliability and failure analysis. The Company provides final testing services for a variety of memory products, such as static random access memory (SRAM), dynamic random access memory (DRAM), single-bit erasable programmable read-only memory semiconductors and flash memory semiconductors.
The Company provides a range of additional test-related services, including burn-in testing, module sip testing, dry pack, tape and reel, and electric interface board and mec hanical test tool design. The Company offers drop shipment services for shipment of semiconductors directly to end users designated by its customers.
- [By Jeff Reeves]
Best Stocks to Buy for Around $5: Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASX)
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASX) builds and distributes integrated circuits and other electronics. While that’s not as sexy as other chipmakers that play to mobile, it’s still a good business, considering the general demand for microchips in everything from cars to computers to TVs.
- [By David Dittman]
Crown Resorts is a buy all the way up to USD16.50 on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) using the symbol CWN and on the US over-the-counter (OTC) market using the symbol CWLDF.
Top 5 Semiconductor Companies To Own In Right Now: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSM)
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a Taiwan-based company principally engaged in the research, development, manufacture and distribution of integrated circuit (IC) related products. The Company operates its businesses through wafer manufacture, mask production, wafer testing and packaging components. The Company also involves in the provision of production management, customer services and design services. Its products and services are applied in the manufacture of personal computers and peripheral products, information related products, wire and wireless communication systems, automobile and industrial equipment, as well as consumer electronic products, such as digital disk players, digital televisions (TVs), game consoles, digital cameras, among others. Its customers include Altera, AMD, Broadcom, Marvell, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Analog Devices, Freescale, NXP and Texas Instruments, among others. In July 2010, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. acquired mechan ical and engineering equipment from ASML HONG KONG LTD. In September 2010, the Company acquired a set of equipments from ASML HONG KONG LTD. In December 2010, the Company acquired a set of equipment from TOKYO ELECTRON LTD., KLA-TENCOR CORP. and NOVELLUS SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL,B.V. In January 2011, the Company announced that it had acquired a set of equipment from KLA-TENCOR CORP., a set of equipment and facility, and another set of equipment from VARIAN SEMI. EQUIP. ASSOCIATES GmbH. In March 2011, the Company acquired a set of equipments from Rudolph Technologies, Inc.In March 2011, the Company acquired a set of equipments from Rudolph Technologies, Inc. In May 2011, it acquired a set of equipments form APPLIED MATERIALS SOUTH EAST ASIA PACIFIC LTD., Hamatech APE Gmbh and CO. KG, TOKYO ELECTRON LTD., DAINIPPON SCREEN MFG. CO., LTD., and VARIAN SEMI. EQUIP. ASSOCIATES GMBH.
TSMC’s customers include semiconductor companies, ranging from fabless semiconduct or and systems companies, such as Advanced Micro Devices, In! c., Altera Corporation, Broadcom Corporation, Marvell Semiconductor Inc., MediaTek Inc., nVidia Corporation and Qualcomm Incorporated, to integrated device manufacturers, such as LSI Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments Inc. Fabless semiconductor and system companies accounted for approximately 80%, and integrated device manufacturers accounted for approximately 20% of its net sales as of December 31, 2009.
The Company manufactures semiconductors using CMOS and BiCMOS processes. The BiCMOS process combines the speed of the bipolar circuitry and the power consumption and density of the CMOS circuitry. It uses the CMOS process to manufacture logic semiconductors, memory semiconductors, including static random access memory (SRAM), flash memory, mixed-signal/ radio frequency (RF) semiconductors, which combine analog and digital circuitry in a single semiconductor, micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS), which combines micrometer featured mechanical parts, analog and digital circuitry in a single semiconductor, and embedded memory semiconductors, which combine logic and memory in a single semiconductor. The BiCMOS process is used to make high-end mixed-signal and other types of semiconductors.
- [By Ashraf Eassa]
We can reasonably assume that Intel spends about $2.5 billion/year on developing its leading-edge manufacturing technologies. To put this into perspective, TSMC (NYSE: TSM ) — the world’s leading independent semiconductor contract manufacturer — has spent about $1.64 billion on R&D during the last 12 months, with that run rate more than double the amount the company spent in 2010. Developing leading-edge manufacturing technology is getting harder and more expensive.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
The Emerging Markets Index holds Tencent Holdings Ltd., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM), China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), and China Construction Bank Corp. (HKG: 0939) among their top six holdings.
- [By Ashraf Eassa]
On the other hand, Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM ) and Samsung, the two remaining leading-edge foundries, are claiming that their 14/16-nanometer process technologies will be in high volume production during 2015. If we look at what has been announced so far in the way of products and timelines, we can get a sense of Intel’s competitive position:
- [By Ashraf Eassa]
Is the tide turning?
According to Digitimes, chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM ) , or TSMC, has apparently begun to see an uptick in orders from PC-levered names such as AMD (NYSE: AMD ) and NVIDIA. (Intel builds its chips at its own manufacturing plants). While this is mildly positive for TSMC, which is also levered to the fast-growing mobile markets, it could end up being very positive for Intel and the PC-levered names in general.
Top 5 Semiconductor Companies To Own In Right Now: Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPI)
Malaysian Pacific Industries Berhad (MPI) is an investment holding company. The principal activities of MPI, through its subsidiaries are manufacturing, assembling, testing and sale of integrated circuits, semiconductor devices, electronic components and lead frames to customers globally. The Company’s operating geographical segments include Asia, The United States of America, and Europe. The Company’s subsidiaries include Carsem (M) Sdn Bhd, Recams Sdn Bhd, Carsem Holdings Limited, Carsem Semiconductor (Suzhou) Co., Ltd, Dynacraft Industries Sdn Bhd, Carter Realty Sdn Bhd, Carter Realty Sdn Bhd and Carsem Holdings (HK) Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Michael Page International Plc (MPI) increased 1.1 percent to 490.2 pence after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, saying the recruitment firm will benefit from a pick-up in the European economy.
Top 5 Semiconductor Companies To Own In Right Now: NeoPhotonics Corp (NPTN)
NeoPhotonics Corporation, incorporated on October 31, 1996, is a designer and manufacturer of photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-based modules and subsystems for bandwidth-intensive, high-speed communications networks. The Company has a portfolio of over 300 products, including products that enable data transmission at 10 gigabytes per second, 40 gigabytes per second and 100 gigabytes per second, agility products, such as reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs) that allocate bandwidth to adjust for volatile traffic patterns, and access products that provide high-bandwidth connections to more devices and people over fixed and wireless networks. In October 2011, the Company acquired Santur Corporation. In June 2013, it announced first shipments of optical transceiver modules out of its new, high capacity factory in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China.
The Company’s products are categorized in 34 product families. The Company sells its products t o the network equipment vendors globally, including ADVA AG Optical Networking Ltd., Alcatel-Lucent SA, Ciena Corporation (including its recent acquisition of Nortel’s Metro Ethernet Networks business), Cisco Systems, Inc., FiberHome Technologies Group, ECI Telecom Ltd., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Fujitsu Limited, Harmonic, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, NEC Corporation, Nokia Siemens Networks B.V. and ZTE Corporation.
The Company competes with Finisar Corporation, JDS Uniphase Corporation, MRV Communications, Inc., NTT Electronics Corporation and Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations, Inc.
- [By Anders Bylund]
Close competitor NeoPhotonics (NYSE: NPTN ) soared 15% higher. Larger rival JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ: JDSU ) jumped 7.9% to become the fastest gainer on the S&P 500. If Ciena can beat its own expectations in selling Internet backbone equipment to a bevy of major telecoms, its chief rivals must eventually follow suit. JDS is only one month removed from its latest quarterly report, which sent shares diving 7% overnight (but all was forgiven a week later). NeoPhotonics also reported in early May, but didn’t make any waves then.
Top 5 Semiconductor Companies To Own In Right Now: ARM Holdings PLC (ARMH)
ARM Holdings plc (ARM), incorporated on October 16, 1990, designs microprocessors, physical intellectual property (IP) and related technology and software, and sells development tools. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated in three business segments: the Processor Division (PD), the Physical IP Division (PIPD) and the System Design Division (SDD). ARM licenses and sells its technology and products to international electronics companies, which in turn manufacture, markets and sells microprocessors, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and application-specific standard processors (ASSPs) based on ARM’s technology to systems companies for incorporation into a range of end products. It also licenses and sells development tools directly to systems companies and provides support services to its licensees, systems companies and other systems designers.
ARM processor architecture and physical IP is used in embedded microprocessor applications, i ncluding cellular phones, digital televisions, mobile computers and personal computer peripherals, smart cards and microcontrollers. ARM’s principal geographic markets are Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific. ARM’s product offering includes microprocessor Cores: RISC microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as video and graphics IP and on-chip fabric IP; embedded software; physical IP; development tools, and support and maintenance services.
The PD encompasses those resources that are centered on microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as graphics IP, fabric IP, embedded software IP and configurable digital signal processing (DSP) IP. Service revenues consist of design consulting services and revenues from support, maintenance and training.
Physical IP Division
The PIPD is focused on building blocks for translation of a circuit design into actual silicon. Durin g the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company’s total av! erage PIPD headcount was 557. ARM is a provider of physical IP components for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits, including systems-on-chip (SoCs). ARM Artisan physical IP products include embedded memory, standard cell and input/output components. Artisan physical IP also includes a limited portfolio of analog and mixed-signal products. ARM’s physical IP components are developed for a range of process geometries ranging from 20 nanometer – 250 nanometer. ARM licenses its products to customers for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits used in complex, high-volume applications, such as portable computing devices, communication systems, cellular phones, microcontrollers, consumer multimedia products, automotive electronics, personal computers and workstations and many others.
ARM’s embedded memory components include random access memories, read only memories and register files. These memories are provided in the form of a configurabl e memory compiler, which allows the customer to generate the appropriate configuration for the given application. ARM’s memory components include many configurable features, such as power-down modes, low-voltage data retention and fully static operation, as well as different transistor options to trade off performance and power. In addition, ARM’s memory components include built-in test interfaces that support the industry test methodologies and tools. ARM memory components also offer redundant storage elements.
ARM’s memory components are designed to enable the chip designer maximum flexibility to achieve the optimum power, performance, and density trade-off. ARM offers standard cell components that are optimized for high performance, high density or ultra high density. ARM logic products deliver optimal performance, power and area when building ARM Processors, Graphics, Video and Fabric IP along with general SoC subsystem implementation. ARM delivers phy sical interface for a range of DDR SDRAM (double-data rate s! ynchronou! s dynamic random-access memory) applications ranging from mission critical applications to low-power memory sub-systems. Silicon on Insulator (SOI) products is an alternative methodology to traditional semiconductor fabrication techniques.
System Design Division
The SDD is focused on the tools and models used to create and debug software and system-on-chip (SoC) designs. ARM’s software development tools help a software design engineer deliver products right the first time. Engineers use these tools in the design and deployment of code, from applications running on open operating systems right through to low-level firmware. The ARM Development Studio is a hardware components that allow the software designer to connect to a real target system and control the system for the purposes of finding errors in the software. The ARM DSTREAM unit allows the software developer to control the software running on the prototype product and examine the internal st ate of the prototype product. ARM Development Boards are ideal systems for prototyping ARM-based products. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit supports ARM-based microcontrollers and 8051-based microcontrollers from companies, such as Analog Devices, Atmel, Freescale, Fujitsu, NXP, Samsung, Sharp, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Toshiba. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit is used by developers who are building products and writing software using standard off-the-shelf microcontrollers.
The ARM Microprocessor Families
ARM architecture processors offers a range of performance options in the ARM7 family, ARM9 family, ARM11 family, ARM Cortex family and ARM SecurCore family. The ARM architecture gives systems designers a choice of processor cores at different performance/price points. The ARM7 offers 32-bit architecture capable of operating from 8/16-bit memory on an 8/16-bit bus through the implementation of the Thumb instruction set . The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in ! the 150-2! 50MHz range. Each processor has been designed for a specific application or function, such as an application processor for a feature phone or running a wireless fidelity (WiFi) protocol stack. The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 150-250 megahertz range. The ARM11 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 300-600 megahertz range. ARM Cortex family is ARM’s family of processor cores based on version 7 of the ARM Architecture. The family is split into three series: A Series, A Series and M Series.
- [By Evan Niu, CFA]
Positioned at the heart of the mobile revolution, ARM Holdings (NASDAQ: ARMH ) has a unique perspective on where computing is headed. The British company just reported a strong second quarter and shares are enjoying healthy gains today. It’s possible that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) had a little something to do with driving ARM’s quarter.
- [By Ashraf Eassa]
Let’s be honest; there was no need
Intel’s progress in tablets has been quite superb over the past several months. It now has complete control over tablets powered by Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT ) Windows 8.1 and has been able to enable such devices at even the $100 price point. The argument that Windows RT (powered by ARM Holdings (NASDAQ: ARMH ) -compatible chips) would be required for such price points has now been thoroughly debunked. Bay Trail looks wildly successful on the Windows front.