NEC Corp. today said it has temporarily closed its Hiroshima, Japan, fabs to check for any impact caused by an earthquake registering 7.3 on the Richter scale with its epicenter in the same prefecture as the plant.

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The development of low-voltage processors is changing system power supply architectures and is requiring the use of more sophisticated power management circuits. As we sweep past 2000 we will see more system architecture changes with the sub-1V supplies projected for 2004 and beyond.

This is the second time this week that the vertically integrated CEM revealed intentions to boost its service offerings via an acquisition. On Wednesday, C-MAC said it will acquire sensor maker Kavlico Corp., Moorpark, Calif., to further penetrate the aerospace, automotive and industrial markets. Kavlico also operates a plant in Minden, Germany.

But Agilent's IC efforts, along with its test and measurement business, were recently overshadowed by HP's vast portfolio of consumer-oriented products, like PCs, printers, midrange computers, and workstations. However, in a corporatewide shakeup last year, HP decided to spin off its test and measurement and communications component operations into an independent company, called Agilent.