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Top Trades 2007: ‘EE Times’

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With semiconductors increasingly being manufactured using standard processes, makers have to work harder to differentiate their products to engineers and technical managers who are looking for a competitive edge, said Ross Ayotte, publisher and managing director of EE Times.

The accelerating trend has helped boost print advertising for EE Times—quite a feat considering how wedded the computer and electronics audiences are to the Internet.

In 2006, ad pages rose about 2.5% to 3,100, from 3,024 the previous year, according to figures from IMS-The Auditor.

"The design cycle has speeded up, and electronics designers are very selective with their time," said Ayotte, former director of marketing communications at Analog Devices, one of the publication's chief advertisers. "Advertisers recognize that and realize that we're reaching the right eyeballs."

Other mainstay advertisers include Linear Technology, Mentor Graphics, National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.

Advertisers buy into EETimes' wall-to-wall coverage of the design and development of new electronics products. For example, "eeProduct Week" is a section devoted exclusively to new electronics, with regular features on chips, components, power sources, and test and measurement instruments.

The publication has been adding new advertising opportunities. Last fall, it launched a special supplement titled Under the Hood, which breaks down an electronics product and examines how it was made.

"Engineers loved it because that's what they did when they were kids: tearing down something and putting it back together," Ayotte said, adding that he has two additional Under the Hood supplements scheduled for 2007. "People love to see what's inside of electronic products."

The publication has taken pains to personalize its print news coverage, with special attention on business issues affecting the electronics arena, such as the H1B Visa Program. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal government clamped down on the program, making it more difficult for foreigners to work in the U.S. "The industry is always clamoring to let more [engineers] into the country," Ayotte said. Another hot topic is semiconductor outsourcing to China

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