The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Former Intel CEO Grove dies; bearish CapEx forecast; SPIE recap; GF’s RF; MEMS contest.


Intel announced that the company’s former CEO and chairman, Andrew Grove, passed away. He was 79. Present at Intel’s 1968 founding with Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, Grove became Intel’s president in 1979 and CEO in 1987. He served as chairman from 1997 to 2005. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andy Grove,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in a statement. “Andy made the impossible happen, time and again, and inspired generations of technologists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.”


Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, is bearish about the fab tool market for 2016. The wafer fab equipment (WFE) market for DRAM is projected to fall by 10%, while NAND will drop by 7%, according to RBC. The bright spot is foundry/IDM spending, which is projected to jump by 6% due to initial investment in 10nm.

“In the short-run, semicap equipment companies will see a challenging demand environment as we think total wafer fab equipment (WFE) will likely be flat to down 5%, reflecting our belief that customers will curtail spending given a rather soft pricing environment,” Daryanani said in a report. “Our CapEx model calls for aggregate CapEx to be down 4%, which could end-up putting revenue pressure across the board.”


North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted a book-to-bill ratio of 1.05 in February, according to SEMI. In addition, SEMI reported that worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $36.53 billion in 2015, representing a year-over-year decrease of 3%. 2015 total equipment bookings were 5% lower than in 2014.

Applied Materials plans to invest 4 billion yuan ($615 million) to expand in the China market, according to reports.

In a video, Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, recaps the buzz at eBeam Initiative’s recent event at the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference.

GlobalFoundries has announced its new radio-frequency (RF) silicon solutions. The company has expanded its portfolio of silicon germanium (SiGe) power amplifier (PA) technologies for cellular and Wi-Fi technologies.

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) announced the results of its 2016 board election. Bami Bastani, senior vice president of the RF business unit at GlobalFoundries, is a new member of the board.

Samsung Electronics has introduced a line of chip-scale LED packages. In addition, Samsung introduced new color quality improvements for its small LES (light-emitting surface) chip-on-board package series.

Jointly sponsored by Cadence Design Systems, Coventor, X-Fab and Reutlingen University, a new MEMS Design Contest is being launched at DATE 2016. The objective of this contest is to encourage ingenuity with regard to the integration of MEMS devices and mixed-signal CMOS blocks.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering’s bid to acquire more shares in Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) was unsuccessful. This was due to a failure to satisfy the tender offer conditions. But ASE hasn’t given up in its efforts to buy all or part of SPIL. It is now looking to form a holding company, which would consist of ASE and SPIL.

Analog Devices announced the acquisition of SNAP Sensor, a company that specializes in vision sensing technologies.