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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC posted mixed results for the second quarter. It also presented a mixed outlook for the third quarter, according to various reports. TSMC and Samsung are in the midst of a foundry battle at 7nm and 5nm. “TSMC raised its 2019 capex outlook to over $11B, up from prior guidance of $10B-$11B. The increased capex is to support 5nm and 7nm ramps, with accelerated 5G investment a... » read more

China’s Latest Goal—More DRAMs


China is once again making a concerted effort to get its domestic DRAM industry off the ground. Past efforts have fallen short or failed. This time around, it’s unclear if China will succeed, but the industry should pay close attention here. So why would China want to play a bigger role in the tough and competitive DRAM business? For one thing, the U.S. and China are in the midst of a t... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

Challenges Grow For 5G Packages And Modules


The shift to 5G wireless networks is driving a need for new IC packages and modules in smartphones and other systems, but this move is turning out to be harder than it looks. For one thing, the IC packages and RF modules for 5G phones are more complex and expensive than today's devices, and that gap will grow significantly in the second phase of 5G. In addition, 5G devices will require an as... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 15


Atomtronics The Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (IESL-FORTH) and others have developed an atomtronic accelerator ring, a move that could advance the field of atomtronics. Researchers have developed a small accelerator ring-shaped matterwave guide, which is capable of accelerating sub-atomic particles at hypersonic speeds. It c... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 10


Semicon West It’s Semicon West time again. Here’s the first wave of announcements at the event: Applied Materials has unveiled a pair of tools aimed at accelerating the industry adoption for new memories. First, Applied rolled out the Endura Clover MRAM PVD system. The system is an integrated platform for MRAM devices. Second, the company introduced the Endura Impulse PVD platform for P... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and materials Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. With the acquisition of Kokusai’s semiconductor equipment unit, Applied expands its customer base and gains a foothold in the batch processing equipment business, where a tool can process wafers in parallel. Applied’s strength is in the ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 3


Gamma-ray inspection The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has started a program to develop gamma-ray inspection techniques. The effort, called the Gamma Ray Inspection Technology (GRIT) program, is aimed to develop gamma-ray radiation sources in compact form factors for use in national security, industrial, and medical applications. [caption id="attachment_24151285" alig... » read more

Applied Buys Kokusai For $2.2B


Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. For years, Kokusai Electric was a subsidiary of Hitachi. It sells epitaxial, thermal processing and other equipment. Then, as part of a complex business deal, KKR in 2017 acquired the semiconductor equipment business of Hitachi Kokusai Electric from Hitachi. ... » read more

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