5 Takeaways From SEMI’s SMC


At the recent Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the IC industry, market drivers, electronic materials and other subjects. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from SMC: Materials M&A mania Last year, the IC industry experienced a dizzying array of merger ... » read more

Get Ready For In-Mold Electronics


Imagine inserting the electronics into a product without using a printed circuit board, a module, or even a system-in-package. That's the promise of in-mold electronics (IME), a technology that has been around for years, but which is just beginning to see wider adoption. The technology is related to conductive inks and transparent conductive films. The IME manufacturing process is said to pr... » read more

The Week In Review: IoT


Connectivity M1 Limited of Singapore worked with Nokia to launch a nationwide narrowband Internet of Things network, targeting such applications as asset tracking, environmental monitoring, fleet management, and smart energy management for buildings. M1 hopes to boost the IoT ecosystem in Singapore with the new NB-IoT network. M&A DuPont has agreed to acquire Granular, a provider of digita... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs


As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab and test equipment The wafer inspection market is heating up. For example, Applied Materials announced its new e-beam inspection system for use in foundry, logic, DRAM and 3D NAND applications. In addition, KLA-Tencor introduced six wafer defect inspection and review systems for leading-edge IC device manufacturing. National Instruments has rolled out a second-generation vector sig... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


In 2015, Korea outspent all other countries ($9 billion) on front-end semiconductor fab equipment, according to SEMI. But Korea is expected to drop to second place in 2016, as Taiwan takes over with the largest CapEx spending at $8.3 billion, according to SEMI. In 2015, Americas ranked third in overall regional CapEx spending with about $5.6 billion and is forecast to increase only slightly to ... » read more

OLED Displacing LCD, But Not Affecting Industry Leaders


By Michael P.C. Watts One of the most common themes in high tech is how companies fail to deal with game-changing new products. Think about Kodak and digital cameras, Sony and the flash memory music player, Microsoft and the tablet, GE and Osram and the Light Emitting Diode (LED). The overwhelming conclusion seems to be that you have to be committed to making your own most valuable product red... » read more