IoT Requires The Evolution Of The “New” 200mm Fab

By Bill Martin & Paul Werbaneth In April, we all celebrated the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law. While critical for the industry, sometimes “chasing-the-latest-technology” business model is not the answer. Sometimes veering away from Moore’s Law makes more sense and is a better alternative. But, ever since the 1970’s, many product developer minds were conditioned that smaller w... » read more

RF SOI Foundry Biz Heats Up

The foundry business is undergoing a new round of acquisition and fab expansion activity. As before, the big foundry vendors are getting bigger, while some may fall by the wayside. And at times, the events cause some uncertainty, if not jitters, in the supply chain. For example, [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"]in October signed a definitive agreement to acquire the chip uni... » read more

The Week In Review: Sept. 23

By Mark LaPedus For some time, Apple’s iPhones have incorporated a separate RF switch and diversity switch from Peregrine Semiconductor (PSMI). The switches are based on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) variant called silicon-on-sapphire (SOS). Murata takes Peregrine’s RF switches and integrates them into a module. Doug Freedman, an analyst with RBC Capital, said Apple is no longer using PSMI... » read more

The Week In Review: Aug. 12

By Mark LaPedus Is the sky falling on semi capital spending? “We have seen several 2014 industry demand estimates in the 20%+ range, based on the ramps of FinFET and 3D NAND,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. “We expect Samsung to ramp spending in Q4, but we believe foundry and logic spending will remain soft for several quarters. As a result, we are developin... » read more

The Week In Review: Aug 5

By Mark LaPedus According to a nationwide online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of, 36% of those Americans who experienced PC problems in the past six months admit they have lashed out at their slow, underperforming computers by using profanity, screaming and shouting, or by striking it with a fist or other object. Those who experienced computer problems also indi... » read more

New Foundry Gold Rush: RF SOI

By Mark LaPedus About every five years or so, a new and hot market emerges in the specialty foundry business that resembles a frenetic gold rush. The last big gold rush occurred around 2008, when more than a dozen foundries jumped into the bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) market to capitalize on the booming power-management sector. Now, the next gold rush is centering on an emerging technology—th... » read more

CMOS And SOI Invade RF Front End

By Mark LaPedus The next-generation 4G wireless standard known as long-term evolution (LTE) presents some new and difficult design choices for OEMs. One of the more difficult choices involves the less glamorous, but arguably the most critical part in a handset—the radio-frequency (RF) front-end. Typically, the RF front-end often comes in a module and includes various key components, such ... » read more

Smartphones Dial Up New RF Processes

By Mark LaPedus The rapid shift towards smartphones and tablets is driving the need for new and low-power chips at finer geometries. Today, the latest application processors, integrated basebands and other digital cell-phone chips are 28nm planar devices. And it won’t be long before OEMs incorporate 20nm planar and finFET devices in their systems as a means to reduce power and extend batt... » read more