The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Market research The IC market remains hot, as several market researchers are raising their forecasts--again. Gartner recently raised its overall IC forecast. Now, IC Insights has raised its IC market growth rate forecast for 2017 to 22%, up six percentage points from the 16% increase shown in its mid-year update. In March, IC Insights raised its worldwide IC market growth forecast for 201... » read more

The Great Skills Race


The next phase of the technology race will be fought with qualified people—but not necessarily the same people in the same markets or with the same skill sets. For the past half century, technology wars have been won and lost with inexpensive labor and increasing amounts of automation. This can be traced from the United States in the 1960s to Japan in the 1970s, Korea starting in the mid-... » read more

What’s Up With MEMS?


New sensor technologies, and smarter ways of integrating more intelligence, continue to generate unexpected opportunities in the changing MEMS business. Changes needed for sensors for context awareness If digital assistants are ever going to be really useful, they’ll need some particular sensor capabilities to understand emotion, suggests Lama Nachman, head of Intel’s Anticipatory Compu... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test, measurement and fab tools National Instruments (NI) has released a report that explores the future trends in the electronics industry. The report, called the NI Trend Watch 2018, looks at the technological advances and some of the biggest challenges engineers face in 2018. The report from NI looks at the following topics—machine learning; test challenges for 5G; IIoT; and effects of... » read more

Starting Point Is Changing For Designs


The starting point for semiconductor designs is shifting. What used to be a fairly straightforward exercise of choosing a processor based on power or performance, followed by how much on-chip versus off-chip memory is required, has become much more complicated. This is partly due to an emphasis on application-specific hardware and software solutions for markets that either never existed befo... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has asked European antitrust regulators to investigate TSMC over alleged unfair competition, according to a report from Reuters. Commenting on the report, a spokeswoman for GlobalFoundries said: “We are not surprised that the European Commission is looking into anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct in the semiconductor sector. The semiconductor indu... » read more

The Materials Gap


When consolidation thinned the ranks of semiconductor foundries and equipment makers, materials companies figured things were about to get better. They haven't. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, semiconductors are now so complex and difficult to develop that a slew of innovations are required on all sides. Everyone is familiar with transistor structures, interconnects and lithog... » read more

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

Fab Equipment Spending Sets New Record


Fab equipment spending (new and refurbished) is expected to increase by 37% for 2017, reaching a new annual spending record of about $55 billion. The World Fab Forecast also forecasts that in 2018, fab equipment spending will increase even more, another 5%, for a record high of about $58 billion. The last record spending was in 2011 with about $40 billion. The spending in 2017 is now expected t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Toshiba has changed its mind yet again about which group will buy its prized memory unit. On June 20, Toshiba chose a Japanese government-led consortium of INCJ/DBJ, Bain Capital and South Korea’s SK Hynix. Then, Toshiba changed its mind and selected a similar group with Western Digital (WDC), leaving SK Hynix on the outside looking in. This week, Toshiba signed a deal with a ... » read more

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