The Week In Review: Manufacturing

China fabs; Samsung’s SSD; multi-beam; NI-HPE deal.


Through a joint venture with the government of Chongqing, GlobalFoundries will take over an existing 200mm fab in China. Then, GlobalFoundries plans to retrofit the facility and turn it into a 300mm fab. The foundry vendor is transferring its 180nm and 130nm processes to the China fab. Meanwhile, TSMC, UMC and others are also building fabs in China.

Samsung Electronics has begun mass producing the industry’s first NVMe PCIe solid-state-drive (SSD) in a single ball grid array (BGA) package. The SSD is designed for use in next-generation PCs and ultra-slim notebook PCs.

Fab tools
In a video, Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, shared his viewpoint on why multi-beam mask writing has become the most important development to the mask industry since VSB writing was introduced 15 years ago.

National Instruments (NI) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have announced a collaboration to facilitate the availability of pre-tested Big Analog Data solutions based on NI’s DataFinder Server Edition software and HPE’s Moonshot Systems.

NI has released the latest version of its VeriStand software. This allows embedded software design and test engineers to develop hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test systems.

Exar has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Integrated Memory Logic (iML) subsidiary to China’s Beijing E-Town Chipone Technology, a consortium comprised of Beijing-based IC design and solutions manufacturer Chipone Technology and its financial partner Beijing E-Town International Investment & Development. Exar’s iML is a provider of power management and color calibration solutions for the flat-panel display and LED lighting markets. The purchase price for the transaction is $136 million, net of cash acquired.

Market Research
IC Insights released its ranking of top analog IC suppliers for 2015. Texas Instruments was again the leading supplier of analog devices with 18% market share. Infineon moved up one place to become the second-largest analog supplier. Skyworks moved up two spots to #3. STMicroelectronics slipped from #2 in 2014 to #5.

In the first quarter of 2016, worldwide server revenue declined 2.3% year over year, while shipments grew 1.7% from the first quarter of 2015, according to Gartner. All regions showed a decline in either shipments and/or vendor revenue except for Asia/Pacific. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) continued to lead in the worldwide server market, based on revenue, with a 25.2% market share. HPE was the only vendor in the top five to experience growth in the first quarter of 2016. Despite a decline of 1.4%, Dell maintained the second spot in the market with 17.3% market share. IBM secured the third position with 9.7% of the market, but experienced the largest decline among the top five vendors.