The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Foundry rankings; book to bill ratio up; Microsoft’s HoloLens CPU; NI’s ELVIS; Intel adds 3D NAND SSD; AMD rolls out Zen.

popularity

Numbers
IC Insights predicts TowerJazz and SMIC sales will jump this year, with the total pure-play foundry revenue forecast to grow 9%. That compares with 6% growth last year. TSMC is expected to shrink slightly to 58% market share, with GlobalFoundries staying flat at 11%. UMC will remain in third place in the rankings, followed by SMIC and TowerJazz.

SEMI’s book-to-bill ratio jumped to 1.05 in July from 1.0 in June, meaning $105 in orders were received for every $100 billed. The three month average reported in July was $1.79 billion, up 4.7% over the average reported in June, and up 9.6% over the $1.56 billion reported in July 2015.

Chips
Microsoft showed off its HoloLens chip architecture at this week’s Hot Chips 2016 conference, based on a 28nm TSMC high performance compact mobile computing process. Called an HPU, or HoloLens Processing Unit, the system uses 65 million logic gates, 8 Mbytes of SRAM, 1 Gbyte of LPDDR3 DRAM, 24 Tensilica DSPs, and a highly optimized hardware-software-experience co-design, according to Nick Baker, Microsoft distinguished engineer. Microsoft calls the technology mixed reality.

Intel rolled out 3D NAND solid state drives aimed at the data center. The industry has been debating which is the best technology choice for these applications, coining the term “storage-class memory” for robustness. 3D NAND has a lower cost of ownership in terms of power and offers speed improvements over previous technology, but it doesn’t last as long as spinning media.

AMD introduced its finFET-based Zen architecture, which provides up to 40% performance improvements using the same power as a previous generation. The new architecture uses two threads per core, 8 megabytes of L3 cache, a unified L2 cache, and includes two AES units for security. The company is not saying where its chips will be manufactured.

Equipment
National Instruments updated its NI Education Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite, aka NI ELVIS, adding a real-time embedded processor and FPGA architecture to its instrumentation. The technology is used for hands-on learning for power systems, machine control, hardware in the loop and mechatronics design.

Numbers
IC Insights predicts TowerJazz and SMIC sales will jump this year, with the total pure-play foundry revenue forecast to grow 9%. That compares with 6% growth last year. TSMC is expected to shrink slightly to 58% market share, with GlobalFoundries staying flat at 11%. UMC will remain in third place in the rankings, followed by SMIC and TowerJazz.

SEMI’s book-to-bill ratio jumped to 1.05 in July from 1.0 in June, meaning $105 in orders were received for every $100 billed. The three month average reported in July was $1.79 billion, up 4.7% over the average reported in June, and up 9.6% over the $1.56 billion reported in July 2015.

Awards
Lam Research handed out its supplier excellence awards. Top in overall performance were Jabil Circuit and Shinko Electric. Quality awards went to Greene,Tweed, Kawasaki Robotics, and Tosoh Quartz.