The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fan-out R&D; display inspection; SSDs; M&A mania.

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Fab tools and T&M
Applied Materials and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have announced a five-year extension of their R&D collaboration at the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging in Singapore. The organizations will expand the scope of their R&D collaboration to focus on advancing fan-out wafer-level packaging.

In addition, Applied Materials has introduced an inline, e-beam review system for displays. The system enables optimum yields for manufacturers of OLEDs and LCDs.

At its 2016 Analyst Day, Applied Materials detailed its strategy to drive sustainable growth and announced target non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share of $2.45 to $3.17 for fiscal 2019, with a midpoint of $2.80. This would represent compound earnings growth of approximately 17% over the next three years.

National Instruments (NI) has previewed its new 802.11ad, or WiGig, test solution. Highlighting new capabilities in the emerging field of mmWave test, NI is demonstrating parametric testing of an 802.11ad radio using its mmWave instrument technology.

Chipmakers
Samsung Electronics has rolled out two new solid-state drives (SSDs)—the 960 PRO and 960 EVO. Using its 3D NAND technology, the SSDs are based on the M.2 form factor.

Deals
Samsung has sold stakes in four companies—ASML, Seagate, Rambus and Sharp, according to a report from Bloomberg. The total value of the stakes is about $891 million, according to the report, which stated that Samsung wanted to “free up money and focus on its main business.” Samsung sold half its shares in ASML and its entire 4.2% stake in Seagate, according to the report. It also sold its 4.5% holding in Rambus and the 0.7% of Sharp stock, the report said.

ON Semiconductor has finally completed its previously announced $2.4 billion cash acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor.

Tessera Technologies has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DTS for $42.50 per share. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $850 million. DTS is an audio solutions provider for mobile, home, and automotive markets.

Analogix Semiconductor and Beijing Shanhai Capital Management (Shanhai Capital) have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which a consortium led by Shanhai Capital will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Analogix for over $500 million. China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund (China IC Fund) also joined Shanhai Capital’s fund as one of the limited partners. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in late 2016.

Market research
It was a frenetic year in the semiconductor merger and acquisition arena in 2015. The M&A activity has slowed down, but 2016 is already the second-largest year ever for chip industry M&A announcements, according to IC Insights. This is due to three major and recent deals, which have a combined total value of $51 billion. This includes SoftBank’s recent purchase of ARM, Analog Devices’ intended purchase of Linear Technology, and Renesas‘ potential acquisition of Intersil.

Related Stories
Prior Week In Review: Manufacturing (Sept 16)
UMC’s finFETs; GF’s finFETs; mask survey; iPhone 7 teardown.
Manufacturing Research Bits (Sept 20)
Crystal database; fractography; sputtering standard.