The Week In Review: Manufacturing

GF-IBM deal; more RF SOI; China wants finFETs; ISSI accepts China’s offer.


GlobalFoundries completed its acquisition of IBM’s Microelectronics Group, creating a behemoth that is expected to extend well beyond the combined footprint of the existing companies.

As part of the deal, GlobalFoundries will get two additional fabs, one of which makes RF SOI chips. But while IBM was hesitant to expand that business by adding new fab capacity, GlobalFoundries already has the extra capacity in Singapore that it can turn on as needed.

GlobalFoundries announced the company has obtained clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for its proposed acquisition of IBM’s microelectronics business announced on October 20, 2014.

Last week, SMIC, Huawei, Imec and Qualcomm announced the formation of the SMIC Advanced Technology Research & Development (Shanghai) Corp., an equity joint venture company. Located in China, the joint venture company will focus on 14nm technology. “FinFET technology will be pursued, but other technologies will be evaluated based on its technical merit and market potential,” according to a spokesman for SMIC.

In 2015, Taiwan is projected to have the highest CapEx for semiconductor manufacturing worldwide, according to SEMI.

It’s official. Maybe? Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI) rejected Cypress Semiconductor’s offer to acquire ISSI. Instead, ISSI reported that its stockholders approved the acquisition of ISSI by a Chinese consortium, Uphill Investment, for $23.00 per share in cash. Stay tuned.

Ambarella has announced the acquisition of VisLab for $30 million in cash. VisLab is a pioneer in perception systems and autonomous vehicle research.

Smartphones first accounted for more than 50% of total quarterly cellphone shipments in 1Q of 2013. In 4Q of 2015, smartphones are forecast to reach 435 million units or 80% of total cellphones shipped, according to data from IC Insights.

Power transistor sales are forecast to grow 6% in 2015 and set a new record high of $14.0 billion following a strong recovery in 2014, which drove up dollar volumes by 14% after two consecutive years of decline, according to IC Insights.