The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Test firm gets $42M; i-finFETs; mobile DRAM; OSAT soap opera.

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KKR, an investment firm, announced that it is leading a $42 million growth equity investment in Optimal+, a provider of manufacturing intelligence software solutions for adaptive IC test applications.

In case you missed it, Apple rolled out its latest iPhones and other products. The latest iPhone 6 is using chips based on finFETs, according to AnandTech, a hi-tech site. Samsung is the main finFET supplier for Apple, but TSMC is also getting some finFET business, according to reports.

Samsung is producing the industry’s first 12-gigabit LPDDR4 mobile DRAM, based on 20nm technology.

Applied Materials announced that its board has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share payable on the company`s common stock.

According to SEMI, front-end fab equipment spending, including new, used, and in-house, is projected to increase by 5% in 2015 and another 6.6% in 2016. SEMI data indicates that some companies still plan to increase equipment spending in the second half of 2015, compared to the first half.

Jason Chang, chairman of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE), has received the SEMI award at the 2015 Semicon Taiwan show. Meanwhile, the soap opera in the OSAT business continues. Siliconware once again rejected ASE’s offer to purchase a 25% stake in Siliconware. To fend off ASE, Foxconn has taken a stake in Siliconware.

Kulicke & Soffa Industries announced its fourth fiscal quarter revenue is expected to be below its previously reported outlook due to broad-based industry softness.

ATE firm Xcerra has agreed to sell its semiconductor test interface board business to Fastprint Hong Kong.

The hi-tech industry and academia, led by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC), released a report highlighting the urgent need for robust investments in research to advance the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) and develop other cutting-edge innovations that will sustain and strengthen America’s global technology leadership into the future. The report, titled “Rebooting the IT Revolution: A Call to Action,” calls for a large-scale, public-private research initiative called the National Computing and Insight Technologies Ecosystem (N-CITE).

The SRC also announced an expansion of its benchmarking research—a program that evaluates the relative capabilities of new and emerging computing devices.