The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Hotel robots; Samsung’s new finFET; TSMC raises CapEx; forecasts at ISS.


Savioke is creating autonomous robot helpers for the services industry, including hotels. The company has raised $15 million in Series A financing from lead investor Intel Capital, along with EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, and Northern Light Venture Capital. Savioke will use the funding to expand sales, marketing and product developments for its Relay robot.

Autonomous robot helper for the services industry (Source: Savioke)

Autonomous robot helper for the services industry (Source: Savioke)


Samsung Electronics has begun mass production of its 14nm LPP (Low-Power Plus) process, the second-generation of the company’s 14nm finFET process technology. In addition, Samsung also announced the launch of the Exynos 7 Octa processor built on the process.

Separately, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor will use Samsung’s new 14nm LPP process. It is expected to be in devices in the first half of this year. Meanwhile, Qualcomm and TDK announced an agreement to form a joint venture to enable delivery of RF front-end modules and RF filters. The venture, dubbed RF360 Holdings Singapore, will draw upon TDK’s capabilities in micro-acoustic RF filtering, packaging and module integration technologies and Qualcomm’s expertise in advanced wireless technologies.

TSMC reported its results and raised its capital spending for 2016. TSMC stated that its 2016 capital budget will be between $9 billion and $10 billion, up 10% to 20% over 2015. In addition, it will shortly ramp up its next 16nm finFET, dubbed 16FFC. And it will ship its fan-out packaging technology, dubbed Info, to limited customers. Apple is expected to be one of the customers.

Sidense has qualified its one-time programmable, non-volatile embedded memory products on GlobalFoundries’ 55nm process.

Here’s a recap of SEMI’s recent Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS). The conference gave the year’s first strategic outlook of the global electronics manufacturing industry. In one forecast, Bill McClean, president of IC Insights, cited expectations for improvement in global GDP and less strength of the U.S. dollar. He forecasted the worldwide semiconductor market will grow 4% to $367 billion in 2016. He estimates that semiconductor capital spending will increase 1% to $66 billion and semiconductor materials revenues will increase 4% to $48 billion in the same period.

SEMI announced the recipients of the 2015 SEMI Awards for the Americas. The awards honor Chenming Hu for the BSIM families of compact transistor models, Alex Lidow for commercialization of GaN power devices, and an Intel team for implementation of bulk CMOS finFET production. The awards were presented at ISS.