Chip Industry Week In Review

$5B US investment; advanced packaging roadmap; TSMC Japan buildout; Altman’s big ask; SystemVerilog extension; Apple, Intel patent woes; AI safety consortium; HBM market; SW-defined vehicles roll; Siemens EV SW; UK and Japan subsidies; SwissChips initiative.


By Jesse Allen, Linda Christensen, and Liz Allan. 

The Biden administration plans to invest more than $5B  for semiconductor R&D and workforce support, including in the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), as part of the rollout of the CHIPS Act. Today’s announcement included at least hundreds of millions for the NSTC workforce efforts, including creating a Workforce Center of Excellence.

SEMI and UCLA released a “Manufacturing Roadmap For Heterogeneous Integration and Electronics Packaging (MRHIEP) guide,” aimed at identifying holes in the current U.S. advanced packaging infrastructure and proposing ways to close the gaps. With more than 100 experts contributing, the 274-page guide covers hardware and software tools, manufacturing processes, and supply chain infrastructure for advanced packaging used in high-performance computing, medical, health, and wearable applications.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is on a “trillions of dollars” fund-raising mission to boost global chip capacity to power AI, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) created the AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) to bring together more than 200 AI creators and users, academics, government and industry researchers, and civil society organizations, aiming to address priority actions in President Biden’s AI Executive Order.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that global chip sales totaled $526.8 billion in 2023, a decrease of 8.2% compared to 2022. But sales picked up during the second half of 2023 and are projected to increase by 13.1% in 2024.

In the latest startup funding report, 20 companies raised nearly $840 million with chiplet packaging, AI, and quantum drawing attention.

Quick links to more news:

Design and Power
Manufacturing and Test
Automotive and Batteries
Pervasive Computing and AI

Design and Power

The HBM market has the potential to grow to $14 billion in 2024, with revenue growing to reach about $37.7 billion in 2029, reports Yole. HBM bit shipments grew by 93% in 2023, and the firm projects them to grow by 147% in 2024.

The U.K. Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will invest £11 million (~$14M) for silicon photonics research at the University of Southampton, the same amount for compound semiconductors for high-voltage electronic devices at the University of Bristol, and another £45 million (~$56M) in quantum to help overhaul health care, energy, transport, and more.

Switzerland launched a “SwissChips” initiative, with a goal of fostering research collaborations in IC design and microelectronics. ETH Zurich will lead the implementation

Ansys introduced a web UI for its Fluent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver that supports parallelization of massive CFD simulations with multi-GPU and cloud computing capabilities, which can reduce power and increase speed. The company also released 2024 R1 to enhance user experience in collaborative engineering environments, making multi-physics solutions more accessible while amplifying AI-driven solutions.

Accellera formed the SystemVerilog Mixed-Signal Interface Types Working Group to document a language extension to permit interconnect, conversion, and resolution among dissimilar net types in SystemVerilog, including bi-directional connections.

AMD uncorked an architectural solution that combines AMD Ryzen Embedded processors with Versal adaptive SoCs onto a single integrated board, enabling the use of a common software platform to develop designs for medical, industrial, and automotive applications.

Power electronics company Monolithic Power Systems acquired Axign, a provider of multi-core digital signal processors (DSPs) for automotive and consumer audio systems.

Nordic Semiconductor inked a multi-year Arm Total Access licensing agreement for current and future products, including multi-protocol, Wi-Fi, cellular IoT, and DECT NR+ solutions.

Kalray will integrate Arm‘s Neoverse Coherent Mesh Network interconnect technology into its next-generation data processing and AI accelerator chiplet. Faraday Technology will integrate Arm Neoverse Compute Subsystems in a 64-core SoC utilizing Intel 18A technology for data center servers and HPC.

Eliyan taped out a UCIe- and BoW-compatible PHY solution for multi-die architectures that achieved bandwidth of 64Gbps/bump on a 3nm process with standard packaging.

IARPA launched a program that aims to provide insights into the complexities of maintaining error correction and fault tolerance in operations between logical qubits.

Multiverse Computing and Single Quantum announced an industrial materials science R&D project, under a $1.4 million contract with the German Aerospace Center, to focus on improving superconducting single photon detectors for quantum communications.

Manufacturing and Test

TSMC and partners announced further investment in a second JASM fab, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2027 in the Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan.  Together with the first JASM fab, total production capacity is projected at more than 100,000 12-inch wafers per month, starting from 40nm and progressing to 7/6nm.

Japan’s focus on building out semiconductor facilities continues, with Kioxia and Western Digital’s joint ventures in Japan to receive a 150 billion ¥ (US $1B) government subsidy for their cutting edge flash memory facilities. Previously the joint venture had received up to 92.9 billion yen subsidy.

A German court issued an injunction again the sale of certain Intel chips involving voltage-regulating technology, ruling in favor of California-based R2 Semiconductor.  Meanwhile, Texas-based ImberaTek filed a lawsuit asserting Apple has infringed on its embedded electronics packaging and manufacturing solutions patent.

Bruker acquired Japan-based Nanophoton, which makes advanced Raman microscopy systems used in semiconductor and nanomaterials inspection. Bruker also acquired Spectral Instruments, preclinical optical imaging maker.

Worldwide silicon wafer shipments decreased 14.3% and wafer revenue fell 10.9% in 2023, driven by a slowdown in demand and overall inventory correction,  according to SEMI’s latest report.

Toppan Photomask inked an R&D agreement to develop EUV photomasks for IBM’s 2nm design.

Sk Hynix established a mid- to long-range roadmap to use recycled and renewable materials in its production facilities, with a goal of increasing the proportion of recycled materials by 25% in 2025.

This week’s latest Test, Measurement & Analytics newsletter features these top stories:

  • Video: How to identify defects in RDL layers of panel-level packages, and why that’s needed for generative AI in data centers.
  • Widely available compute resources and sophisticated algorithms are opening the door to adaptive testing.
  • Why balancing the costs of semiconductor test and reliability is increasingly difficult.
  • Expert Discussion: How to ensure that chips and chiplets will work as expected inside a package.

Automotive and Batteries

Software-defined vehicles are driving a swell of activity across the automotive ecosystem, including new methodologies and technology approaches that could significantly reduce costs and shorten time to market for advanced features.

Siemens released its Simcenter E-Machine Design software, combining electromagnetic and thermal simulation to help EV manufacturers predict the performance of e-machines, including axial flux electric drive units. And Siemens joined RFK Racing’s TeK Alliance to assist the team in accelerating development both at and away from the track.

Fig.1: Siemens’ Simcenter E-Machine Design software. Source: Siemens

Netsol developed a flash-like MRAM aimed at automotive applications. It has capacity ranging from 128Mb to 1Gb, with rapid data read and write operations with Octal SPI support, and an operating frequency of up to 200MHz, enabling data transfer speeds of up to 400MBps.

Chinese-based VMAX selected Infineon’s CoolSiC hybrid discrete for its next-gen 6.6 kW OBC/DCDC on-board chargers for EVs.

Worksport will use Infineon’s GaN power semiconductors in the converters for its portable power stations to increase efficiency and power density.

Fig. 2: Worksport’s portable power station. Source: Infineon

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled certain Honda models, saying the base material in the printed circuit board of the seat weight sensor was switched and not sufficiently verified for its intended use, leading to a capacitor cracking and an internal short circuit. It also recalled some Hyundai models due to inner driveshafts that could fracture due to improper heat treatment, and 2023 Tesla Models 3 and Y due to loss of steering control.

NHTSA also invited states, territories, and tribes to apply for grants to upgrade and standardize crash data systems to enable electronic data transfer to the administration.

Toyota will invest $1.3 billion in its Kentucky plant for electrification, bringing its total investment there to $10 billion. The plant will assemble a new, three-row battery electric SUV for the U.S. market.

Ford is cutting costs by removing features such as automatic parallel parking, saying few people use it and it costs about $60 per vehicle. It also is reassessing vertical integration in new battery chemistries.

The gas and particle sensor market is predicted to reach US$2.8 billion in 2029, at an estimated 8% CAGR from 2023 to 2029, reports Yole. The major share is held by auto companies such as Bosch, BorgWarner, and NGK-NTK.

Canada Nickel’s subsidiary NetZero Metals will develop a nickel processing facility and stainless-steel and alloy production facility in the Timmins Nickel District, filling a key gap in the North American EV supply chain.

Argonne National Laboratory researchers used new methods to detect and analyze soft-shorts, an early step toward permanent failure in a battery, to help design better EV batteries.

Nature reported on new EV battery designs that could lower costs, extend ranges, and offer other improvements.


A framework called AssertLLM can generate and evaluate hardware verification assertions from design specifications via multiple large language models (LLMs), according to researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Cisco and NVIDIA will offer secure cloud-based and on-premises AI infrastructure, networking, and software. NVIDIA’s newest Tensor Core GPUs are available in Cisco’s M7 generation of UCS rack and blade servers, optimizing performance in the data center and at the edge.

U.S. payment and authentication company Entrust is in talks to acquire London-based Onfido, a specialist in cloud-based, AI-powered identity verification technology.

The Linux Foundation launched its Post-Quantum Cryptography Alliance (PQCA) to support the advancement of securing sensitive data and communications. Founding members include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco, Google, IBM, NVIDIA, and the University of Waterloo.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) released a report on commercial surveillance vendors (CSVs), including who is developing, selling, and deploying spyware.

The EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and other agencies reported further vulnerabilities impacting Ivanti Connect Secure and Ivanti Policy Secure Gateway products and recommended organizations check the ongoing guidance.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and others urgently advised of malicious activity by a Chinese state-sponsored cyber actor, Volt Typhoon, which uses “living off the land” techniques to blend in with normal system activities and avoid identification. CISA also launched its #Protect2024 webpage to defend the U.S. electoral process and issued other alerts.

Pervasive Computing and AI

The UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) invested £80 million (~$101M) in nine new AI research hubs, including one at the University of Oxford.

Canada and NVIDIA signed a letter of intent to supercharge computing power and use AI to explore breakthroughs in healthcare, transportation, and more.

The University of Albany is installing a cluster of IBM AIU prototype chips on its Uptown Campus, enabling students and researchers to run complex AI models to advance GenAI.

In medical news:

  • imec and KU Leuven partnered on the first clinical validation of its cell sorter chip technology, identifying PD-1 positive T-cells in 15 ovarian cancer patients.
  • EPFL researchers used ML to compress image data more accurately than learning-free computation methods, for applications such as retinal implants.
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU) researchers and partners developed a physics-informed neural network combining AI and heat-imaging to detect breast cancer.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers built a heart-on-a-chip device to help move away from animal testing in cardio drug development.

Fig. 3: A heart-on-a-chip. Source: N. Hanacek/NIST

Deloitte acquired OpTeamizer, a company specializing in the development and implementation of generative AI solutions running on NVIDIA accelerated computing.

Advanced AI chips are expected to drive growth in DRAM and NAND Flash across various AI applications, including smartphones, servers, and notebooks, reports TrendForce. Content per box for server DRAM is predicted to rise by 17.3% annually and enterprise SSDs are expected to grow by 13.2%. Also, global monitor shipments declined 7.3% in 2023 but PCs purchased during the pandemic are predicted to be upgraded, driving an expected 2% increase in shipments in 2024, reaching about 128 million units.

The premium smartphone market continued growing, reflected in the fact shipments declined 4% but revenue only declined 2% year over year in 2023, reports Counterpoint. Apple overtook Samsung with the most shipments and led with a 50% share of global smartphone revenues. Also, India’s smartwatch market grew 50% YoY in 2023, with Fire-Boltt, Noise, and boAt capturing the highest share.

Winbond purchased the entire electricity output, totaling 27MW installed capacity, from Chenya Energy‘s offshore floating solar photovoltaic project in Taiwan, as the company embraces renewable energy to gradually achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emissions.

Renesas is consolidating its wholly-owned subsidiary Renesas Engineering Services through an absorption-type merger.


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

Event Date Location
Wafer-Level Packaging Symposium Feb 13 – 15 Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
2024 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) Feb 18 – 22 San Francisco, CA
PCI-SIG Developers Conference Feb 19 – 20 Taipei, Taiwan
Symposium on Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap Feb 21 – 23 San Jose, CA
Phil Kaufman Award and Banquet Feb 22 San Jose, CA
SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning Feb 25 – 29 San Jose, CA
Renesas Tech Day UK Feb 27 Cambridge, UK
International Symposium on FPGAs Mar 3 – 5 Monterey, CA
DVCON: Design & Verification Mar 4 – 7 San Jose, CA
ISES Japan 2024: International Semiconductor Executive Summit Mar 5 – 6 Tokyo, Japan
ISS Industry Strategy Symposium Europe Mar 7 – 8 Vienna, Austria
All Upcoming Events

Upcoming webinars are here.

Further Reading and Newsletters

Read the latest special reports and top stories, or check out the latest newsletters:

Systems and Design
Low Power-High Performance
Test, Measurement and Analytics
Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials
Automotive, Security and Pervasive Computing

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