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Worldwide Semiconductor Market Booms


Worldwide sales of semiconductors have been growing steadily. In September, shipments passed 30 billion units—the highest monthly amount ever for that month, and 2014 is predicted to be a record-breaker when the numbers are finally tallied. Figure 1. Transition of worldwide semiconductor shipment prices peak in March, June, September, and December. Source: WSTS data edited by Semicon po... » read more

Chip Business Picks Up In Japan


Japan's semiconductor business is showing signs of recovery after several years of slumping sales due to an overall market recovery, the favorable exchange rate for the yen, and ongoing business restructuring. Consider Renesas, for example. The company went through several downsizing phases, causing a decline in semiconductor sales by 3.9% to 199.6 billion yen ($1.69 billion) in its fiscal Q... » read more

Bluetooth Adoption To Grow With IoT


Bluetooth adoption is poised to explode as the Internet of Things takes root. "The amount of Bluetooth standard-installed devices has been rapidly increasing since Apple iPhone 4S installed Bluetooth Low Energy in 2011," said Errett Kroeter, director of industry and brand marketing for the Bluetooth brand. "So the progression will definitely continue." (Figure.1) Figure.1 Continuation o... » read more

SoCs For Safer Cars


Renesas electronics has been developing a specialized automotive electronics business and recently rolled out an LSI (large-scale integration) management system including LSI, R-Car (an SoC for next-gen entertainment) and V2H (vehicle-to-home) for ADAS (Advance Driving Assist System) systems. These management systems have higher management functionality than traditional systems. Figure 1. ... » read more

NAND Flash Roadmaps Are Ready


Samsung continues to lead in 3D memory, but IM Flash, Sk Hynix, Toshiba/SanDisk also plan to move to 3D technology within the next couple years. Fig. 1: NAND flash and DRAM roadmaps for volume production. Source: IC Insights. From a refinement standpoint, Toshiba/SanDisk is the current market leader, but this group is behind everybody else in 3D technology (Figure 1). Samsung began to ... » read more

All Aboard The Silicon Carbide Train…Literally


There were numerous announcements regarding power semiconductors at Techno-Frontier 2014, which was held last month in Tokyo. This year, one of the big stories was power semiconductors—for power and batteries, motors, and thermal designs—and the debate around cost is becoming much more frequent for silicon carbide. One feature article last month on the Kyoto economy in Nihon Keizai Shimb... » read more

Moving To Wide Bandgap Chips


The search for new materials to replace CMOS has been in full swing for decades, but in spite of successes in limited niche markets, bulk CMOS remains king. That’s beginning to change, however, as CMOS runs out of steam at advanced process nodes and as the priorities of chipmakers change from pure performance to energy efficiency. And for such applications as automotive electronics for hyb... » read more

Fujitsu Reorgs For Manufacturing


Fujitsu officially announced its intention of reorganizing its semiconductor manufacturing businesses, including dividing the Aizu Wakamatsu factory and Mie factory as branches of the foundry companies. The rest of the organization, including the system memory department and Fujitsu Electronics will become a part of Fujitsu’s semiconductor group. The new Foundry Company will also be a part of... » read more

EUV Light Source Makes Progress


EUV Lithography light source maker, Gigaphoton has developed a laser-produced plasma (LPP) light source prototype model that can produce a maximum of 92 watts. This is more than double the 43 watts produced using a traditional LPP light source. Figure 1 conceptual diagram of EUV exposure. Source: Gigaphoton/EUVA The biggest issue with EUV lithography has been the output power of the lig... » read more

An Acquisition And A Merged Technology Strategy


A single chip capable of performing two different functions can reduce the amount of wiring needed to just one layer and it can reduce time to market by simplifying the supply chain and the planning process. Nowhere is this more evident than in the LCD chip market, where two different manufacturers were used to supply chips for touch panels. But an effort to consolidate them into a single ch... » read more

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