Chip Industry Week In Review

German chipmakers cleared to stake in TSMC foundry; Synopsys makes big bet on RISC-V; Keysight takes 50.6% share in ESI; self-assembling nanosheets; cheap EVs; Teradyne’s JV with Technoprobe; auto chiplets; new approach to mitigating rowhammer.


By Jesse Allen, Gregory Haley, and Liz Allan

BoschInfineon, and NXP were cleared in Germany to each acquire 10% of the European Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (ESMC), established by TSMC, solidifying the supply chain against future shortages, particularly for automotive chips. “ESMC intends to build and operate another large semiconductor factory in Dresden, in which the three European technology companies are also to be involved.”

Synopsys extended its ARC Processor IP portfolio to include new RISC-V ARC-V IP. This marks the first substantive push by one of the big three EDA/IP vendors into the RISC-V market, with established tools, flows, and methodologies necessary to move RISC-V into a broad range of applications. The IP is available in 32-bit and 64-bit high-performance, mid-range, and ultra-low power options, for embedded automotive, storage, and IoT applications. Functional safety versions with integrated hardware safety features also will be available.

Keysight acquired 50.6% of the share capital of ESI Group and filed a public tender offer for the remaining outstanding shares. ESI Group, based in France, provides virtual prototyping solutions for automotive, aerospace, and heavy industry end markets that can create real-time digital twins to simulate a product’s behavior during testing and real-life use.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory unveiled a self-assembling nanosheet that it says is multi-purpose, scalable enough for commercial applications, and completely recyclable.

Tesla will manufacture an affordable EV, entering the market at €25,000 ($26,838), to be produced at Tesla’s gigafactory near Berlin, according to statements made by Elon Musk while visiting the Tesla factory in Gruenheide. Meanwhile, Volkswagen plans to build an under-$35,000 EV in the U.S. or Mexico, according to statements made at the Reuters Events Automotive USA 2023 conference in Detroit.

Quick links to more news:

Design and Power
Manufacturing and Test
Pervasive Computing and AI
Top In-Depth Reports

Design and Power

The IEEE 1666-2023 Standard for SystemC Language Reference Manual (LRM) is now available for free download from Accellera as part of the IEEE GET Program. SystemC is a language for system-level design, high-level synthesis, modeling, and verification. “This revision provides a new C++ baseline leveraging a mature ISO C++ version, numerous enhancements, and key new capabilities, notably for communicating with other simulations, such as simulation stage callbacks or the suspend mechanism,” said Jerome Cornet, IEEE 1666 Working Group Chair.

OpenHW Group introduced the multi-member CORE-V CVA6 Platform project, an open-source FPGA-based software development and testing environment for RISC-V processors designed to provide a vendor-neutral environment for RISC-V software CI and testing that keeps pace with RISC-V standards.

Ventana Micro Systems debuted the second generation of its Veyron family of RISC-V processors for data centers, automotive, 5G, AI, and client applications.

Cadence‘s EMX 3D Planar Solver for electromagnetic analysis was certified for Samsung Foundry’s advanced 8nm Low Power Plus (LPP) process technology, and Cadence will make a new SkyWater Technology open-source 130 nm process design kit (PDK) available in the Cadence VLSI Fundamentals Education Kit. The kit teaches students how theories and concepts can be applied in the design of simple logic circuits and in the physical implementation of a simplified microprocessor.

Arteris received ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System certification.

Ansys and Materialise teamed up to integrate Ansys’ Additive Suite into Materialise’s 3D printing data and build preparation tool, enabling a workflow for managing additive manufacturing industrial projects, including in the medical and aerospace sectors.

Imagination Technologies launched the first product in a new line of high-performance GPU IP with support for DirectX for the desktop and laptop market.

Openedges Technology unveiled 7nm LPDDR5X PHY IP operating at 8533 Mbps.

IQM Quantum Computers announced a new enterprise-grade superconducting quantum computing platform that can be deployed in high-performance computing and data centers. It will be first available as a 54-qubit system, with a 150-qubit upgrade expected in 2025.

Microsoft and Photonic are collaborating on building scalable, fault-tolerant, and distributed quantum technologies.

Manufacturing and Test

The Department of Commerce (DOC) reached an initial agreement with a new nonprofit organization called SemiUS, the expected operator for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC).

Teradyne established a strategic partnership with Technoprobe S.p.A. to offer higher performance semiconductor test interfaces to customers worldwide. As part of the deal, Teradyne will make an approximate $516 million equity investment in Technoprobe, and Technoprobe will acquire Teradyne’s Device Interface Solutions (DIS) business for $85 million.

Demand for semiconductor testing equipment dropped to its lowest point in three years in the second quarter of 2023, recording sales of $1.9 billion, reports YOLE. The research firm expects a 14% decline in 2023 sales compared to 2022, but a recent uptick in activity suggests a return to single-digit growth in 2024 and 2025.

Diamond Foundry created the world’s first (100mm) single-crystal diamond wafer. By using diamond heteroepitaxy, which creates single-crystal diamond on scalable substrates, and combined with other technologies, the company arrived at the first ever wafer that is a single crystal of diamond.

In alignment with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), Amkor announced it has committed to setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including the formulation of both near-term and net zero emissions targets.


Renesas unveiled a processor roadmap for next-gen automotive system on chips (SoCs), including R-Car SoCs with advanced in-package chiplet integration, Arm-based automotive microcontroller units (MCUs), and a virtual software development environment to support the auto industry’s shift left approach.

Infineon introduced its ISOFACE quad-channel digital isolators in two categories, one for automotive applications and the other for industrial, in a wide-body 300 mil PG-DSO-16 package. They offer an operating supply voltage range from 2.7 to 6.5 V, provide high immunity against system noise, and withstand up to 5700 V rms isolation voltage.

Vishay will acquire Nexperia’s automotive certified, 200mm wafer fab in Newport, UK for about $177 million in cash. Located on 28 acres, the fab is the largest semiconductor manufacturing site in the UK and primarily supplies automotive markets.

imec offered four takeaways from its second automotive chiplet conference. No. 1 is a recognition that chiplets will play a big role in future cars.

Lucid introduced RangeXchange, a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) adapter enabling Lucid Air owners to directly charge other EVs via the company’s bi-directional charging technology and software. Lucid also announced its vehicles built with the current Combined Charging System (CCS) will be able to charge at stations in the Tesla Supercharger network by using an adapter in 2025, and the North American Charging Standard (NACS) will be integrated into future vehicles.

SK On will supply battery cell modules for the forthcoming Polestar 5 electric 4-door GT.

Idra won a contract with Volvo to install two 9,000 tons GigaPress machines at a greenfield site in Košice, Slovakia, positioning the new plant as a strategic hub for GigaCasting.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled Cruise autonomous vehicles. “In certain circumstances, a collision may occur, after which the Collision Detection Subsystem may cause the Cruise AV to attempt to pull over out of traffic instead of remaining stationary when a pullover is not the desired post-collision response.” Some Teslas were also recalled due to an issue with steering wheels fitted with the wrong airbags during servicing.

Global EV battery capacity sales grew 54% year over year in H1 2023, reaching over 300GWh, according to Counterpoint. Global EV sales grew 43% YoY with CATL leading the EV battery market followed by BYD and LG Energy Solutions. China, the U.S., and Europe were the leading regions for EV battery installations.

System optimization and lifecycle analysis can help remove heavy rare earth (HRE) elements from next-gen EV motors, according to an SAE interview with BorgWarner. Meanwhile, some Canadian, German, and Australian critical mineral explorers plan to charge premium prices for key EV metals in exchange for helping to shift reliance away from China, reports Reuters.

Just 2% of vehicles currently have zonal E/E architectures, but the proportion is predicted to be 38% by 2034, according to an SAE report.

Cloud-based technology can greatly enhance the lifespan and safety of lithium-ion batteries, according to scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Durapower.

Ansys Speos was integrated with Sony Semiconductor Solutions’ sensor models for high-fidelity image sensor simulation of camera features for automotive applications including autonomous vehicles and ADAS. It supports simulation of spectral effects, high dynamic range, and LED light flicker mitigation, and image sensor phenomena such as motion blur and rolling shutter.


Rambus researchers introduced a new approach to mitigating RowHammer attacks and improving server memory system reliability.

Network-on-chip (NoC) adoption has become widespread but the introduction of wireless interfaces has expanded potential vulnerabilities. Researchers at Macquarie University reviewed advances and research.

A structural feature-based Trojan detection method in FPGAs cell-level netlist offered an average detection rate of 95.41%, according to researchers at Kwangwoon University.

The global hardware security module market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2022 and may reach $5.2 billion by 2032 at a compound annual growth rate of 14.7%, according to a report by Allied Market Research.

Executives representing Siemens AG, Ericsson, Schneider Electric, and other electronics companies penned a joint letter to EU industry chief Thierry Breton and other officials about a proposed Cyber Resilience Act. They wrote, “the law as it stands risks creating bottlenecks that will disrupt the single market, affecting millions of products – from washing machines to toys, cybersecurity products, as well as vital components for heat pumps, cooling machines and high-tech manufacturing.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a campaign encouraging “critical infrastructure stakeholders to take specific, time-sensitive actions that reduce risk in response to specific threat intelligence.” FEMA and CISA released a joint guide to help emergency managers plan for cyber incidents; CISA, the National Security Agency (NSA), and partners released guidance on securing the software supply chain; and CISA issued numerous other alerts and advisories.

Pervasive Computing and AI launched a beta AI model called Grok, which will have real-time knowledge of the world via the X platform (formerly Twitter). “It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.” In a post on X, Elon Musk wrote, “Provided our vehicle AI computer is able to run the model, Tesla will probably have the most amount of true usable inference compute on Earth. Even in a robotaxi future, the cars will only be used for ~1/3 of hours/week, leaving 2/3 for distributed inference, like SETI.”

GCT Semiconductor plans to go public on the NYSE through a merger with SPAC Concord Acquisition Corp III. GCT develops LTE, IoT, and 5G SoC solutions integrating RF, baseband modem, digital signal processing, and protocol stack. The transaction values GCT at an enterprise value of approximately $461 million at closing and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

At Samsung AI Forum, the company introduced Samsung Gauss Language, a generative language model that facilitates tasks such as composing emails, and which can enhance user experience by enabling smarter device control when integrated into products.

A virtual reality (VR) application features a range of 3D modeling tools that can be opened and controlled using the movement of a user’s hand, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Infineon announced new microcontrollers (MCUs) in the PSoC portfolio based on high performance Arm Cortex-M55, offering scalable power and performance to support emerging AI/ML requirements, extensive HMI capabilities, and security features required for next-gen applications, such as smart home, security, wearables, robotics, and more.

Keysight Technologies validated the first protocol conformance test case for 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 17 (Rel-17) standards for non-terrestrial networks using narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) technology. Keysight also worked with Metanoia Communications to verify the low physical layer 5G Open Radio Unit (O-RU) JURA Platform using Keysight Open RAN Studio.

Micron uncorked 32Gb monolithic die-based 128GB DDR5 RDIMM memory with speeds of up to 8000 MT/s for data center workloads.

Microchip Technology launched an 800G retimer for Active Electrical Cables (AECs) used in data centers.

MediaTek announced that its newest flagship mobile chip will use an “All Big Core” design.

Renesas extended its tender offer and received UK National Security and Investment Act (NSIA) clearance for its proposed acquisition of Sequans.

Top In-Depth Reports

New stories by the Semiconductor Engineering team this week:

In the latest startup funding report, data centers drew the largest investments out of $3.2 billion raised by 58 companies.

Test, Measurement, and Analytics

  • Engineers are finding better pathways for tracking down killer defects earlier in the manufacturing process.
  • Increased size, faster interfaces, and 2.5D/3D packages put a squeeze on DRAM inspection and test methods.
  • Functional testing is gaining traction in the pursuit of known good die.
  • Why a shortage of data often impedes root-cause failure.

Low Power, High Performance, and Space Chips

  • What can possibly go wrong with chips outside the Earth’s atmosphere?
  • AI workloads are changing processor design in some unexpected ways.
  • The informal structural hierarchy used in semiconductor design is imperfect but adequate for most tasks, yet other hierarchies are needed.
  • Industry experts discuss why SRAM is viewed as a critical element in new and traditional compute architectures including AI.


Simon Min Sze, a semiconductor physics visionary most notable for his contributions to the invention of the MOSFET, and a distinguished professor and author of multiple textbooks on semiconductor manufacturing, passed away Nov. 6 at the age of 87.


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

Event Date Location
SC23: The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis Nov 12 – 17 Denver, Co
ITF towards NETZERO (Imec and SEMI) Nov 14 Munich, Germany
DVCon Europe 2023: Design and Verification Nov 14 – 15 Munich, Germany
SEMICON Europa Nov 14 – 17 Munich, Germany
Digital Safety Conference 2023 Nov 14 – 15 Detroit, MI
Ansys IDEAS 2023 Digital Forum Nov 30 Online
IEEE IEDM 2023 Dec 9 – 13 San Francisco, CA
SEMICON Japan Dec 13 Tokyo, Japan
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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