Chip Industry Week In Review

Rapidus teams with Leti for 2nm ICs by 2027; Microsoft’s custom chips; DoE’s $3.5B battery investment; EMI noise fix in EVs; Siemens buys Insight EDA; fastest computers; NVIDIA’s AI foundry service; Intel lawsuit and security fix.


By Jesse Allen, Karen Heyman, and Liz Allan

Japan’s Rapidus and the University of Tokyo are teaming up with France’s Leti to meet its previously announced mass production goal of 2nm chips by 2027, and chips in the 1nm range in the 2030s. Rapidus was formed in 2022 with the support of eight Japanese companies — Sony, Kioxia, Denso, NEC, NTT, SoftBank, Toyota, and Mitsubishi’s banking arm, MUFG — as part of a national effort to return to prominence in electronics.

Microsoft jumped into the custom silicon market with two chips architected for its own data centers. One is an accelerator optimized for AI tasks and generative AI, designed specifically for the Azure hardware stack. The other is an Arm-based processor built on the Neoverse CSS platform and tailored to run general-purpose compute workloads in the Microsoft Cloud. The company plans begin deploying them next year. The move follows on the heels of other big cloud players, such as Google, Meta, Amazon, and Alibaba, which have developed their own bespoke silicon.

Looking to reduce costs for one of the priciest components in BEVs, the U.S. Department of Energy said it will invest up to $3.5 billion to boost domestic production of advanced batteries and battery materials. The agency’s stated goal is to create new, retrofitted, and expanded domestic facilities for battery-grade processed critical minerals, precursor materials, components, and cell and pack manufacturing.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas developed technology to detect and reduce EMI noise in EVs. Noise of all types can disrupt signals in densely packed electronics.

Quick links to more news:

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

Design and Power

Siemens Digital Industries Software acquired Insight EDA, which provides technology to identify and address design-specific failure areas. “The addition of Insight EDA to Siemens’ Calibre PERC product line further enables design engineers to create design specific reliability checks and analysis,” said Michael Garcia-Buehler, vice president of product management for Calibre Design Solutions at Siemens. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ansys, TSMC, and Microsoft validated a joint solution for analyzing mechanical stresses in multi-die 3D-IC systems manufactured with TSMC’s 3DFabric advanced packaging technologies.

The CXL Consortium published its latest specification, adding improved fabric manageability, extending memory sharing and pooling to avoid stranded memory, and facilitate memory sharing between accelerators.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory‘s Frontier retained its spot as the fastest supercomputer on the TOP500 list, an exascale machine capable of an HPL score of 1.194 EFlops/second. Frontier also posted good efficiency metrics, reaching number 8 on the Green500 list of the most efficient supercomputers. Argonne‘s under-construction Aurora system took second place on the TOP500, a benchmark made using only half of the system’s planned capacity. Microsoft Azure Cloud’s Eagle took third, the highest rank a cloud system has ever achieved on the TOP500.

Cadence and Autodesk are teaming up to provide automated design synchronization between Autodesk Fusion and Cadence’s generative AI-powered Allegro X and OrCAD X platforms. The goal is bi-directional communication between PCB designers and mechanical engineers.

Movellus uncorked a product family of synthesizable sensors aimed at on-die observability in complex SoCs. The first product in the Aeonic Insight is a fine-grained droop detector with multiple thresholds. It is process-portable and can generate advanced telemetry for SoC management and silicon lifecycle analytics platforms. Movellus also introduced detailed clock health telemetry to its synthesizable clock generation portfolio.

Synopsys unveiled new generative AI capabilities for chip design. Copilot integrates Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service to provide natural language conversational intelligence to design teams across all stages of chip design.

Keysight expanded the simulation capabilities in its EDA software suite to include electro-thermal simulation for the Tower Semiconductor SiGe Power Amplifier (PA) process.

AMD rolled out a processor family targeted at embedded industrial applications.

NVIDIA debuted a new GPU for generative AI and high performance computing workloads. The H200 is based on the company’s Hopper architecture and uses HBM3e to deliver 141GB of memory at 4.8 TB/s of peak memory bandwidth.

Mixel celebrated its 25-year anniversary since it was founded in San Jose, California, in 1998. The company joined the MIPI Alliance in 2006 and has been a contributing member ever since, participating in the development of all MIPI PHY specifications. Mixel was the first IP provider to demonstrate silicon proven MIPI D-PHYSM, MIPI C-PHYSM, and MIPI M-PHY.

Manufacturing and Test

NVIDIA introduced an AI foundry service to develop and tune custom generative AI applications for enterprises and startups deploying on Microsoft Azure. The NVIDIA AI foundry service pulls together three elements — a collection of NVIDIA AI Foundation Models, NVIDIA NeMo framework and tools, and NVIDIA DGX Cloud AI supercomputing. 

To accurately quantify the environmental impact IC manufacturing, imec has developed a virtual fab, called imec.netzero, using data from its own fab, which is continuously benchmarked with data from equipment, material and fab partners.

The U.S. government is investigating whether Applied Materials violated export restrictions by selling advanced equipment to SMIC, according to Reuters. So far, no charges have been filed, and it’s not clear if they will be. In an 8-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission last year the company said, “Applied recently received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts requesting information relating to certain China customer shipments. The Company is cooperating with the government and is committed to compliance with global laws, including export controls and trade regulations.”

Foxconn adopted a cautious outlook for 2024, predicting revenue growth of less than 5% amid intense geopolitical uncertainty, reports Nikkei Asia.

PCI-SIG announced the new trademarked naming scheme for PCIe internal and external Cables will be CopprLink. The PCIe 5.0 and PCIe 6.0 internal and external cable specifications are targeted for release in 2024.

Global demand for MLCCs is set to experience a period of slow growth from 2023 to 2024, reports TrendForce. With limited opportunities for industry growth, the demand for MLCCs in 2023 is estimated to be around 4.193 trillion units, with a modest annual growth rate of about 3%.

The IC substrate market is poised for significant growth, with its value projected to increase from US$15.1 billion in 2022 to nearly US$29 billion by 2028. This growth is primarily attributed to the surging demands in the AI, 5G, and automotive sectors, according to Yole.

Advantest announced Pin Scale Multilevel Serial, its newest high-speed I/O (HSIO) instrument. Designed for use with the V93000 EXA Scale ATE platform, Pin Scale Multilevel Serial is both the first native EXA Scale HSIO instrument and the first fully integrated HSIO ATE instrument to address signaling requirements for advanced communication interfaces. 

Keysight introduced an automated in-circuit test system (ICT) supporting larger node count PCB assemblies. It uses an Enhanced Shorts Test algorithm, consisting of a detection phase and an isolation phase, to make the testing procedure faster. Keysight also announced an agile, composable network test platform based on open vendor-neutral API and designed for continuous integration.

A Finnish consortium led by VTT joined the EU project Sustronics, which aims to lead the European electronics industry towards sustainable materials, design, manufacturing methods, and improved circularity and energy efficiency.

Automotive and Batteries

Nexperia and Mitsubishi Electric will jointly develop silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs to boost the efficiency and performance of SiC in automotive, home appliances, industrial equipment, and traction motors. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled Chrysler’s Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) because they may have been built with a 12 volt isolator post that is off location, which may result in a short to ground in the 12V battery positive (“B+”) circuit and cause a fire with the ignition on or off.

Hyundai broke ground on its KRW 2 trillion ($1.53 billion) EV plant in Ulsan, South Korea, occupying a 548,000 m² site with capacity to produce 200,000 EVs per year.

UltraSense Systems is working with BCS Automotive Interface Solutions to change the way drivers interact with their vehicles. The approach uses solid-state touch systems with multi-mode sensors on steering wheels.

Rivian closed a land deal in Georgia to rent 1,800 acres for 50 years for its 16 million-square-foot, $5 billion EV plant, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Toyota will source Redwood’s cathode active materials and anode copper foil for production in its upcoming North Carolina battery manufacturing plant.

Exxon began its first phase of North America lithium production in southwest Arkansas, aiming to be a leading supplier for EVs by 2030.

BMW North America launched its first all-electric BMW 5 Series, the BMW i5, and expanded its smart charging service, ChargeForward, providing customers with incentives for charging when renewable energy is at peak availability.

Mercedes-Benz and MN8 Energy opened the first of 400 planned U.S. charging hubs, featuring 400kW chargers, a lounge, and amenities that drivers of EVs from any brand can enjoy.

Fig. 1: Mercedes-Benz Charging Hub in Sandy Springs, GA. Source: Mercedes-Benz

Siemens Digital Industries Software, Arm, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), delivered the PAVE360 digital twin solution on AWS’s cloud services to help accelerate next-generation software-defined vehicle (SDV) innovation with virtual car in the cloud.

Arteris‘ Ncore cache coherent interconnect IP was certified for ISO 26262. The certification makes it ready to use in ISO 26262-compliant chips from ASIL B to ASIL D requirements.


Synopsys published a report showing the number of software vulnerabilities found in target applications has decreased from 97% in 2020 to 83% in 2022. The report details data derived from tests designed to probe running applications as a real-world attacker would with multiple security testing techniques.

Intel was hit with a class action lawsuit filed Nov. 8. in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming the company “knowingly” sold CPUs with a design defect that could be easily exploited. In an unrelated move, Intel advised of a potential security vulnerability in some Intel Processors that may allow escalation of privilege and/or information disclosure and/or denial of service via local access. The company is releasing firmware updates to mitigate this potential vulnerability.

Researchers at the University of Florida and Brookhaven National Laboratory introduced a way of  verifying the integrity of ICs based on their electromagnetic near-field emissions, thereby protecting systems against counterfeit components.

Helmholtz Center for Information Security (CISPA) researchers discovered a security vulnerability in AMD’s secure encrypted virtualization (SEV) technology by constructing a CacheWarp attack, which can enable attackers to gain access rights to data and manipulate it. AMD said the vulnerability was fixed with an update.

Another CISPA researcher developed a filter to remove hateful memes and unsafe or inhumane images produced by AI image generators, such as Stable Diffusion, Latent Diffusion, DALL·E 2, and DALL·E mini.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released its first Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence (AI), adding to the effort to ensure the secure development and implementation of AI capabilities.

CISA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) released a joint advisory about the known ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model, Rhysida, whose actors leverage external-facing remote services, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), Zerologon vulnerability (CVE-2020-1472), and phishing campaigns to gain initial access and persistence within a network.

CISA also released its latest Secure Tomorrow Series Toolkit, a range of interactive products to help critical infrastructure stakeholders identify and mitigate emerging risks, and issued numerous other alerts.

Pervasive Computing

Infineon extended its line of radiation-hardened asynchronous static RAMs with embedded error correction code (ECC) for single-bit error correction for space and other extreme environment applications with high reliability and performance requirements, available in 8-, 16- and 32-bit wide configurations. Infineon also released a family of MCUs for low-power capacitive sensing with a high signal-to-noise ratio, liquid tolerance, and multi-sense capabilities.

Federal laboratories, research institutes, academia, and industry from around the world formed the Trillion Parameter Consortium (TPC) to address the challenges of building large-scale AI systems and advancing trustworthy and reliable AI for scientific discovery.

Nokia completed interoperability testing with a Mavenir radio using an O-RAN Alliance 7-2x interface and demonstrated 5G peak performance by activating 4CC Carrier Aggregation using TDD and FDD spectrum in a 5G Standalone configuration.

Sapeon announced a new inference NPU for data centers. It includes a built-in video codec and video post-processing IP to improve the processing speed of video-related programs.

MicroLED technology was expected to be commercialized by 2020 to 2021, but meaningful production volumes are now predicted to be achievable in the next two to three years, with widespread consumer adoption potentially taking five to ten years, reports Yole.

China’s smartphone market grew an average of 11% year-over-year in October, reports Counterpoint, with Huawei accounting for the bulk of the improvement. Latin American smartphone shipments increased 10.9% YoY in Q1 2023, after four straight quarters of decline.

Winbond received six honors at the Taiwan Corporate Sustainability Awards and also won the 2023 British Standards Institution (BSI) Sustainable Resilience Excellence Award.

An AI tool can predict the 10-year risk of deadly heart attacks, according to research funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Top In-Depth Reports

New stories by the Semiconductor Engineering team this week:

  • Special Report: The number of options and tradeoffs is exploding as multiple flavors of DRAM are combined in a single design.
  • Video: As Advanced IC Substrates (AICS) add more RDL layers, the potential for cumulative overlay shift increases.

Manufacturing, Packaging & Materials:

  • Packages are becoming more complex to endure high power and high temperature conditions across a variety of applications.
  • Fabs, OSATs, and equipment makers are accelerating their efforts to consume less water while recycling more material waste.
  • Skyrocketing AI compute workloads and fixed power budgets are forcing chip and system architects to take a harder look at compute in memory (CIM).
  • Experts sat down to discuss heterogeneous integration issues and solutions.


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

Event Date Location
Ansys IDEAS 2023 Digital Forum Nov 30 Online
IEEE IEDM 2023 Dec 9 – 13 San Francisco, CA
ITF@IEDM Dec 12 San Francisco, CA
CHIPS R&D Chiplets Interface Technical Standards Workshop Dec 12 – 13 Rockville, MD and Virtual
SEMICON Japan Dec 13 Tokyo, Japan
CHIPS R&D Digital Twin Technical Standards Workshop Dec 14 – 15 Rockville, MD and Virtual
ISS 2024: Industry Strategy Symposium Jan 7 – 10 Half Moon Bay, CA
SPIE Photonics West Jan 27 – Feb 1 San Francisco, CA
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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