Chip Industry Week In Review

Synopsys buys Imperas in RISC-V push; U.S. high-NA R&D; first CHIPS Act award; Advantest’s integrated AI; Rapidus targets TSMC, Intel; Renesas launches cloud tools; security improvements, threats; faulty research.


By Jesse Allen, Gregory Haley, and Liz Allan

Synopsys acquired Imperas, pushing further into the RISC-V world with Imperas’ virtual platform technology for verifying and emulating processors. Synopsys has been building up its RISC-V portfolio, starting with ARC-V processor IP and a full suite of tools introduced last month.

The first high-NA EUV R&D center in the U.S. will be built at the New York CREATES’ Albany NanoTech Complex. The deal is the culmination of a $10 billion partnership with New York State, ASML, IBM, Micron, Applied Materials, and TEL, among others. The facility is expected to be completed in late 2025.

The U.S. Dept of Commerce announced its first award of federal incentives under the CHIPS Act to BAE Systems, which will receive $35 million to support the modernization of the company’s Microelectronics Center, a mature-node production facility in Nashua, New Hampshire.

ASML and Samsung agreed to invest $760 million (1 trillion yuan) to build a research center in Seoul’s metropolitan area to develop next-gen, EUV memory chips, according to Nikkei Asia.

More than 10,000 research papers were retracted in 2023, which Nature said is a new record. The bulk of the retractions were from journals owned by Hindawi, a London-based subsidiary of the publisher Wiley.

Quick links to more news:

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

Design and Power

Intel debuted its 5th Gen Xeon processors for AI, HPC, networking, storage, database, and security applications. The company says it provides more compute and faster memory in the same power envelope as the previous generation. Intel also launched a line of mobile processors incorporating an NPU to bring AI acceleration capability to laptops.

Imec showed spin-orbit transfer magnetic random-access memory (SOT-MRAM) devices with a switching energy below 100 femto-Joule per bit, which imec says is a reduction of 63% compared to conventional designs, and >1015 program/erase cycle endurance. SOT-MRAM is a candidate for replacing SRAM as a last-level cache memory in HPC applications.

Scalinx licensed Arteris’ Ncore and FlexNoC interconnect IP for its next-generation modem SoC for ultra-high capacity, multi-gigabit links in microwave, millimeter-wave, and multi-band wireless communication equipment.

Alphawave Semi and Keysight demonstrated interoperability between Alphawave Semi’s PCIe 6.0 64 GT/s Subsystem (PHY and Controller) Device and Keysight PCIe 6.0 64 GT/s Protocol Exerciser, negotiating a link to the maximum PCIe 6.0 data rate.

QC Design announced a fault-tolerance software package that integrates various quantum error correction codes, hardware-relevant error models, and decoders.

Aliro Quantum introduced a modular quantum network simulator to help evaluate and fine tune components, configurations, and use cases.

ROHM and Quanmatic teamed up to use hybrid quantum technologies to optimize the electrical die sorting process in a large-scale mass production line.

In quantum news, Caltech and Broadcom announced a multi-year partnership to establish a new lab focused on quantum science research; IQM Quantum Computers partnered with UC Berkeley to develop the next generation of advanced superconducting quantum processors; and IBM plans to support quantum education activities with Keio University, the University of Tokyo, Yonsei University, Seoul National University, and the University of Chicago.

Manufacturing and Test

Imec and Mitsui partnered for the development of carbon-nanotube-based pellicles for EUV lithography. Its introduction in high-power EUV systems is targeted for the 2025 to 2026 timeframe.

Rapidus, the Japanese government backed chip company, predicted it will catch up with TSMC and Intel in the race to produce ultra-advanced chips by 2028, according to Nikkei Asia. Japan’s government is expected to invest hundreds of billions of yen into the project, which counts IBM among its partners.

Advantest’s ACS Real-Time Data Infrastructure (RTDI) was accepted by multiple major data analytics companies as part of an industry-wide collaboration to accelerate data analytics and AI/ML decision-making within a single, integrated platform. Partners include PDF Solutions, proteanTecs, and Synopsys.

Advantest also announced two products designed to deliver advanced handling capabilities for AI and high-performance computing (HPC) markets: the HA1200 die-level handler and the active thermal control (ATC) 2-kilowatt (kW) option for the M487x handler series.

Taiwan holds approximately 46% of global semiconductor foundry capacity as of 2023, followed by China (26%), South Korea (12%), the U.S. (6%), and Japan (2%), reports Trendforce. Those percentages are expected to change by 2027 due to increasing government support for foundry development in the U.S. and China.

The silicon photonics market, valued at US$68 million in 2022, is forecast to exceed US$600 million in 2028, for a CAGR of 44%, driven by demand for AI/ML and data center applications, reports Yole.

Amkor committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, aligning with standards set by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World and Emerging measures corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) progress. Chip companies making the list this year include UMC for the sixteenth consecutive year, Infineon for the fourteenth, ASE for the eighth, Keysight for the fifth, and Lam Research for the third.

Automotive and Batteries

Tesla recalled millions of its model S, X, and Y vehicles equipped with Autosteer following a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A software remedy was issued to affected models. “In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, the prominence and scope of the feature’s controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse of the SAE Level 2 advanced driver-assistance feature,” and there may be an increased risk of a collision. An NHTSA spokesperson said its investigation remains open while it monitors the effectiveness of Tesla’s fixes.

Renesas launched a cloud-based development environment, AI Workbench, aimed at streamlining the software design process for automotive AI engineers.

Infineon released 160 V silicon-on-insulator (SOI) 2-channel MOTIX gate driver ICs for automotive and industrial motor control applications, including cordless power tools, multicopters, drones, and light EVs with batteries up to 120 V.

Continental collaborated with Synopsys on features and applications for software-defined vehicles (SDVs). Synopsys’ virtual prototyping tools enable the development of virtual electronic control units (vECUs) supporting a range of abstraction levels for vehicle digital twins.

Ambarella announced its autonomous driving (AD) software stack, designed in conjunction with its AI domain controller system-on-chip (SoC) family to run on the SoC’s CVflow AI engines, with on-chip Arm cores.

Bosch, imec, and the Flemish government developed a real-time detection system that warns wrong-way drivers, as well as drivers in the vicinity, through navigation apps in the car.

Logic Fruit Technologies debuted a controller area network (CAN) controller IP core supporting data rates up to 1 Mbps.

Volvo opened a public EV fast charging network of 50 chargers at 15 U.S. Starbucks stores between Denver and Seattle. The DC fast chargers are placed about every 100 miles along the route and can provide up to 110 miles in 15 minutes on certain Volvo models.

The first charging station funded through President Biden’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program opened in Ohio with stations in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Maine to follow.

InCharge Energy launched an AC Level 2 charging solution for fleets. The Dual ICE-80A charger can charge two vehicles at a maximum output of 19.2 kilowatts (kW) on both cables.

Panasonic inked a deal with Sila for use of its high-performance nano-composite silicon anode, to be produced in the company’s plant in Moses Lake, WA, and optimized for Panasonic’s next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

China-based Zeekr unveiled lithium iron phosphate batteries to support fast charging, reports Reuters.

General Motors and Komatsu will develop a hydrogen fuel cell power module for Komatsu’s 930E electric drive mining truck.

Murata Finland, a manufacturer and supplier of automotive inertial sensors, renewed a license agreement with Cadence to leverage its advanced EDA software hosted securely in the cloud.


CISA rolled out the 2023 Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) list of Top 10 known exploited vulnerabilities. In addition, CISA, the FBI, NSA, and international partners jointly advised of a Russian foreign intelligence service exploiting JetBrains TeamCity, enabling it to bypass authorization and conduct arbitrary code execution on the compromised server.

MITRE Engenuity’s Sensor Mappings to ATT&CK allows cyber defenders to create a more detailed picture of cyber incidents, including the threat actor, technical behavior, telemetry collection, and impact.

Fortinet selected Keysight‘ APS-M8400 network cybersecurity test platform to validate the hyperscale distributed denial of service (DDoS) defense capabilities and carrier-grade performance of its FortiGate 4800F next generation firewall.

A unified, non-intrusive detection methodology safeguards FPGA-based AI accelerators by harnessing power side-channel information generated during model inference to spot any anomaly, according to researchers at Nanyang Technological University and Tsinghua University.

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Radboud University, and Delft University of Technology provided a novel perspective on improving the efficiency of side-channel analysis by applying two deep feature loss functions: Soft Nearest Neighbor (SoftNN) and Center loss.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published guidance on using a mathematical algorithm called differential privacy, which allows data to be publicly released without revealing the individuals within the dataset.

NATO‘s Communications and Information Agency chose IBM to help strengthen its cybersecurity posture, with improved security visibility and asset management across all networks.

Pervasive Computing and AI

EPFL researchers developed an algorithm to train an analog neural network as accurately as a digital one and used deep learning to understand a process in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Meanwhile, University of Southern California Viterbi researchers developed a deep learning method for brain signals that can perform real-time decoding to advance neurotechnologies. And University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers developed a portable, non-invasive system that can decode thoughts and turn them into text.

Fig. 1: A researcher tests mind-reading technology. Source: UTS

Renesas released RA8D1 microcontrollers based on the Arm Cortex-M85 processor, delivering over 6.39 CoreMark/MHz1 with memory, graphics, and peripheral functions optimized for diverse graphics display solutions and voice/vision multimodal AI requirements.

Norwegian start-up selected Siemens Xcelerator to help drive development of its next-gen Genius 2, an autonomous system that can turn almost any object into an autonomous mobile robot.

Fig. 2:’s autonomous mobile robot system. Source: Siemens

Elon Musk showed the latest capabilities of Tesla’s bipedal autonomous humanoid, Optimus bot, reports CNBCTV.

MIT leaders and scholars released a framework for the governance of AI, including an extension of current regulatory and liability approaches.

Rambus won the 2023 Most Respected Emerging Public Semiconductor Company Award from Global Semiconductor Alliance.

In-Depth Reports

New reporting by the Semiconductor Engineering team this week.

Low Power-High Performance:

  • Thermal analysis is being driven further left in the design.
  • Choosing the right format is essential for efficient edge inferencing.
  • Expert discussion: Power integrity challenges and best practices in designs at 7nm and below, and in 2.5D and 3D-IC packages.
  • Expert discussion: The future of in-memory compute may depend on whether SRAM can shrink further.
  • Video: Very short reach SerDes in data centers and how to optimize performance, quality, and power to handle growing volumes of data.

Test, Measurement & Analytics:

  • Special Report: The industry is investing in more precise and productive inspection and testing to enable advanced packages and eventually, 3D-ICs.
  • Why test cells could become the critical information hub of the fab.
  • Diverse identifier technologies enable fingerprinting for all device types.


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

Event Date Location
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
CES 2024: Consumer Electronics Jan 9 – 12 Las Vegas, NV
Automotive World: Advanced Automotive Technology Show Jan 24 – 26 Tokyo, Japan
SPIE Photonics West Jan 27 – Feb 1 San Francisco, CA
DesignCon 2024 Jan 30 – Feb 1 Santa Clara, CA
Chiplet Summit Feb 6 – 8 Santa Clara, CA
Wafer-Level Packaging Symposium Feb 13 – 15 Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
The Rise of Photonic Computing Feb 7 – 8 San Jose, CA
All Upcoming Events

Upcoming webinars are here, including leveraging the CHIPS Act, quantum-safe cryptography, introduction to photonics simulation and AI-augmented test automation.

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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