Chip Industry Week In Review

IC sales up; Taiwan’s quake; Japan’s big bets; Intel Foundry loss; edgeAI startup funding; smartphone market’s recovery; robots; data center security; NoCs in 3D.


By Jesse Allen, Gregory Haley, and Liz Allan.

The Japanese government approved $3.9 billion in funding for chipmaker Rapidus to expand its foundry business, of which 10% will be invested in advanced packaging. This is in addition to the previously announced $2.18 billion in funding. In a meeting next week, the U.S. and Japan are expected to cooperate on increasing semiconductor development and trade in an effort to reduce dependence on China. The announcement comes amid continuing tensions between China and the U.S. over trade sanctions in advanced semiconductor equipment and materials.

SK hynix will build an advanced packaging research and production facility in Indiana focusing on next-gen HBM. The initial investment of $3.9 billion will help create a 430,000 square-foot facility on 90 acres in West Lafayette. Production is expected to begin in 2030,

Worldwide semiconductor sales totaled $46.2B in February, a 16.3% year-over-year increase. “Sales in February increased on a year-to-year basis by the largest percentage since May 2022, and market growth is projected to persist during the remainder of the year,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO, in a statement.

TSMC briefly suspended work at some construction sites after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan Wednesday morning. TSMC’s fabs are engineered to withstand up to an 8.0 earthquake, according to industry sources.

Intel Foundry posted a $7 billion operating loss in 2023. It was the first time the company has broken out the foundry unit’s financial results. Intel has been investing heavily in new technology and talent, with announced plans to regain process leadership by next year — a position it plans to keep by rolling out five process nodes in four years. How quickly that turns into revenue remains to be seen, but Intel’s overall roadmap, including its chiplet strategy, backside power delivery technology, and its advanced packaging capabilities are garnering positive reviews.

Two edge AI chipmakers raised significant funding. Hailo added $120 million to its Series C while launching an AI accelerator designed to process LLMs at low power consumption for the PC and automotive industries. drew $70 million and announced plans for its next-gen AI/ML chip to power multi-modal generative AI at the edge.

Quick links to more news:

Market Reports
Education and Training
Product News
Pervasive Computing and AI
Further Reading

Markets and money

Q4 2023 global foundry revenues grew about 10% QoQ, but fell 3.5% YoY, according to Counterpoint. TSMC remains the dominant supplier with 61% of the market, followed by Samsung and UMC with 16% and 6% respectively.

Worldwide wafer fab equipment sales remained steady YoY, according to Yole. Revenues for 2023 were mostly driven by record shipments to China despite U.S. sanctions.

The smartphone semiconductor market is recovering after two years of heavy losses, reports Counterpoint. Smartphone AP-SoC shipments are expected to increase 9% YoY in 2024. Much of the growth will be driven by the transition to EUV 3nm process chips by major phone manufacturers.

McKinsey & Co. developed several scenarios for GenAI’s effect on the semiconductor industry. Each scenario sees a massive increase in compute and wafer demand.

The global LED market is expected to recover in 2024 with revenue reaching $13 billion at 3% YoY growth, reports TrendForce. Demand comes from automotive lighting and displays; general lighting; LED video walls, and UV/IR LEDs.

Apple’s services revenue is expected to top $100 billion and account for 25% of its revenue by 2025, despite antitrust lawsuits in the US and EU. iPhones continue to account for about 50%. Total revenue is projected to top $400 billion revenue for the first time in 2024.

Stories from this month’s Automotive, Security & Pervasive Computing newsletter and other Semiconductor Engineering stories and tech talks featured this week:

  • Quantum Computing Challenged By Security, Error Correction: Cryptographers scramble for better quantum security schemes, while physicists try to fix qubit errors.
  • Data Center Security Issues Widen: The number and breadth of data center hardware targets is increasing, but older attack vectors are not going away.
  • NoCs In 3D Space: The network on chip has become essential for complex designs, but it needs to evolve to support 3D designs and enable the integration of chiplets.
  • The Challenges Of Working With Photonics: Experts discuss where photonics is most useful and most vulnerable.
  • Challenges In RISC-V Verification: How to debug RISC-V multi-core chips and ensure they will be cache coherent and secure.
  • Cache Coherency In Heterogeneous Systems: Why maintaining flexibility in cache coherency is essential in heterogeneous designs.

Education and Training

Indiana’s Purdue University is leading a program to embed microelectronics education in K-12 classrooms as part of a Dept. of Defense (DoD) strategy to bolster U.S. semiconductor manufacturing. Schools from Illinois and Michigan are participating.

Binghamton State University of New York, received $1 million in funding for new equipment for its Nanofabrication Lab, a cleanroom used for advanced packaging.

Georgia Tech created a minor degree program in AI and ML.

When all the planned fabs become operational, the semiconductor industry is likely to face a worker shortage of 100,000 each in the U.S. and Europe. There are many ways that AI, digital twins, virtual and augmented reality, and robots/cobots (collaborative robots) can help fill the talent gap.


In research news:

  • ETH Zurich evaluated Rowhammer attacks on AMD Zen-based Platforms.
  • North Carolina State University, the University of South Alabama, and the University of Tennessee developed a memory architecture for local differential privacy in hardware.
  • Indian Institute of Technology Indore developed a watermarking method to stop an attacker in an SoC integration house from pirating the design IP.
  • Universidad Industrial de Santander and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) proposed a method to defend against sniffing attacks in computer vision
  • Delft University of Technology, Erasmus Medical Center, and Cognitive IC investigated using memristors for lightweight encryption of next-gen personalized healthcare devices.

The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DoE) announced a $75 million investment to develop a critical minerals supply chain research facility to strengthen U.S. energy security and national security.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks public comment on a draft publication, “Incident Response Recommendations and Considerations for Cybersecurity Risk Management: A CSF 2.0 Community Profile.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released findings of a review into the Microsoft Exchange Online intrusion in summer 2023.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) joined the Minimum Viable Secure Product working group; released a catalog of cybersecurity resources for high-risk communities and issued other alerts.

Product News

Infineon released its PSOC Edge family of MCUs for machine learning (ML) applications based on the Arm Cortex-M55 and paired with Infineon’s NNLite hardware accelerator for neural networks. Applications include human-machine interface (HMI) in appliances and industrial devices, smart home and security systems, robotics, and wearables. Also, Infineon and Green Hills Software launched an integrated MCU-based processing platform for safety-critical real-time automotive systems, ideal for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to develop domain and zonal controllers and drivetrains for EVs and next-gen software-defined vehicle (SDV) architectures.

PCI-SIG made the 0.5 version of the PCIe 7.0 specification available to members. The full release, planned for 2025, aims for a 128 GT/s raw bit rate and up to 512 GB/s bi-directionally via x16 configuration using PAM4 signaling with a focus on channel parameters and reach while improving power efficiency.

MIPS used Synopsys’ ImperasFPM fast processor models and the Synopsys ImperasPDK processor development kit software simulation tools to support early software development for its multi-threaded RISC-V processor cores.

Keysight’s ultra-wideband testing tool was validated for the FiRa 2.0 Certification release, covering PHY conformance testing.

LightSolver made available its optical high-performance computing platform that uses an array of 100 lasers to solve optimization problems with up to 120100 combinations.

The Exploration Co. is using Ansys simulation solutions to develop a modular and reusable space vehicle that uses a methane-based propulsion system.

QuantalRF uncorked a single-chip 5-7 GHz Wi-Fi 7 front-end IC that integrates all RF front-end components into a CMOS SOI design.

RED Semiconductor announced an algorithmic microprocessor ISA and hardware design that optimizes RISC-V for efficient parallel computation of complex repetitive functions, such as those used in edge AI, autonomy, and cryptography.

Brewer Science earned the GreenCircle Certification for Zero Waste to Landfill for the ninth consecutive year. Brewer is the only semiconductor company to achieve this certification.

Pervasive Computing and AI

Hyundai and Kia unveiled their delivery robot, DAL-e Delivery, featuring autonomous driving and face identification, based on Plug & Drive (PnD) modules to improve performance in settings like offices and malls.

Fig. 1: Hyundai Motor and Kia’s DAL-e Delivery Robot. Source: Hyundai

Apple is exploring home robotics, according to Bloomberg.

The University of Texas at Austin researchers created a universal brain-computer interface that lets people play games using their thoughts. ML allows it to quickly understand an individual’s needs and self-calibrate through repetition.


Innovate Illinois announced a multi-year plan for a tech hub to develop quantum technology solutions for fraud detection, grid resilience, and drug discovery. The hub has secured $625 million in public and private investments. The state’s governor had previously urged that its upcoming budget include significant funding to support quantum technology research and development.

Quantinuum and Microsoft used a 32-qubit quantum processor to create four logical qubits that demonstrate error rates 800 times lower than corresponding physical error rates. They utilized active syndrome extraction to run 14,000 independent instances of a quantum circuit error-free.

Quantum Computing Inc. debuted a nanophotonic quantum optimization platform that uses nonlinear quantum optics to solve integer problems using quantum digits.

IBM published an error-correcting code for fault-tolerant quantum memory, which it says is about 10 times more efficient than prior methods, enabling the protection of 12 logical qubits for roughly a million cycles of error checks using 288 qubits.


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

Event Date Location
Embedded World Apr 9 – 11 Nuremberg, Germany
IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) Apr 14 – 18 Dallas, Texas
CadenceLive Silicon Valley Apr 17 Santa Clara, CA
CHIPS for America: Execute For Global Success Apr 17 Virtual or Washington D.C.
CHIPS R&D National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) Advanced Packaging Summit Apr 18 – 19 Hybrid Virtual and In-Person at NASA Ames Conference Center in Moffett Field, California
IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC) Apr 21 – 24 Denver, Colorado
MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit Apr 22 – 26 Seattle, Washington
(note: Virtual held in May)
IEEE VLSI Test Symposium Apr 22 – 24 Tempe, AZ
IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST) May 6 – 9 Washington DC
RSA Conference May 6 – 9 San Francisco, CA
MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit May 7 – 9 Virtual
ASMC: Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference May 13 – 16 Albany, NY
ISES Taiwan 2024: International Semiconductor Executive Summit May 14 – 15 New Taipei City
Women in Semiconductors: WIS 2024 May 16 Albany, NY
NI Connect Austin 2024 May 20 – 22 Austin, Texas
All Upcoming Events

Upcoming webinars are here.

Further Reading

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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