Chip Industry Week In Review

Imec’s €2.5B beyond 2nm; 3D-DRAM; chip aging in data centers; glass substrate CHIPS funding; UK Semiconductor Institute; HBM3; executive changes; semi supply chain; sidestepping litho.


Absolics, an affiliate of Korea materials company SKC, will receive up to $75 million in direct funding under the U.S. CHIPS Act for the construction of a 120,000 square-foot facility in Covington, Georgia, for glass substrates in advanced packaging.

imec will host a €2.5 billion (~$2.72B) pilot line for researching chips beyond 2nm, partially funded through the EU Chips Act. imec CEO Luc Van den Hove urged the European chip industry to focus on its strengths as a research center and chipmaking equipment producer rather than trying to create a cutting-edge chip manufacturer, per Reuters.

A new UK Semiconductor Institute will bring together government, universities, and industry to support the government’s National Semiconductor Strategy, backed by £1 billion ($1.27B).

Samsung said it will complete initial production of its 3D-DRAM chip next year, according to Zdnet. The company is aiming for 16 layers of cells, with commercial availability by 2030.

The Semiconductor Industry Association released recommendations for the U.S. National Semiconductor Technology Center, including urging technology-specific centers focused on industry subsectors, full-stack innovation, end market working groups.

Fig.1: Proposed organizational structure of the NSTC (and the Advanced Packaging Piloting Facility). Source: Semiconductor Industry Association.

Quick links to more news:

Market Reports
Education and Training
Product News
AI Governance
Events and Further Reading

Markets and Money

Expedera raised $20 million in Series B funding, bringing the company’s total funding to over $47 million. The latest round was led by indie Semiconductor and will be used to further develop energy-efficient NPU IP for automotive, AR/VR/MR, and smart phones.

Synopsys’ purchase of Ansys was approved by the latter’s stockholders at a special meeting. Ansys said it plans to file the final vote results with the SEC by May 28, 2024 and the deal is expected to be finalized in the first six months of 2025.

Scale AI raised $1 billion in Series F funding for its foundation model, targeted at autonomous vehicle development, and its data labeling and curation platform for AV model development and evaluation.

Lam Research announced a $10 billion stock repurchase and a 10-for-1 stock split.

Production of HBM3E chips is expected to account for 35% of advanced process wafter input by the end of 2024, TrendForce reported. The surge in advanced process capacity is supported by increased HBM demand in PCs, servers, and smart phones. Meanwhile, last week’s White House announcement of new tariffs on China has accelerated a shift in supply chains, resulting in increased orders for Taiwanese foundries.

AI demand remains strong, despite a seasonal downturn and slower recovery for the global foundry industry in Q1 2024, which declined about 5% quarter over quarter, according to Counterpoint. However, growth increased 12% year over year in Q1 2024. Likewise, European smart phone shipments rose 10% YoY in Q1 2024, ending a series of YoY declines since Q3 2021. Samsung regained top spot from Apple.

Driven by AI-fueled demand for GPUs and DRAM, the burn-in and test sockets market is expected to rebound in 2024, following a 17% decline to US$1.5 billion in 2023, according to Yole. The firm predicts revenue for this sector will top $2 billion by 2029. Markets for semiconductor probe cards and device interface boards also are expected to recover.

The cost of Chinese LFP batteries remains lower than those made in the U.S., which are more than double in price even with increased tariffs, reports TrendForce.


The Korean government’s chip industry support package turned out to be worth 26 trillion won ($19.03B). The package will cover the entire semiconductor ecosystem and “will strive to halve the time required to commence construction of the Yongin Semiconductor Cluster,” according to a statement.

Chairman and CEO of Korea‘s SK Group (parent of SK hynix) discussed in an interview with Nikkei Asia further investments in Japan and the U.S., with clean energy procurement a priority in their selection of manufacturing sites.

In Japan, Rapidus’ president said construction of its Hokkaido plant will likely be completed in January 2025, with the test line operational as early as April, reports NHK World.

AMD plans to invest about NT$5 billion (~US$155M) in an R&D Center in Taiwan, focusing on AI, next-generation semiconductors, and a new 5G network, with a potential 50% government subsidy, per the Taipei Times.

China-based chip suppliers are starting “aggressive” campaigns to vet local suppliers in light of U.S. sanctions, according to Nikkei Asia.

UMC’s Singapore Fab 12i celebrated its first tool move-in for its Phase 3 expansion.

Microsoft and G42 announced a $1 billion digital ecosystem initiative for Kenya, including a green data center, local-language AI model R&D, an innovation lab with AI skills training, connectivity investments, and collaboration with the government on cloud services.


Semiconductor Engineering published its Manufacturing, Packaging & Materials newsletter this week, featuring these top stories:

More reporting this week:


Lip-Bu Tan, former CEO and Executive Chairman of Cadence, is now  Executive Chairman of California-based SambaNova Systems, maker of enterprise scale AI platforms.

YoungHyun Jun will now lead Samsung’s semiconductor business as the new Head of Device Solutions Division.

Gordon Bell, the iconic inventor of the DEC VAX minicomputer in the 1960s, died at the age of 89. And DRAM inventor Robert Dennard died in late April.


Infineon launched its OPTIGA Authenticate NBT, a high-performance asymmetric cryptography NFC I2C bridge tag for single-tap authentication and secured configuration of IoT devices. It uses TEGRION hardware and enables a contactless interface speed of up to 848 Kbit/s and an I2C interface that supports up to 1 Mbits/s.

Fig. 1: High-performance NFC I2C bridge tag. Source: Infineon

TXOne’s endpoint security solution, Stellar, was recognized by Siemens as a compatible ancillary product for its WinCC process-visualization system.

In security research:

  • NTU Singapore and Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur researchers proposed a high performance and low-noise hardware board for side-channel evaluations.
  • Seoul National University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers uncovered DRAM microarchitectures and their impacts on activate-induced bitflips such as RowHammer.
  • A team from Europe and the U.S. discussed various reliability and security threats in AI systems.
  • Researchers from South Korea addressed the need for robust and energy-efficient hardware security for the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape.
  • A team from India and Singapore proposed techniques to enhance the quality of randomness in true random number generators (TRNGs) for applications such as cryptography, hardware security, and device modeling.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a number of alerts/advisories.

Education and Training

ASML and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) expanded their collaboration to conduct more joint research and train more PhD students. ASML is investing a total of €80 million (~$87M) over 10 years, including a contribution to TU/e’s cleanroom.

GlobalFoundries partnered with Micron, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to invest in workforce development at Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) such as Historically Black College and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities throughout the U.S., aiming to diversify the semiconductor workforce and build talent pipelines.

A Penn State-led model to bring veterans into the chip industry could scale for broad workforce development. Veterans are beginning to form a valuable talent pool for advanced manufacturing and chip-sector positions, helping to fill the current and projected future gap in qualified workers as new fabs come online, and adding discipline and skills that are difficult to find otherwise.

Product News

Siemens released its Catapult AI NN to early adopters and will be widely available in the fourth quarter of 2024. The neural network software combines the hls4ml open-source machine learning hardware acceleration package with Siemens’ Catapult high-level synthesis software.

Andes Technology is partnering with Arteris to develop new RISC-V designs with a focus on 5G, mobile, storage, AloT, networking and space applications. The partnership will see Andes’ QiLai RISC-V platform incorporating Arteris’ FlexNoC interconnect IP.

Teradyne announced shipment of its 8,000th J750 semiconductor test platform, in conjunction with V-Test, a leading China-based OSAT vendor.

Intel announced its client processors (code-named Lunar Lake) will arrive in Q3 2024.

Google will begin recovering heat from a Finnish data center to warm nearby homes starting next year, an expansion from heating buildings on the data center site.

AI Governance

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee voted in favor of the “Enhancing National Frameworks for Overseas Critical Exports Act” (ENFORCE Act), aiming to stop the export of military-grade AI systems to adversaries.

The EU’s AI Act won final approval. Companies soon can be fined up to €35 million ($38M) or 7% of their annual global revenues for breaching the rules, per CNBC.

At the AI Seoul Summit in Korea, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce released a strategic vision for the Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute (AISI).

At the adjacent Global AI Forum, Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom, and others vowed to ensure the safe and sustainable development of AI, per the Korea Times.

Oxford University reported that not enough is being done to protect society from AI risks, according to 25 experts who published a paper outlining urgent policy priorities.

A third OpenAI executive quit over safety concerns, according to a post on X.


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München researchers used DNA origami to build a diamond lattice with a periodicity of hundreds of nanometers, creating a new approach for manufacturing semiconductors for visible light.

University of Michigan researchers developed a memristor with a sense of time that can be tuned, potentially allowing artificial neural networks to process time-dependent information, such as audio and video data, more efficiently.

imec and Sarcura introduced an on-chip flow cytometer using integrated photonics for detection of human white blood cells.

Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Tel Aviv University, and others developed a mechanical metamaterial named Chaco that can remember the order of actions performed on it. Possible applications include memory storage, robotics, and mechanical computing.

Events and Further Reading

Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

Event Date Location
Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) 2024 May 28 – 31 Denver, Colorado Security Trainings and Conference USA 2024 May 28 – Jun 1 Santa Clara, CA
SWTest Jun 3 – 5 Carlsbad, CA
IITC2024: Interconnect Technology Conference Jun 3 – 6 San Jose, CA
VOICE Developer Conference Jun 3 – 5 La Jolla, CA
CHIPS R&D Standardization Readiness Level Workshop Jun 4 – 5 Online and Boulder, CO
SNUG Europe: Synopsys User Group Jun 10 – 11 Munich
IEEE RAS in Data Centers Summit: Reliability, Availability and Serviceability Jun 11 – 12 Santa Clara, CA
3D & Systems Summit Jun 12 – 14 Dresden, Germany
PCI-SIG Developers Conference Jun 12 – 13 Santa Clara, CA
Find All Upcoming Events Here

Upcoming webinars are here.

Semiconductor Engineering’s latest newsletters:

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