What’s Changing, What Isn’t


The global pandemic is creating economic chaos on a global scale. The big question now is when the coronavirus is brought under control, and just how long its effects will extend beyond the current health crisis. For the semiconductor industry, which has weathered many long and deep financial swings, this one at least is finite. When the virus stops spreading, or when treatments are availabl... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have an impact on most, if not all, industries. This includes the electronics, semiconductor and related segments. International Data Corp. (IDC) has released a report on the company’s view on the impact the COVID-19 virus will have on the semiconductor market. The report provides a framework to evaluate the market impact through four scenarios. "... » read more

Auto Outlook: Down But Not Out


For years, automotive has been an engine of growth in the semiconductor industry, although the market is expected to decline in 2020. Several types of chips are used in automobiles, such as analog, memory, microcontrollers, processors and RF. But the automotive IC business still represents a small percentage of the overall semiconductor market. It pales in comparison to the smartphone chip m... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research The coronavirus is having a major impact on the semiconductor, smartphone and related markets. For example, global fab equipment spending promises to rebound from its 2019 downturn and see a modest recovery this year, according to a report from SEMI. But the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has eroded fab equipment spending in China and elsewhere in 2020, according to the rep... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


AI, machine learning Cadence says it has optimized its Tensilica HiFi digital signal processor IP to efficiently execute TensorFlow Lite for Microcontrollers, which are used in Google’s machine learning platform for edge. This means developers of AI/ML on the edge systems can now put better audio processing on edge devices with ML applications like keyword detection, audio scene detection, n... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 9


Finding cures for coronavirus The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is using the world’s most powerful supercomputer to identify drug compounds and cures for the coronavirus. [caption id="attachment_24162601" align="alignleft" width="300"] Summit supercomputer. Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory[/caption] The supercomputer, called Summit, has identified 7... » read more

An Industry Under Siege


The coronavirus is taking a big toll on the semiconductor industry's unquenchable thirst for new information. The longer it lasts, the more the industry will have to resort to technology — some new, some old — to continue moving forward. Over the past couple weeks, conferences and trade shows have been postponed or outright canceled. Synopsys, Cadence and Intel pulled out of DVCon at the... » read more

2020 IC Outlook: Uncertainty


After a downturn in 2019, the semiconductor and equipment industries looked promising at the start of 2020. In 2019, the downturn was primarily due to the memory markets, namely DRAM and NAND. Both DRAM and NAND saw lackluster demand and falling prices last year. At the start of 2020, though, the memory markets were beginning to recover. Unlike memory, the logic and foundry markets were s... » read more

The Risk Of Two Supply Chains


Ever since the Trump administration weaponized trade restrictions against individual companies — first ZTE, then Huawei — China has begun developing a second supply chain for electronics. Inside of China, this is viewed as a necessary step for survival. In April 2018, the U.S. government banned ZTE from sourcing U.S. components for seven years, nearly putting that company out of business... » read more

Impact Of Coronavirus Could Threaten Global Electronics Growth


Data through December showed a steady recovery in the global electronic supply chain with SEMI equipment leading the way in 3/12 growth (Chart 1). The global purchasing managers index moved into expansion territory (PMI>50) in January indicating accelerating growth in world manufacturing activity (Chart 2). But in late January the Coronavirus (COVID-19) began to make its negative impact f... » read more

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