Applied Buys Kokusai For $2.2B


Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. For years, Kokusai Electric was a subsidiary of Hitachi. It sells epitaxial, thermal processing and other equipment. Then, as part of a complex business deal, KKR in 2017 acquired the semiconductor equipment business of Hitachi Kokusai Electric from Hitachi. ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and test Lam Research has developed a new self-maintaining or self-cleaning chamber for its etch tools. With the technology, Lam announced a new industry benchmark has been set for productivity in etch processing using its self-maintaining equipment. Etch process modules are typically cleaned weekly or monthly. Recently, Lam and a chipmaker reached the milestone of going 365 days... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Cypress Semiconductor has received regulatory antitrust approval for the closing of its previously-announced joint venture with SK Hynix. The new joint venture, SkyHigh Memory, will provide single-level cell (SLC) NAND memory solutions. Cree has announced the execution of a definitive agreement to sell its Lighting Products business unit (Cree Lighting), which includes t... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Arm aims to accelerate Linux-based embedded design through providing quick access to the Cortex-A5 CPU under the Arm DesignStart program. Developers can work on embedded and Internet of Things system-on-a-chip devices for gateways, medical systems, smart homes, and wearable electronics. IP access to the Cortex-A5 is now $75,000, with one-year of design support from Arm exper... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Synopsys unveiled a new formal app, Regression Mode Accelerator, which uses machine learning algorithms to speed up formal property verification, as well as better convergence of formal proofs for subsequent runs. According to Synopsys, the app also allows for significant saving of compute resources in nightly regressions. Hitachi used OneSpin Solutions' 360 EC product family to verify vCOSS... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


CAST debuted an IP subsystem implementing the latest IEEE standards for Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) over Ethernet. The TSN_CTRL Subsystem combines three IP cores, a time synchronizer, traffic shaper, and Ethernet MAC. It implements a hardware subsystem that operates without software assistance once programmed. The IP communicates timing information to the system, and allows the system to de... » read more

The Road To Autonomy


Visions of autonomous driving were everywhere at CES 2018 in Las Vegas and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Still, while there is progress in the technology, it will be years before the average motorist can get a fully autonomous vehicle. Advanced driver-assistance systems are gaining in complexity and scope, representing steps toward automated driving. At CES 2018, ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 2


World’s coldest chip Using a network of nuclear refrigerators, the University of Basel and others claim to have set the record for the world’s coldest chip. Researchers have cooled a chip to a temperature lower than 3 millikelvin. A millikelvin is one thousandth of a kelvin. Absolute zero is 0 kelvin or minus 273.15 °C. In the experiment, researchers used a chip that includes a Coulomb... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers, LCD suppliers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has announced the availability of the company’s 40nm process platform that incorporates Silicon Storage Technology’s (SST) embedded SuperFlash non-volatile memory. The 40nm SST process features a >20% reduction in eFlash cell size and 20-30% macro area over UMC’s 55nm SST technology. Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage has s... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz


Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

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