System Bits: July 15


Automating bridge inspections with robotics The University of Waterloo has come up with robotics that could be used in automated inspection of bridges, making sure such critical infrastructure is safe and sound. The technology promises to make bridge inspection cheaper and easier. The system collects data for defect detection and analysis through a combination of autonomous robots, cameras,... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Semi takeover targets Semiconductor M&A activity is heating up again. So who is next? “Within our coverage universe, we believe AMBA (Ambarella) and SLAB (Silicon Labs) represent the most likely targets moving forward,” according to KeyBanc in a research note. KeyBanc also listed some other “M&A Combinations That Could Make Sense.” Some of these combos make sense, while othe... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Products/Services Arteris IP reports that Bitmain licensed the Arteris Ncore Cache Coherent Interconnect intellectual property for use in its next-generation Sophon Tensor Processing Unit system-on-a-chip devices for the scalable hardware acceleration of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. “Our choice of interconnect IP became more important as we continued to increase t... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 10


Semicon West It’s Semicon West time again. Here’s the first wave of announcements at the event: Applied Materials has unveiled a pair of tools aimed at accelerating the industry adoption for new memories. First, Applied rolled out the Endura Clover MRAM PVD system. The system is an integrated platform for MRAM devices. Second, the company introduced the Endura Impulse PVD platform for P... » read more

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


Market research What’s the CapEx outlook for 2020? Semiconductor capital spending is down in 2019, but the industry faces another slump in 2020, according to IC Insights. The firm sees a 15% decline in CapEx for 2019 with a 5% drop expected in 2020. New 300mm fab construction in Korea is still going strong despite the memory downturn, according to SEMI. “Korea’s fab construction spen... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Products/Services Visa agreed to acquire the token and electronic ticketing business of Rambus for $75 million in cash. The business involved is part of the Smart Card Software subsidiary of Rambus. It includes the former Bell ID mobile-payment businesses and the Ecebs smart-ticketing systems for transit providers. Meanwhile, Rambus expanded its CryptoManager Root of Trust product line. “Sec... » read more

5nm Vs. 3nm


Foundry vendors are readying the next wave of advanced processes, but their customers will face a myriad of confusing options—including whether to develop chips at 5nm, wait until 3nm, or opt for something in between. The path to 5nm is well-defined compared with 3nm. After that, the landscape becomes more convoluted because foundries are adding half-node processes to the mix, such as 6nm ... » read more

Telle Whitney Receives IEEE Honorary Membership


On May 17 Telle Whitney received the 2019 IEEE Honorary Membership at the 2019 IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit (IEEE VIC Summit) in San Diego for leadership in supporting and promoting women in technology, and for building a highly impactful global organization dedicated to this purpose. Sponsored by IEEE, the grade of Honorary Member is a significant honor bestowed by IEEE a... » read more

Falling Chip Forecasts


It’s time to take a pulse of the semiconductor market amid the memory downturn and trade frictions with China. For some time, the DRAM and NAND markets have been hit hard with falling prices and oversupply. Then, the Trump administration last year slapped tariffs on Chinese goods. China retaliated. And the trade war rages on between the U.S. and China. More recently, the U.S. Department... » read more

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