China’s Electric Car Ambitions


China, the world’s largest car market, is also leading the charge in the electric vehicle business. But with little or no fanfare, China also wants to dominate the critical ecosystem for battery-electric vehicles and hybrids. In fact, the nation is already the world’s largest producer of batteries for electric vehicles. And it also controls a sizable part of the supply chain, such as the... » read more

Cobalt Shortages Ahead


Rapid growth of electric vehicles is creating an enormous demand for cobalt, causing tight supply, high prices and supply chain issues for this critical material. Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal and one of the key materials used in lithium-ion batteries for cell phones, notebook PCs, battery-electric cars and hybrids. It also is used in alloys and semiconductors. And while the IC industry co... » read more

What’s On Display


Displays provide the window between consumers and the information universe. There is no place like CES, held recently in Las Vegas, to see the most exciting new and future displays. Beyond traditional technologies like television, displays also featured prominently in many of the big trends at the show: AI (Artificial Intelligence), automotive, virtual reality, IoT (Internet of Things) and conn... » read more

5G Makes Its Public Debut At The Winter Games


We have been spending considerable time and effort with our customers deep in the development of technology that will enable next-generation communications. Work on 5G technology has been underway for several years now-long before the general public will experience its amazing capabilities. So when will this next-generation technology be ready? You'll get a first look next month at the Winte... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers The 2017 top-ten rankings of foundries remain the same as last year, according to TrendForce. TSMC, GlobalFoundries and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) rank first, second, and third, respectively, in terms of projected sales in 2017, according to TrendForce. TSMC has a dominant market share of 55.9%. In the rankings, Samsung is in fourth place, followed in order by SMIC, TowerJa... » read more

What’s Next for the IoT?


The Internet of Things continues to evolve, attempting to overcome its poor reputation for cybersecurity and making the case for wider adoption, especially by enterprises. Consumer IoT, largely represented in smart-home automation, remains a market being targeted by Amazon, Apple, Google, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, and other technology titans. The big bucks are in [getkc id="78" k... » read more

5 Takeaways From SEMI’s SMC


At the recent Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the IC industry, market drivers, electronic materials and other subjects. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from SMC: Materials M&A mania Last year, the IC industry experienced a dizzying array of merger ... » read more

Silicon Wafers: M&A, Price Hikes


Chipmakers need to keep a close eye on the silicon wafer industry, as the business continues to undergo a number of changes. On one front, the silicon wafer industry continues to consolidate. Then, after years of suffering from an oversupply and falling prices, many silicon wafer vendors are experiencing tight supply and have begun to raise prices. Silicon wafers are a fundamental part of... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers UMC has appointed two senior vice presidents--S.C. Chien and Jason Wang--as co-presidents of the company, following Po-Wen Yen’s retirement as UMC’s CEO. The co-presidents are accountable for the overall performance of UMC. They will report to UMC Chairman Stan Hung. Chien will focus on the core manufacturing and technology aspects of UMC, including R&D and operations. Wang wil... » read more

CPU, GPU or … VPU?


Where is the semiconductor industry going in the post-smartphone era? What trends are going to shape next-generation applications and SoC development? Just by walking around the CES show floor this year, I would say advanced visual processing technology is the horse to put money on. It was everywhere, from ADAS systems, drones, to GoPro cameras, IP cameras with embedded facial recognition, m... » read more

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