Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test TrendForce has released its top-10 OSAT rankings in terms of sales for the third quarter of 2019. ASE was in first place in the rankings, followed by Amkor and JCET. “According to the latest research from TrendForce, the decline in the global OSAT industry showed signs of a gradual halt in 3Q19, since the drop in memory prices began to slow down, and smartphone sales stead... » read more

Rare Earth Battle Begins


Rare earths are back in the news. The United States is increasing its efforts to develop and source rare earths elements (REE) to reduce its dependence on China in the arena. But this might be too little and too late for the U.S. Found in the Earth’s crust, rare earths are critical elements used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems.... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Public policy The rise of the digital economy is creating millions of new jobs, but it’s difficult to fill these positions. So, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a U.S.-based trade group, is encouraging hi-tech companies to offer more apprenticeships. This is especially true for software engineering, networking, data analytics, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. The Semic... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Materials Wesfarmers, an Australian diversified firm, has made an unsolicited bid to acquire Lynas, one of the world’s largest suppliers of rare earths outside of China. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semicond... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TrendForce released its foundry rankings for the first quarter of 2019. TSMC is still the clear leader, followed in order by Samsung, GlobalFoundries and UMC, according to the firm. It was a tough quarter for all foundries. Samsung has rolled out its new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) product. The new solution, called Flashbolt, is the industry’s first HBM2E to deliver a 3.2Gbps... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Tariffs The United States and China are in the midst of a trade war. New data shows that tariffs on imported Chinese products now cost the technology industry an additional $1 billion per month, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Nearly 70% of tariffs paid by the hi-tech industry come from the $200 billion product list enacted Sep. 24. Tariffs on CTA-identified tech pro... » 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

Too Many, Too Few Rare Earths


A team from Japan recently made a major discovery—they found massive deposits of rare earths on the ocean floor off the coast of Japan. The team of Waseda University, the University of Tokyo and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) found a deposit that equates to 16 million tons of rare earths. Rare earths are a group of critical materials used in various ele... » read more

Metal Markets In Flux


Markets for critical metals are becoming turbulent, creating shortages and widespread supply chain concerns. Critical metals are the raw elements and materials used in the production of aerospace/defense systems, automobiles, batteries, computers and electronic products. Many critical metals also are scarce, and there is high risk associated with their supply. In a recent report, the Europea... » read more