China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Jim Keller, senior vice president in the Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG) and general manager of the Silicon Engineering Group (SEG) at Intel, has resigned amid a major reorganization at the company. Here's one report about the situation. Cree as well as China’s Yutong Group and StarPower are working together to accelerate the commercial adoption of sili... » read more

Startup Funding: May 2020


It was a good month for semiconductor startups, with investment spanning a larger company in later funding rounds to brand new seed funding for two chip manufacturing startups. Two AI hardware startups bridge data center and edge, plus EV companies around the world get funding. In total, the eighteen startups profiled this month raised $446.3 million. Semiconductor & design Shanghai-based ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers TSMC has announced its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab in the U.S. The fab, to be built in Arizona, will utilize TSMC’s 5nm technology and will produce 20,000 wafers per month. TSMC’s total spending on this project will be approximately $12 billion from 2021 to 2029. Construction is planned to start in 2021 with production targeted to begin in 202... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The Trump administration has held talks with Intel and TSMC to build more leading-edge fabs in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets. IC Insights has released its rankings of the top-10 chip vendors in terms of sales for the first quarter. Intel remains in first place, followed by Samsung and TSMC. The big surprise is China-based fabless IC supplie... » read more

Demand Picks Up For 200mm


Demand is growing for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, setting the stage for possible shortages in coming months. But there are also some uncertainties, if not warning signs, in the 200mm market and the entire IC industry. Trade disputes, as well as the current coronavirus outbreak in China, likely will impact the chip and equipment markets. The size of the impact and the duration rema... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs IC Insights has released its rankings of the 25 largest wafer capacity leaders in terms of monthly installed capacity in 200mm-equivalents as of December 2019. Samsung was in first place, followed by TSMC, Micron, SK Hynix, and Kioxia, formerly Toshiba Memory, according to IC Insights. Combined capacity of the top five companies represented 53% of total global wafer capa... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers A fire broke out this week at a joint NAND flash fab between Western Digital (WD) and Kioxia. Kioxia is the former Toshiba NAND flash unit that was recently spun out by the Japanese company. “On Monday, January 6, (morning, January 7 local time) a small fire occurred at one of our joint venture facilities in Yokkaichi, Japan. Local firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, and w... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The IC industry once had several leading-edge vendors that invested and built new fabs. But over time, the field has narrowed due to soaring costs and a dwindling customer base. In 1994, the share of semiconductor industry capital spending held by the top five companies was 25%, according to IC Insights. This meant that a number of companies invested and built new fabs during the... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » read more

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