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

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries and the Chengdu municipality have signed an amendment and changed the strategy of their joint fab investment in Chengdu, China. Originally, GlobalFoundries was supposed to install 180nm/130nm processes in the China-based 300mm fab. The partners have decided to bypass that technology. Intead, the fab will start with GlobalFoundries’ 22nm FD-SOI process. “Ch... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Fujitsu Semiconductor and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) announced that UMC will acquire all of the shares of Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited (MIFS), a 300mm wafer foundry joint venture between both companies. In addition to the 15.9% of MIFS shares currently owned by UMC, Fujitsu Semiconductor will transfer the remaining 84.1% of its shares in MIFS to UMC, making MI... » read more

200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

RF SOI Wars Begin


Several foundries are expanding their fab capacities for RF SOI processes amid huge demand and shortages of this technology for smartphones. A number of foundries are increasing their 200mm RF SOI fab capacities to meet soaring demand. Then, GlobalFoundries, TowerJazz, TSMC and UMC are expanding or bringing up RF SOI processes in 300mm fabs in an apparent race to garner the first wave of RF ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test and packaging In a major surprise, Cohu has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Xcerra for approximately $796 million. With the deal, Cohu will enter the ATE market. Last year, a group from China entered into a definitive agreement under which it would acquire Xcerra. But the U.S. blocked Xcerra’s sale to the Chinese group. Ironically, at one time, Cohu was reportedly lobbyin... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Trade President Trump this week announced his decisions on the actions the administration will take in response to China’s alleged unfair trade practices covered in the USTR Section 301 investigation of “China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.” Trump has proposed import tariffs that amount to about $60 billion on pro... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Synopsys debuted new versions of its circuit simulation and custom design products. FineSim SPICE provides 2X faster simulation and Monte Carlo analysis speed, CustomSim FastSPICE offers 2X speed-up for post-layout SRAM simulation and maintains multi-core scalability by providing additional 2X speed-up on four cores, and HSPICE delivers 1.5X speed-up for large post-layout designs, accord... » read more

A Reliability Baseline Is Essential For Today’s Complex IC Designs


Design rule checking (DRC) represents a common platform by which we can all compare relative rule complexity. The industry expectation is that all foundries will provide complete DRC and layout vs. schematic (LVS) rule decks at all process nodes for the successful tape-out of IC designs. However, not only are DRC operations growing significantly (Figure 1), but the scope of the rules needed to ... » read more

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