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3D NAND’s Vertical Scaling Race


3D NAND suppliers are accelerating their efforts to move to the next technology nodes in a race against growing competition, but all of these vendors are facing an assortment of new business, manufacturing, and cost challenges. Two suppliers, Micron and SK Hynix, recently leapfrogged the competition and have taken the scaling race lead in 3D NAND. But Samsung and the Kioxia-Western Digital (... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and EMS ASE is expanding its efforts in the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) business. Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), a subsidiary of ASE, has completed the acquisition of Asteelflash Group through the acquisition of its parent company, Financière. USI provides electronic design and manufacturing services. It also provides system-in-package (SiP) modules. Asteelfla... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools PDF Solutions has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cimetrix. Under the terms, PDF will pay a cash amount of $35.0 million, net of cash on Cimetrix’s balance sheet as of closing, and subject to other closing adjustments. With the move, PDF will expand into new markets. Cimetrix is a provider of equipment connectivity products for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0... » read more

Startup Funding: September 2020


It was a good month for startups, with big rounds in automotive, data centers, and AI. A new startup with big backing is taking aim at energy inefficiency in the data center, and another is looking to make the industrial IoT battery-free. SK Hynix founded a new company to analyze semiconductor manufacturing data, and one of China's EV companies sees a massive cash infusion. This month, we look ... » read more

DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


China's DRAM efforts Two memory vendors from China, Tsinghua Unigroup and ChangXin Memory Technology, have disclosed more details about their respective efforts to enter the DRAM arena. As reported, Tsinghua Unigroup wants to enter the DRAM business. Now, the China-based firm has secured land to build a new DRAM fab. The firm recently signed an agreement with the Chongqing government to e... » read more

China’s Latest Goal—More DRAMs


China is once again making a concerted effort to get its domestic DRAM industry off the ground. Past efforts have fallen short or failed. This time around, it’s unclear if China will succeed, but the industry should pay close attention here. So why would China want to play a bigger role in the tough and competitive DRAM business? For one thing, the U.S. and China are in the midst of a t... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and materials Applied Materials has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kokusai Electric for $2.2 billion in cash from investment firm KKR. With the acquisition of Kokusai’s semiconductor equipment unit, Applied expands its customer base and gains a foothold in the batch processing equipment business, where a tool can process wafers in parallel. Applied’s strength is in the ... » read more

Slow And Cautious Start To 2019 For Memory Manufacturers


Both NAND and DRAM prices began dropping in the second half of 2018 after a couple years at record highs. Product oversupply and excess inventories are signaling a bleak outlook for the memory market in the first half of 2019. With these conditions in mind, SK Hynix and Samsung have slowed or put on hold their plans for capacity expansion in 2H18 and 2019. The chart below shows DRAM capacity... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Yingzi Technology of Guangzhou, China, has developed a “future pig farm” to demonstrate what technology can do to make keeping pigs more profitable in a country that is trying to reduce the number of small farms raising pigs and consolidate them into larger operations. China is also contending with an outbreak of African swine fever that has spread out of the country thr... » read more

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