The Week In Review: Aug 5

Screaming at PCs; IC rankings; DSA line; Splinter’s award; call SOS for help; Tensilica licensee.


By Mark LaPedus
According to a nationwide online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of, 36% of those Americans who experienced PC problems in the past six months admit they have lashed out at their slow, underperforming computers by using profanity, screaming and shouting, or by striking it with a fist or other object. Those who experienced computer problems also indicated that PC issues have taken an emotional toll on them by eliciting feelings of frustration (65%), anger (10%), helplessness (10%), and victimization (4%).

IC Insights revealed big changes to its top 20 semiconductor supplier rankings for the first half of 2013. Some of the companies rising in the rankings included SK Hynix, which moved up three places and into the top 5. Broadcom edged into the top 10. And GlobalFoundries went from 15th to 12th place in the rankings, according to the firm.

AZ Electronic Materials has installed a new pilot-scale block copolymer reactor system at its Wiesbaden, Germany-based facility. AZ has installed the system for customers using directed self-assembly (DSA) processes in evaluation and pilot manufacturing.

Mike Splinter, chairman and chief executive of Applied Materials, will receive the 2013 Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) Robert N. Noyce Award for his achievement and leadership in support of the U.S. semiconductor industry.

In a conference call, Peregrine Semiconductor discussed the cell phone business and its ability to ramp silicon-on-sapphire (SOS), a flavor of RF silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology. The company also talks about the RF SOI efforts by its foundry partner—MagnaChip.

In a separate call, MagnaChip also talked about the foundry business and RF SOI. It continues to make a strong push in the standard products business.

MStar Semiconductor has licensed the Tensilica Xtensa DPU (dataplane processor unit) for a new system-on-chip design for the home entertainment and home networking market segments.

Providing designers with a tool to validate and verify PCI Express (PCIe) designs, Cadence Design System announced a new SpeedBridge Adapter for PCIe 3.0.

Apple has bought another chipmaker. It acquired Passif Semiconductor, a supplier of low-power communication chips, according to multiple news outlets.

Finally, the big DRAM deal is done. Micron Technology has closed the acquisition of Elpida, pursuant to an agreement entered into on July 2, 2012. In a related transaction, Micron also announced the completion of its acquisition of a 24% share of Rexchip Electronics from Powerchip Technology. Elpida‘s assets include a 300mm DRAM fab in Japan. Rexchip has a 300mm DRAM fab in Taiwan.

M+W Group has been awarded a contract to build a fab for SIX Semicondutores in Brazil.

Nanolab Technologies has acquired FIB Lab, a Silicon Valley analytical lab that supplies focused ion beam edit services to the semiconductor industry.

Semiconductor revenue worldwide will see improved growth this year of 6.9%, reaching $320 billion, according to the mid-year 2013 update from International Data Corp. IDC also forecasts that semiconductor revenues will grow 2.9% year over year in 2014 to $329 billion and log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% from 2012-2017, reaching $366 billion in 2017.

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