The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Lam-KLA scrap merger; ASE expands; NI’s ADAS test solution; Samsung’s AI play.


Fab tools and materials
After a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor have agreed to terminate their proposed merger agreement.

Amid a possible proxy battle, Kulicke & Soffa Industries has named Fusen Chen as president and chief executive, effective Oct. 31. He was also elected to the board of K&S. Jonathan Chou, chief financial officer and interim CEO, will continue to serve as the chief financial officer of the company. Chen joins K&S from Mattson Technology, where he was the president and CEO.

Veeco Instruments announced additional cost reduction initiatives with the decision to reduce future investments in its atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology development. ALD cost reduction activities are expected to be complete by year end 2016.

The former Electronic Materials business of Air Products is now a separate and independent public company called Versum Materials. Versum Materials spun off from Air Products on Oct. 1, and has begun operations as an independent, public company.

Packaging and test
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its K24 building in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The building is part of ASE’s continued expansion plans for its research and development, and manufacturing campus in Taiwan. The K24 facility will develop system-in-packages, 3D ICs, fan-out wafer level packaging and others.

National Instruments (NI) has demonstrated a new advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) test solution. NI’s ADAS Test Solution is designed for short- and long-range radar in the 76–81 GHz range, and is based on NI’s mmWave front-end technology and the recently released PXIe-5840 second-generation vector signal transceiver (VST). “NI’s new ADAS Test Solution offers a unique approach to radar characterization and testing with its scalable capability to conduct both traceable RF measurements and system simulation,” said Stefano Concezzi, vice president of the global automotive initiative at NI. “With regulatory requirements still evolving, the flexibility of this solution allows engineers to quickly adapt their test systems to address the challenges of new radar scenarios.”

Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv Labs. The company has developed an open artificial intelligence (AI) platform that gives third-party developers the power to use and build conversational assistants and integrate a natural language-based interface into renowned applications and services. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

MRAM maker Everspin Technologies announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $8.00 per share, for total gross proceeds of $40 million.

Market research
Gartner said worldwide combined shipments for devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to decline 3% in 2016. This will mark the second consecutive year of decline. The global devices market fell by 0.75% in 2015. “The global devices market is not on pace to return to single-digit growth soon,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

Related Stories
Prior Week In Review: Manufacturing (Sept 30)
Foundry drivers; GF IP; Qualcomm-NXP; K&S on the hot seat?
Manufacturing Research Bits Oct 4
China’s powerful laser; free neutron measurements; new dimensional tool.
Packaging Wars Begin
OSATs and foundries begin to ramp offerings and investments in preparation for mainstream multi-chip architectures.

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