The Week In Review: Manufacturing

China’s IC recruitment drive; IC roadmap; ASE awards; 5G.

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Chipmakers
China’s IC industry is embarking on a recruitment drive to prepare for the operation of new fabs in 2018, according to TrendForce. “TrendForce’s latest analysis on China’s semiconductor sector reveals that the country’s domestic IC manufacturers are affecting the movement of industry talent worldwide as they continue to aggressively headhunt for senior managers and engineers,” according to the research firm. “The competition for human resources is becoming fierce and will reach a critical point this year as numerous new fabs in China are scheduled to start production in the second half of 2018.”

The IEEE has announced the next milestone phase in the development of the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS). The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections (IC) Program–sponsored by the IEEE Rebooting Computing (IEEE RC) Initiative–has launch of a series of nine white papers that reinforce the initiative’s core mission and vision for the future of the computing industry. The white papers identify industry challenges and solutions that guide and support future roadmaps created by IRDS.

Samsung Electronics has taped out a network processor based on its 14LPP (Low-Power Plus) process technology and 2.5D technology. This has been done in collaboration with eSilicon and Rambus. It is based on eSilicon’s ASIC and 2.5D design capability with its IP solutions, and Rambus’ high-speed 28G SerDes solution. Additionally, Samsung has named its 2.5D turnkey solution, which connects a logic chip and high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) with an interposer, as the I-Cube (Interposer-Cube) solution.

Packaging and test
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) listed its supplier awards for 2016. Besides the “Best Supplier Award” category that recognizes and honors outstanding suppliers, ASE also added an “Excellence in Sustainability Award.”

National Instruments (NI) has demonstrated a 28-GHz real-time, over-the-air prototype aligned with Verizon’s 5G specification. Developers built the prototype using NI’s mmWave Transceiver System and phased-array antennas developed by Anokiwave and Ball Aerospace. The system uses OFDM with eight component carriers in a 2×2 downlink MU-MIMO configuration with hybrid beamforming and a self-contained sub-frame, yielding a 5-Gbit/s peak throughput, and is scalable to over 20-Gbit/s with eight MIMO streams.

NI has named Karen Rapp as its new chief financial officer, reporting to Alex Davern, NI’s chief executive. Most recently as senior vice president of corporate development at NXP Semiconductor, Rapp led the integration efforts for the NXP/Freescale merger.

Mask and fab equipment
In a video, Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, looks back at the recent SPIE Conference—including highlights of the annual eBeam Initiative event.

Market research
Fabless IC suppliers represented 30% of the world’s IC sales in 2016, up from only 18% in 2006, according to IC Insights.

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