The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Flash theft; GF-Cadence test chip; Advantest’s ATE modules; Intel foundry rumors unfounded.

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SanDisk filed a civil suit against Korea’s SK Hynix. Additionally, SanDisk has submitted a criminal complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department against a former employee. These actions relate to the theft of trade secrets related to NAND flash technology by a former engineer of SanDisk who left the company in 2008 to work for SK Hynix.

Cadence Design Systems and GlobalFoundries have taped-out a quad-core test chip built around the ARM Cortex-A12 processor.

Applied Materials is jumping on the IoT bandwagon. The company said the office of the CTO aims to identify, incubate and commercialize growth opportunities in new and adjacent markets, including the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

Advantest has extended its V93000 capabilities with the introduction of its new DPS128HV module, a high-density device power supply (DPS) unit designed to handle a wide range of operating voltages for testing devices such as eFlash memory ICs. In addition, Advantest also introduced two new test modules for high-speed, cost-efficient testing of radio-frequency (RF) ICs. Both the 32-port WLS32-A module and the 16-port WLS16-A module are compatible with Advantest’s T2000 platform.

Montage Technology Group, a fabless provider of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor solutions, has received a non-binding proposal letter from Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment. Shanghai Pudong has proposed to acquire Montage.

Freescale Semiconductor said that 20 of its employees were confirmed passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Twelve are from Malaysia and eight are from China. The company is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide more information as it becomes available.

A foundry deal under which Intel would make Altera’s 14nm FPGAs appears to be moving forward, despite rumors to the contrary. A spokesman for Altera dismissed the rumors, saying the Altera-Intel foundry deal is still on track. There is other evidence on this score, as well. “Intel stated that its foundry business remains on track, and indicated that there are no signs that customer Altera is planning to move back to TSMC,” said Michael McConnell, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a report. “Intel expects its foundry business to become a material revenue contributor in 1 to 1.5 years.”