The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Tesla rebound? Plus, Sino-Russian ReRAMs; fab tool/IC forecasts.


Chipmakers and OEMs
Tesla Motors has been struggling to get its new electric car, the Model 3, out the door. And it recently implemented a layoff amid ongoing losses. But the struggling car maker could be in the midst of a rebound. “Based on our checks, we believe the perceived quality of Model 3s coming off the lines continue to improve relative to prior checks, and we view this as one of the critical factors in Tesla maintaining its almost legendary status in the eyes of customers,” said Brad Erickson, an analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note.

“Based on our conversations with 20 sales centers across the U.S. (18% of total), we believe weekly run-rate volumes (of Model 3 cars) have moved from the high teens per store per week to the low 30s since our last checks in mid-April. With three weeks to go in the quarter, we estimate the company is tracking to something between 30K and 35K Model 3 deliveries in the quarter vs. our prior view of 20K-25K,” he said. “We raise our 2Q Model 3 deliveries estimate to 30K from 20K and our 2018 estimate to 118,182 from 98,182.”


Crocus Nano Electronics (CNE), which is said to have the first 300mm fab in Russia, has announced a collaboration with U.S.-based Adesto and China’s Shanghai Huali Microelectronics (HLMC) in the ReRAM arena. Adesto develops a ReRAM technology called Conductive Bridging RAM (CBRAM). Under the plan, Adesto’s CBRAM will be manufactured in HLMC’s 55nm process, along with CNE’s 300mm back-end processing technology. The goal is to enable embedded and standalone ReRAM memory devices. CNE’s 300mm fab provides foundry solutions for back-end-of-the-line (BEOL) and MRAM processing. It is also working on a proprietary spin-torque-transfer MRAM (STT-MRAM) technology.

GlobalFoundries has announced plans to reduce costs and bolster its bottom line. It is reducing its headcount by 5%, according to various reports.

Xpeedic Technology has announced that its 3D full-wave electromagnetic (EM) simulation tool, IRIS, has been certified in GlobalFoundries’ 22nm FD-SOI process technology. This certification enables designers to run IRIS using the certified IRIS process file available in GF’s 22FDX PDK.

Mubadala Investment of Abu Dhabi, the parent company of GlobalFoundries, is creating a $400 million fund to invest in European technology companies. The fund will be managed by Mubadala Ventures, the venture capital arm of Mubadala. SoftBank Group will participate as a strategic investor.

Fab tools and test
Anaqua, a provider of intellectual property (IP) management solutions, announced that TEL has selected its ANAQUA 9 software as a complete IP management solution. ANAQUA 9 will provide TEL with real time data analytics and IP forecasting.

In a blog, Applied Materials looks at a materials inflection point in the transistor contact and local interconnects in leading-edge chips.

Then, in another blog, Lam Research looks at the use of semiconductors in the auto industry. The use of chips is growing in cars.

National Instruments (NI) announced a collaboration with NanoSemi on advanced 5G test capability. NanoSemi has developed advanced linearization software that complements NI’s existing solutions for PA and RF FEM test.

Market research
The semiconductor industry is nearing a third consecutive year of record fab equipment spending with projected growth of 14% in 2018 and 9% in 2019, according to SEMI. This is a mark that would extend the streak to a historic fourth consecutive growth year, according to SEMI.

Gartner, Semiconductor Intelligence, the WSTS and others have increased their respective forecasts for the IC industry in 2018. The latest forecasts average an increase of 5.4% points from the previous forecasts. What’s changed?

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