The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Time for smartwatches; beaming survey; 3D NAND; MIT job event; book-to-bills.


Gartner predicts that by 2016 smartwatches will comprise about 40% of consumer wristworn devices. Gartner said that nine out of the top 10 smartphone vendors have entered the wearables market to date or are about to ship a first product, while a year ago only two vendors were in that space.

The eBeam Initiative announced the completion of its third annual survey. In one of the highlights of the survey, a majority (58%) of respondents predict that multi-beam technology will be used in production by 2016 to address the critical problem of mask write times as the industry moves to smaller geometries.

In a presentation, Aki Fujimura, chief executive for D2S, outlined the impact of context-dependent, mask-effects on mask hotspots.

At the recent 2014 Flash Memory Summit, Applied Materials and others participated in a panel discussion. Here was the big question at the event: Do you think 3D NAND is a disruptive technology for flash storage?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will host “Lam Day at MIT” at their Cambridge, Mass., campus on Sept. 19, 2014. For students interested in learning more about a career at Lam Research, Lam will also be at MIT’s Fall Career Fair on Sept. 19.

SEMI praised the bipartisan effort in the U.S. House of Representativesto pass H.R. 2996, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act. SEMI further urged the Senate to move quickly on the legislation that would create public private partnerships to establish institutes for manufacturing innovation.

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.35 billion in orders worldwide in August 2014 and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.04, according to SEMI. In addition, SEMI also reported the worldwide PV manufacturing equipment billings and bookings for the second quarter of 2014. Worldwide billings increased to $319 million in Q2 2014, an increase of 33% from the prior quarter but 11% below the same quarter a year ago. Worldwide bookings for the first quarter declined to $234 million, 21% below Q1 2014 but 25% higher than Q2 2013. At 0.73, the book-to-bill ratio is below parity.

Veeco Instruments announced that its new Odyssey Ion Beam Deposition (IBD) Upgrade for the Nexus IBD-LDD system has repeatedly produced photomask blanks with zero deposition defects larger than 70nm. This represents a milestone toward the manufacture of semiconductor devices with advanced extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.

MegaChips has acquired 9 smart connectivity products based on DisplayPort technology that STMicroelectronics decided to discontinue last year.

Asia-Pacific is forecast to account for nearly 59% of the $285.9 billion IC market in 2014, followed by the Americas region, Europe and Japan, according to IC Insights.

DisplaySearch sees a possible tightness in the supply of TFT LCD materials and component in 2015.

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