The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Reviewing GF-IBM deal; Applied-TEL; Lam’s supplier awards; ASML’s order.

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STMicroelectronics announced mixed results for the quarter. The company also launched a plan to cut $100 million in costs. As part of the plan, it is reviewing the implications to its process technology efforts following the recent announcements by its research alliance partners, namely IBM. STMicro is one of the main drivers of FDSOI technology. The company’s FDSOI partner is IBM, which is selling its chip unit to GlobalFoundries.

Everspin Technologies, a developer of MRAMs, announced a foundry deal with GlobalFoundries. Everspin will make use of GlobalFoundries’ 300mm fabs and 40nm and 28nm processes.

Applied Materials’ proposed move to acquire rival Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) faces a possible delay. The deal could get pushed out until next year amid a host of complicated regulatory issues. In a statement, TEL said: “We are actively engaged in dialogues with regulators around the world to secure all necessary approvals. While we continue to work towards our goal of closing the merger before the end of this year, completion may extend into the first calendar quarter of 2015. We continue to make significant progress in all aspects of our integration planning and have increasing confidence that we will be ready to operate as a single company with aligned operating rhythm and shared mission, vision and values immediately following the closing.”

TEL’s results for the first half of the current fiscal year were net sales of 294,273 million yen, a year-on-year growth of 15.6%. Net income for the first half of the current fiscal year stood at 20,016 million yen, a year-on-year growth of 708.2%.

Lam Research has recognized six companies with its Supplier Excellence AwardsCal Weld, Edwards, Jabil, Rapid Manufacturing, Shinko Electric and Swagelok. In addition, MKS Instruments received special recognition.

On Nov. 5, SEMI will host a webcast featuring government relations authorities from McAllister & Quinn to review opportunities for companies in the microelectronics manufacturing supply chain to participate in a federally funded $200 million public-private partnership aimed at accelerating domestic photonics manufacturing capabilities.

There is good and bad news regarding ATE. “SoC test demand has dropped sharply in 2013-2014 ($2.1 billion average TAM) vs. the 2007-2012 period ($2.5 billion average TAM, excluding 2009 downturn), and it will likely fall again in 2015. However, Teradyne believes that one of the primary headwinds for test expansion—higher parallel test—is now reaching diminishing returns, and the company expects SoC test to now grow 3% to 5% annually over the next few years (after 2015, in our view),” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, in a research note. “We are leaving our 2015 estimates largely unchanged. We currently expect SoC test to decline by around 2% to 3% next year and for memory test to increase slightly.”

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) and ASML Holding announced the signing of a volume purchase agreement that will provide SMIC with lithography systems from ASML. The deal is worth approximately 450 million euros.

FormFactor has approved a CEO succession plan. Michael Slessor, president of the company, will succeed Thomas St. Dennis as CEO on Dec. 28, 2014. St. Dennis will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board.

SiTime has signed a definitive agreement under which MegaChips will acquire SiTime for $200 million in cash.

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers will reach 217,350 units in 2015, up from 108,151 in 2014, according to Gartner. 3D printer shipments will more than double every year between 2015 and 2018, by which time worldwide shipments are forecast to reach more than 2.3 million.

According to Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments grew 27% annually to reach a record 320 million units in the third quarter of 2014. Chinese cell-phone maker Xiaomi was the star performer, capturing a record 6% market share and becoming the world’s third largest smartphone vendor.