The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab closures; 3D DRAMs arrive; cutting e-beam heat; ISSI soap opera.


Since the global economic recession of 2008-2009, the IC industry has pared down older fab capacity. From 2009-2014, semiconductor manufacturers have closed or repurposed 83 wafer fabs, including a few 300mm plants, according to IC Insights.

Are 3D DRAMs finally here? SK Hynix is shipping mass production volumes of its first-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM1). Samsung is also backing its own 3D DRAM technology as well as HBM. Based on 20nm-class DRAM process technology, SK Hynix’ HBM1 technology provides a leap in performance by enabling a 1,024 bit wide memory interface to achieve 128GB/second performance. It also reduces power by 50% over traditional GDDR5 DRAM solutions.

SIGFOX announced the integration of its Internet of Things (IoT) network protocol in Samsung’s new ARTIK platform. Samsung also invested in SIGFOX. The integration is designed to extend the cost-effective and energy-efficient benefits of the network to Samsung’s ARTIK developers.

Samsung announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Pearl TV, a partnership of nine leading TV broadcast companies, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Samsung, Pearl TV and Sinclair will work collaboratively to support the development and the implementation of the new Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) 3.0 standard.

In a video, Noriaki Nakayamada of NuFlare Technology describes how NuFlare and D2S jointly conquered the menace of resist heating effects in VSB mask writing.

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.56 billion in orders worldwide in May 2015 and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.99, according to SEMI.

POET Technologies, a developer of the planar opto-electronic technology platform, announced the appointment of Suresh Venkatesan as CEO. Venkatesan was most recently senior vice president of technology development at GlobalFoundries.

The soap opera continues for U.S. memory maker Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI). In March, a Chinese consortium of investors entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ISSI. Then, Cypress Semiconductor made a competitive bid for ISSI. Last week, ISSI agreed to terms with Cypress, but then suddenly changed its mind and went back to the group from China. This week, Cypress made a new offer for ISSI. Stay tuned.

Xcerra has signed a non-binding letter of intent with Fastprint Hong Kong Co., a subsidiary of Shenzhen Fastprint Circuit Tech, for the sale of Xcerra’s semiconductor test interface board business.

IHS Technology found that an estimated $3 trillion of additional value has been added to the global gross domestic product (GDP), plus another $9 trillion of indirect value in the last 20 years, due to the pace of innovation predicted by Moore’s Law. The total value is more than the combined GDP of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

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