The Week In Review: Manufacturing

iPhone 7 foundry biz; Nanjing fab; Applied, KLA-Tencor, Lam speak; fab tool billings.


In case you missed it, Apple rolled out its latest iPhones and other products. The latest iPhone 6 is using chips based on finFETs. So, who won Apple’s application processor foundry business for the iPhone 7? “In our foundry checks, it appears Apple is likely splitting the 14/16nm business for the recent product launches between TSMC and Samsung. We suspect Samsung’s 14nm is used for the A9X applications processor in the iPad Pro, for example. Contrary to recent speculation that TSMC has been awarded all of next year’s A10 business from Apple, we believe it is set to be split again. However, we hear TSMC is indeed trying to capture all the business, and is using innovative packaging technology as one way to help ensure a win,” said Hans Mosesmann, an analyst with Raymond James, in a report.

TSMC is exploring the idea of building a 12-inch wafer fab in Nanjing, China, according to reports.

MHL Consortium announced the appointment of Gordon Hands as president. MHL is the agent for overseeing and administering the adoption, licensing, and promotion of the MHL Specification. The MHL Specification was developed by Nokia, Samsung, Lattice, Sony and Toshiba as a standard for mobile wired video/audio connectivity, which will enable the development of standard-compliant mobile and display products across a broad connectivity ecosystem.

Samsung SDI, the world’s largest provider of lithium-ion batteries, unveiled a new energy storage system (ESS) platform called the Mega E. Mega E is a high-energy Megawatt platform, functioning as a commercial ESS for large buildings, factories and industrial parks.

At an analyst recent event, executives from Applied Research, KLA-Tencor and Lam Research, discussed the outlook for the semiconductor and fab tool industries. Simply put, the fab tool market is cloudy. Click here for Applied. Click here for KLA-Tencor. And click here for Lam.

SEMI reported that worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings reached $9.4 billion in the second quarter of 2015. The billings figure is 1% lower than the first quarter of 2015 and 2% lower than the same quarter a year ago. The data is gathered jointly with the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ).

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, and a subsidiary of Qualcomm have announced the signing of a non-legally binding term sheet relating to a contemplated investment of $280 million dollars in the aggregate in SJ Semiconductor (SJsemi). If the contemplated investment is completed, the funds raised by SJsemi will be put towards expediting the establishment of China’s first 300mm bumping production line. SJsemi was founded through a joint venture between SMIC and Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology (JCET).

Foxconn has taken a stake in Taiwan OSAT Siliconware. Siliconware once again rejected ASE’s offer to purchase a 25% stake in Siliconware.

Crossbar, a ReRAM developer, has completed a $35 million Series D funding round. Tyche Partners, Oriza Holdings and Cheerful Link joined all of Crossbar’s existing investors in the round, bringing total investments to $85 million to date.

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