The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Samsung’s new U.S. chip headquarters; Verizon pushes 5G; SSDs; wearable push; battle for Siliconware’s loyalties; GigOptix to buy Terasquare.


Samsung Semiconductor unveiled its North American R&D Headquarters for its Device Solutions group in San Jose, Calif. The new campus is a 1.1 million-square-foot R&D, sales and marketing center.

Is 5G the next big thing in wireless? Verizon–the first company to introduce 4G LTE–is once again poised to usher in a new era with an aggressive roadmap for fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology. By working closely with partners, Verizon aims to launch field technology trials next year. Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung kicked-off the recent and inaugural Verizon 5G Technology Forum, and have established working teams to ensure an aggressive pace of innovation. Intel also joined the group.

Samsung announced the introduction of the Samsung 950 PRO solid-state drive (SSD), based on the M.2 form factor. Samsung also announced its first Gear VR device aimed for consumers, extending its efforts in the wearables category.

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.67 billion in orders worldwide in August 2015 and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.06, according to SEMI.

Applied Materials announced the pricing of senior unsecured notes in an aggregate principal amount of $1.8 billion.

More news from the OSAT soap opera in Taiwan. In an unsolicited move, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) purchased a 24.99% stake in Siliconware (SPIL). Now, ASE is a major shareholder of SPIL, but will SPIL cooperate? Jason C.S. Chang, chairman of ASE, and other ASE executives met with Bough Lin, chairman of SPIL, to exchange ideas. Meanwhile, Foxconn has also purchased a stake in SPIL. Stay tuned.

GigOptix announced signing a definitive agreement to acquire Terasquare, a Korea-based fabless semiconductor company.

Hong Kong-based investment holding company GAE Ltd. has acquired 98% of the shares in MEMS foundry vendor Silex Microsystems. The transaction took place July 13 when the former major shareholders CapMan, Priveq, Northzone and Startupfactory agreed to sell 100% of their respective holdings in Silex Microsystems. Silex founder and CEO, Edvard Kalvesten retains 2% of the shares in the company and continues his role as CEO and board member of Silex.

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