The Week In Review: Manufacturing And Design

Wasting PC time; DRAM soap opera; GF’s new CEO; Advantest CEO message; FDSOI chip.

popularity reveals a surprising way to gain more time for improving one’s personal health: fix a slow computer. A nationwide survey revealed that U.S. adults think they waste an average of 16 minutes per day waiting for their computer to load or boot up. Equating to two hours each week and four days per year lost to the wiles of a slow computer, it’s no surprise that 66% of Americans say that waiting for a system they know should be faster is one of their top frustrations.

Since the recent fab fire at SK Hynix’ China facility, DRAM supply has been tight and prices have spiked. Going forward, there is good news for DRAM buyers and bad news for suppliers. SK Hynix plans to build a new memory fab in Korea, and says the China fab will resume production this month. “PC DRAM contract pricing has increased about 25% since the Hynix fire. We believe that after production is ramped (at SK Hynix), DRAM pricing could trend lower in 1Q ‘14. PC DRAM margins are now higher than mobile DRAM, and PC DRAM pricing is about 8% to 10% of the bill of materials cost, which is unsustainable, in our view,” said Monika Garg, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, in a report.

Sanjay Jha, a former executive at Motorola Mobility and Qualcomm, has been named as the new chief executive of GlobalFoundries. GlobalFoundries’ largest shareholder is Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC). According to Reuters, ATIC plans to invest up to $10 billion over the next two years in GlobalFoundries’ fab in New York.

Haruo Matsuno, president and CEO of Advantest, recently delivered a New Year’s address to employees, outlining the company’s goals for 2014. “Specifically, we must aim to expand sales without slackening our cost-cutting efforts; lower our breakeven point; and generate substantial profits. In the tester and handler markets, we will aim to improve our share by launching new products and establishing a supply structure that anticipates the appearance of market opportunities,” he said.

Advantest announced that its terahertz spectroscopic imaging system TAS7500, which utilizes Advantest’s THz wave technology, has been adopted by Seoul National University.

STMicroelectronics has released details of its STi8K architecture addressing future systems-on-chips (SoCs) for the digital home. The architecture is based on the latest ARMv8-A cores, enabling a transition from 32- to 64-bit computing. It is also based on ST’s 28nm fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) technology.

Toppan Photomasks is saddened to announce the death of President and CEO David Murray after a long battle with cancer. Murray was 55.

At CES, Intel addressed two critical issues casting shadows over the consumer electronics industry: data and device security and conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Intel has achieved a critical milestone and the minerals used in microprocessor silicon and packages manufactured in Intel’s factories are “conflict-free” as concluded by third-party audits or direct validation by Intel’s supply chain organization.

It’s the end of an era. Agilent Technologies revealed the name of the electronic measurement company it expects to spin off in early November 2014 as Keysight Technologies. The new company will include the entire portfolio of Agilent electronic measurement products. The new company’s tagline, “unlocking measurement insights for 75 years,” commemorates the 1939 birth of the original Hewlett-Packard, from which Keysight originated.

Integrated Device Technology announced the industry’s first Qi-compliant single-chip wireless power transmitter solution supporting a 5V input.

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 7.6 percent increase from 2013, according to Gartner. Among the operating system (OS) market, Android is on pace to surpass one billion users across all devices in 2014. By 2017, over 75% of Android’s volumes will come from emerging markets.

Samsung has the world’s most installed wafer capacity with nearly 1.9 million 200mm-equivalent wafers per month, according to IC Insights. That represents 12.6% of the world’s total capacity. Next in line was TSMC with about 1.5 million wafers per month capacity, or 10% of total worldwide capacity. Following TSMC were memory IC suppliers Micron, Toshiba/SanDisk, and SK Hynix.


Krishna says:

Lot of updates

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