Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Updated: ADI buys Maxim; PC boom; packaging inspection.


Market research
After years of falling demand, the PC market is back. The second quarter of 2020 ended well for the traditional PC market, including desktops, notebooks, and workstations. Global PC shipments jumped 11.2% year-over-year reaching a total of 72.3 million units, according to IDC.

As restrictions around the world tightened in the first few weeks of the quarter, demand for notebooks continued to grow to maintain continuity of business and schooling for many communities. “The strong demand driven by work-from-home as well as e-learning needs has surpassed previous expectations and has once again put the PC at the center of consumers’ tech portfolio,” said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC. “What remains to be seen is if this demand and high level of usage continues during a recession and into the post-COVID world since budgets are shrinking while schools and workplaces reopen.”

Gartner had a slightly different figure. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.8 million units in the second quarter of 2020, a 2.8% increase from the second quarter of 2019, according to Gartner.

After a decline in the first quarter of the year due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, the PC market returned to growth as vendors restocked their channels and mobile PC demand increased. In the second quarter of 2020, Lenovo and HP shared the number one position in the worldwide PC market, according to the firm.

Packaging, test, fab tools
CyberOptics is rolling out its new Multi-Reflection Suppression (MRS)-enabled 3D and 2D WX3000 metrology and inspection systems for wafer-level and advanced packaging applications.

Incorporating the company’s NanoResolution MRS sensor, the technology identifies and rejects multiple reflections caused by shiny and mirror-like surfaces in packages. The WX3000 performs two to three times faster than alternate technologies at data processing speeds in excess of 75 million 3D data points per second.

The system delivers throughput greater than 25 wafers per hour. 3D and 2D metrology and inspection can be completed simultaneously at high speeds. “With the growing complexity and variety of advanced packaging, the need for highly accurate, 100% 3D and 2D metrology and inspection continues to increase,” said Subodh Kulkarni, president and CEO of CyberOptics.


NI has officially closed the acquisition of OptimalPlus, a supplier of data analytics software for the semiconductor, automotive and electronics industries. “OptimalPlus’ data analytics capabilities allow us to build the advanced software required by today’s modern enterprise and engineer, enabling the connection of multiple data sources across the digital thread of a product’s lifecycle to help dramatically improve quality, yield and avoid failure,” said Eric Starkloff, NI’s president and CEO.

Entegris has acquired Global Measurement Technologies (GMTI), an analytical instrument provider for critical processes in semiconductor production, and its manufacturing partner Clean Room Plastics. Located in Chandler, Ariz., GMTI is now part of the Advanced Materials Handling (AMH) Division of Entegris.

Chipmakers and OEMs
Analog Devices and Maxim Integrated Products have entered into a definitive agreement under which ADI will acquire Maxim for about $21 billion. The transaction, which was approved by the boards, will strengthen ADI as an analog semiconductor leader with increased breadth and scale across multiple attractive end markets.

Here’s the latest from the Nikkei Asia Review: “Chinese chipmakers have already raised more than twice as much from the equity market in 2020 than in all of 2019, with state-backed funds helping the nation’s effort to boost domestic output.”

Imec and GlobalFoundries have announced a hardware demonstration of a new artificial intelligence chip. Based on Imec’s Analog in Memory Computing (AiMC) architecture utilizing GF’s 22nm FD-SOI technology, the new chip is optimized to perform deep neural network calculations on in-memory computing hardware in the analog domain.

Soitec has announced a business agreement with Qualcomm on the supply of piezoelectric-on-insulator (POI) engineered substrates for 4G and 5G RF filters.

Synaptics has announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Synaptics will acquire certain assets and manufacturing rights associated with the wireless IoT business of Broadcom for $250 million in cash.

Arm has announced plans to transfer its two IoT Services Group (ISG) businesses–IoT Platform and Treasure Data–to new entities that would be owned and operated by SoftBank.

Rohm and Leadrive Technology, a Chinese manufacturer of automotive powertrain for new energy vehicles, held an opening ceremony of their joint laboratory on SiC technology in China.

Magic Leap has announced the appointment of Peggy Johnson, a veteran tech executive and executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, as its new chief executive, effective Aug. 1.

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