Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Fund: Intel needs a shakeup; masks; probes; foundry sales.


Chipmakers and OEMs
Third Point, a hedge fund, released a letter, saying that Intel needs to explore its strategic alternatives. This includes the breakup of the chip giant. Obtained by Yahoo and others, the letter says Intel needs to decide “whether Intel should remain an integrated device manufacturer” and should divest certain failed acquisitions.

Here’s another analysis of the situation. As reported, Intel has fallen behind TSMC and Samsung in process technology amid delays at 10nm and 7nm. Over time, some speculate that Intel will follow in the footsteps of AMD and transform itself into a fabless company.


TSMC recently presented awards to its equipment and other suppliers. Awards were given to 15 equipment, facilities, materials, and IT service vendors.

A new company called Key Foundry was recently launched as a pure-play semiconductor foundry after taking over the foundry business from MagnaChip. Headquartered in South Korea, Key Foundry offers various processes in 200mm fabs.

Wave Computing and its subsidiaries including MIPS, recently fell into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now, Wave expects to exit bankruptcy in January of 2021, pending a creditor and court approval of a Tallwood-led reorganization plan.

LG Signature, the premium brand from LG Electronics, has been recognized as a winner of the “2020 GOOD DESIGN Awards” for its new hi-tech wine cellar in the Kitchen and Appliances category.

Fab tools
In a video, Leo Pang, vice president and chief product officer at D2S, presents the results of a joint paper with Micron Technology on how to enable faster e-beam mask writing for curvilinear photomasks.

KLA has announced the appointment of Sandra Mahadwar as its chief inclusion and diversity officer, and her promotion to senior vice president of talent management. Mahadwar will be responsible for leading KLA’s HR Centers of Expertise, which include talent acquisition, learning and organization development, compensation and benefits, and HR systems and analytics.


William Arnold, a lithography expert, passed away on Dec. 27, according to the SPIE. “In 2019, Arnold retired from a 21-year-long career at ASML where he had served as both chief scientist and vice president of ASML’s Technology Development Center (TDC),” according to the SPIE.

“Bill Arnold introduced a number of important concepts that today lithographers consider common knowledge. He enjoyed exchanging ideas, which underlay his involvement with SPIE. Bill Arnold was a good colleague and friend of many people in the lithography and SPIE communities, and he will be missed,” said Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography.

Chris Mack, CTO of Fractilia, posted this item about Arnold.

With the ability to scan everything from small highly detailed parts to large automotive and aerospace parts, XLP probes are the answer for precise laser scanning. CyberOptics recently released a video on the subject.

FormFactor has listed its top 10 blog posts for the year. See what made the list for 2020.

Market research
Global foundry revenues are expected to reach $84.6 billion in 2020, up 23.7% from 2019, according to TrendForce. “This performance took place on the backs of several developments, including OEMs’ aggressive inventory procurement brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘new normal’ involving WFH (work-from-home) and distance education in 1H20. The second half of the year, on the other hand, saw U.S. sanctions tilting forward Huawei’s component demand, as well as the increased penetration rate of 5G smartphones and increased 5G base station build-outs,” according to the firm.

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