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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

RF partnerships; silicon wafer supply; slow EUV resist market.

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Chipmakers
GlobalFoundries has announced the addition of nine new partners to its RFwave Partner Program, including AkronIC, Ask Radio, Catena, University of Waterloo Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS), Giga Solution, Helic, Incize, Mentor Graphics and Xpeedic Technology. The RFwave Partner Program builds upon GF’s radio-frequency (RF) efforts. The new partners will provide mmWave test and characterization capabilities along with design services, IP and EDA solutions.

QuickLogic has announced the availability of its ArcticPro embedded FPGA (eFPGA) on GlobalFoundries’ 22nm FD-SOI process technology. This represents the industry’s first and only eFPGA solution on GF’s 22nm FD-SOI process.

Dialog Semiconductor has announced an agreement with Apple to license select power management technologies. Dialog will also transfer certain of its assets and over 300 employees to Apple to support chip research and development. Apple will pay $300 million in cash for the transaction and prepay $300 million for Dialog products to be delivered over the next three years.

Micron Technology will invest up to $100 million in startups with a focus on AI and machine learning through its strategic investments entity, Micron Ventures.

Qualcomm has announced the appointment of Martin Anstice, chief executive of Lam Research, and Irene Rosenfeld, former chairman and chief executive of Mondelēz International, to its board.

Toshiba Memory has announced the appointment of Stacy Smith as executive chairman. Smith previously spent three decades at Intel, leading the company across multiple disciplines.

Test
Advantest has announced its next-generation B6700D memory burn-in tester to meet customer demand for server and mobile data-storage solutions during the memory market’s current super cycle.

National Instruments (NI) has rolled out the FPGA-enabled PXIe-5785 FlexRIO transceiver. This technology is targeted to shorten the design cycle for advanced radar applications in aerospace and defense.

Fabs and materials
Exyte has scrapped plans for an IPO on the Frankfurt stock exchange. There was muted interest for the IPO, according to a report from Reuters. The core business of construction giant M+W Group were recently named Exyte.

Sumco has provided an update on its business, noting that the worldwide silicon wafer market remains tight. The situation will remain tight in the third quarter, according to the firm.

GlobalWafers is expanding its efforts to meet demand. The Taiwan silicon wafer maker has made an investment of $438 million in its subsidiary MEMC Korea. The goal is to expand its 300mm wafer capacity at its existing plant in Cheonan, near Seoul. The new line will begin shipping wafers by the end of the third quarter of 2019 with mass production slated in 2020. By then, capacity will reach 150,000 wafers per month.

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TECHCET—the advisory services firm providing electronic materials information—said demand for photoresists and ancillary lithography materials is growing from an estimated market size of $5.2 billion in 2017 to $6.8 billion in 2023. Demand for argon-fluoride immersion (ArF) photoresists is now growing at nearly 10% by volume.

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography will soon be entering limited production use at Samsung and TSMC. The total market for EUV photoresists in the year 2023 is forecast to be just $100 million, according to the firm. “EUV is finally happening but the total market for resists next year is forecast to be only $8 million,” said Ed Korczynski, a TECHCET senior analyst. “Our proprietary cost-models show that EUV can be cost-effective when the proper materials are integrated, and that resolution-extension materials such as anti-reflective coatings and shrink/trim materials add tremendous value to microlithography in general and to EUV litho in particular. When a single EUV stepper costs 120 million dollars and exposes 10 million wafers before wearing out, the CapEx depreciation per wafer is 12 dollars. In comparison, a high-value-add litho material may cost just 1 to 2 dollars per wafer to significantly improve the speed or resolution of the patterning.”

Events
The 2018 IEEE S3S Conference will take place on Oct. 15-18 in Burlingame, Calif. The topics include 3D integration, low-power circuits, and SOI technology.



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