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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

GF expands; AI lab; EUV demand; helium; new memories.

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Chipmakers and OEMs
The industry is still wondering if Intel will buy GlobalFoundries (GF). In the meantime, GF has announced a fab expansion plan in upstate New York. These plans include immediate investments at its existing Fab 8 facility as well as construction of a new fab on the same campus. That will double the capacity at the site.

Intel has reported its second-quarter 2021 financial results. Second-quarter revenue was $19.6 billion, flat year-over-year. According to Reuters, Intel “faces supply chain constraints and gave an annual sales forecast that implied a weak end of the year.”

Tokyo Electron Device (TED) and Cerebras have announced the opening of the TED AI Lab. Located in TED’s Engineering Center in Japan, the lab will provide an environment for customers who want to train AI models on Cerebras’ wafer-scale deep learning system. TED is part of the TEL group.

Hyundai Mobis has developed the M.Brain, a standalone device based on brainwave measurements. It’s used for ADAS applications in cars. Worn on one’s head, M. Brain identifies the driver’s state through brainwaves and reduces accidents caused by drowsy driving or negligence.

Fab tools
ASML posted its results for the quarter. “ASML reported strong results and even more impressive bookings growth. June quarter EUV orders grew 114% quarter-over-quarter (~30 units), giving comfort around the 55 unit forecast for next year,” said Krish Sankar, an analyst with Cowen in a research note. “Management is expanding both EUV and DUV capacity. The DUV output increase is a bullish indicator to us for two reasons: (a) signals the non-EUV (i.e. non-leading edge) market should remain robust for the next few years; and (b) next year estimates need to move higher since consensus was forecasting a decline in DUV units/sales relative to 2021. The EUV capacity is expected to be 55 units next year and over 60 in 2023.”

In a blog, Lam Research discusses the state of helium. “Helium gas is increasingly in short supply,” said Terry Powell, a product marketing manager in the Customer Support Business Group at Lam. “While consumers may be most familiar with it for use in filling balloons, it is used much more heavily in a variety of industrial processes – including semiconductor fabrication. As a result of supply concerns, many companies, including Lam, are looking for ways to reduce their helium usage.”

Lam has also announced the funding of additional critical care facilities at the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS) in India. As part of the initiative, intensive care unit beds have been added at the institution in partnership with United Way.

TTM Technologies, a manufacturer of PCBs and RF components, has purchased and installed Orbotech’s Neos 800 system. The system provides a way of enabling a solder mask in PCBs. Orbotech is part of KLA.

Packaging
Promex Industries has named Rosie Medina as vice president of sales and marketing for both of its divisions. This includes the Promex Medical and Biotech division in Santa Clara, Calif., and QP Technologies in Escondido, Calif. Previously, Medina was vice president of sales and marketing for QP Technologies.

Market research
Emerging memories have started a growth surge and should climb to become a $44 billion market by 2031, according to a report from Coughlin Associates and Objective Analysis. The report explains how 3D XPoint memory could reach revenues of over $20 billion by 2031, while standalone MRAM and STT-RAM revenues will grow to about $1.7 billion. Meanwhile, embedded ReRAM and MRAM will compete to replace the bulk of embedded NOR and SRAM in chips, fueling even greater revenue growth.

“This is the semiconductor market to watch over the next decade,” said Thomas Coughlin, President of Coughlin Associates. “Those who play a part in this market can plan for significant growth.”

“Designers of all types of systems are finding that emerging memories provide new advantages that were previously unavailable,” said Jim Handy, general director of Objective Analysis. “The Internet of Things will be revolutionized as new embedded memory types slash power consumption. Larger systems are already changing their architectures to adopt persistent memories to improve latency and data integrity.”

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After 2019 saw the first decline in more than a decade, RF GaAs device revenue returned to growth in 2020, according to Strategy Analytics. Sales of the RF GaAs device market will approach $9.5 billion by 2025. “Wider deployment of millimeter wave-capable 5G handsets and networks will be the main contributors to future RF GaAs device revenue growth,” according to the firm.

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies has announced its latest executive course called “Microelectronics: Foundations and Futures.” This virtual course will be held from Oct. 25 to Oct. 28. Applications are available on its website. The course explores microelectronics’ role in society, the marketplace, the military, and the future.



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