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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Roadmap of transformative HW technologies; Intel’s latest acquisition; Toppan carves out photomask biz; America COMPETES Act; Shanghai lockdowns; SiC market & new production and more..

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The U.S. Senate approved the 2022 America COMPETES act, which has big ramifications for the chip industry. The bill now heads to the House for further reconciliation. If approved, it would provide more than $50 billion in U.S. subsidies for semiconductor chip manufacturing. The SIAC (Semiconductor In America Coalition) urged Congress to act promptly to achieve a bipartisan compromise soon and obtain President Biden’s signature.

TSMC is reporting signs of a slowdown in demand for smartphones and PCs, according to Nikkei Asia.

SMIC and TSMC claim that production of chips is normal amid a Covid-lockdown in the Shanghai area, although some key personnel are staying onsite overnight, according to Taiwan’s Liberty Times.

ASM International uncorked its new Singapore manufacturing facility this week, including the groundbreaking of the second manufacturing floor that will be production-ready by early 2023. The facility assembles and tests deposition tools.

SK Group’s investment arm, SK Square, plans to invest 2 trillion won (~US $1.6 billion) into advanced semiconductors over the next 3 years, according to Forbes. Also, SK Hynix expressed interest in forming a consortium with strategic partners to jointly acquire Arm, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Due to raw material contamination at Western Digital and Kioxia NAND production factories, NAND flash pricing is expected to climb by about 5% to 10% in 2Q22, according to TrendForce.

Toppan Inc. is spinning out its photomask business as a new company, Toppan Photomask Co., and entered into a share agreement with a Japanese private equity firm, Integral Corp., as part of the deal.

Silicon Carbide
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) started mass production of single-crystal 6-inch (150mm) silicon carbide (SiC) wafers. “SDK decided to launch in-house mass production of 6-inch SiC wafers because plural customers have adopted SDK’s SiC epitaxial wafers made from our in-house produced 6-inch SiC wafers. On the other hand, SDK will continue purchasing SiC wafers from our partners in order to respond to rapidly growing demand for SiC epitaxial wafers for power semiconductors. Thus, SDK will diversify sources of SiC wafers, thereby establishing stable supply chain for SiC epitaxial wafers,” according to the the company.

The SiC device market is expected to grow beyond US$6 billion by 2027, according to a new report from Yole Developpement. “Strongly driven by automotive applications, especially in the EV2 main inverter, there were multiple newly released EVs and announcements in 2020 and 2021, following Tesla’s adoption of SiC. Moreover, Tesla’s record shipments helped SiC devices to reach the order of US$1 billion in 2021. To fulfill the demand for a long driving range, an 800V EV is the solution to empower fast DC3 charging. This is where the 1200V SiC devices play crucial roles,” states Yole’s Poshun Chiu.

Financials
JCET posted 2021 annual revenue of RMB 30.50 billion (~US $4.81 billion), an increase of 15.3% year over year. Net profit was RMB 2.96 billion (~US $0.47 billion), a record high.

SMIC announced its 2021 annual results. Revenue increased by 39.3% over 2021.

New Products & Deals
Samsung Foundry adopted an advanced voltage-timing sign-off solution that was jointly developed by Synopsys and Ansys. The solution, built on Synopsys PrimeTime sign-off technology and Ansys RedHawk-SC, prevents dynamic voltage drop-induced failures and minimizes timing pessimism.

Brewer Science expanded its analytical and application testing services to include standalone chemical, polymer, trace impurity, on-wafer & thin film characterization testing services to customers – services the company has perfected through its processes for nearly four decades.

Intel said it plans to purchase Granulate, an Israel-based developer of real-time continuous optimization software.

CEA and C12 Quantum Electronics partnered up to produce the first multi-qubit chips at wafer scale.

Education & Grants
SEMI won a $1 million grant from the state of California to develop a semiconductor apprenticeship program in community colleges.

TEL is donating approximately $870,000 to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine refugees.

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And finally, MIT is teaming up with AmazonAnalog Devices, ASML, NTT Research and TSMC to create what they are calling a “roadmap of transformative hardware technologies.” The goal is to develop translational technologies for AI and quantum computing based on a wide range of research, including materials and circuits.

New Academic Reports
Semiconductor Engineering has rolled out its new technical report library for the chip industry. Recent additions include:

Latest Newsletters
Find Semiconductor Engineering’s March 2022 Manufacturing, Packaging, & Materials newsletter here and the Test, Measurement & Analytics newsletter here.



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