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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Dutch photonics; 200mm fab capacity grows; Intel’s $3B expansion; Infineon’s Indonesian expansion; Russia/Ukraine impact on raw materials.

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Photonic Chips Go Big In Europe
PhotonDelta, a collaborative end-to-end supply chain for the application of photonics chips, secured €1.1 billion in conditional funding for a six-year initiative. Investments from the Netherlands government and other organizations “will be used to build 200 startups, scale up production, create new applications for photonic chips, and develop infrastructure and talent,” according to PhotonDelta.

“The Netherlands is considered a pioneer in the development of PIC technology, and thanks to the continuous support from the Dutch government, we have been able to build a full supply-chain around it that is globally recognized as a hotspot for photonic integration,” said Ewit Roos, CEO at PhotonDelta.

Capacity Grows
200mm fab capacity is expected to increase by 21% for the period 2020 through 2024, hitting a high of 6.9 million wafers per month, according to SEMI’s recent report. “Wafer manufacturers will add 25 new 200mm lines over the five-year period to help meet growing demand for applications such as 5G, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) devices that rely on devices like analog, power management and display driver integrated circuits (ICs), MOSFETs, microcontroller units (MCUs) and sensors,” said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI.

Intel announced the opening of its latest $3 billion, 270,000-square-foot expansion of D1X, its leading-edge factory in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Infineon is expanding operations in Indonesia to double the production area for the assembly and test of automotive products.

IC wafer capacity is increasingly concentrated, with five companies accounting for 57% of the share of global market in 2021 (versus 56% in 2020) according to Knometa Research’s recent Global Wafer Capacity 2022 report. The leaders were Samsung (19%), TSMC (13%), Micron (10%), SK Hynix (9%), and Kioxia/WD (6%).

Supply Chain
KPMG analyzed the impact of the Russia/Ukraine war on the supply of raw materials. Because many companies already had contingency plans when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, short-term impacts are considered manageable. However, the report warns of severe supply-chain impacts if the war continues. Ukraine produces 70% to 80% of the global supply of neon, which is used in lithography, and Russia produces about 35% to 45% of the world’s palladium supply, which is used in electrical contact as well as in catalytic converters in gas-powered vehicles.

Findings from Synopsys’ 2022  Open Source Security and Risk Analysis (OSSRA) report emphasize fundamental challenges in the software supply chain. Although the report reflected a decrease in high-risk, open-source vulnerabilities, it reported operational risk is concerning because 88% of code bases contain open source that has seen no feature upgrades, code improvements, or security remediation, and no user updates in the last two years.

Products
Kulicke & Soffa and PDF Solutions are expanding their joint efforts by combining K&S’s process monitoring tools with PDF’s Exensio products to connect test results in manufacturing.

Siemens Digital Industries Software introduced its new mPower Digital solution for power integrity analysis of analog, digital and mixed-signal IC designs, which is now certified for digital analysis of designs using GlobalFoundries’ platforms.

Keysight Technologies uncorked its new Digital Wideband Transceiver test solution. SK Hynix selected Keysight’s integrated peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) 5.0 test platforms.

Infineon announced its first radiation-hardened (rad-hard) serial interface ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM) for extreme environments. The new devices deliver reliability and data retention and are more energy efficient than non-volatile EEPROM or serial NOR Flash devices for space applications.

Manufacturing Equipment
Global sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment increased 44% in 2021, climbing from U.S. $71.2 billion in 2020 to $102.6 billion in 2021, according to SEMI’s latest report. “Global sales of wafer processing equipment rose 44% in 2021, while other front-end segment sales grew 22%. Assembly and packaging showed exceptional growth across all regions, resulting in an 87% market increase in 2021, while total test equipment sales rose 30%.”

Earnings
TSMC reported first quarter revenue of ~U.S. $17.5 billion, an increase of 36% compared with the prior year, with 5nm shipments accounting for 20% of wafer revenue and 7nm accounting for 30%. “Our first quarter business was supported by strong HPC and Automotive-related demand,” said Wendell Huang, TSMC’s CFO. “Moving into second quarter 2022, we expect our business to continue to be supported by HPC and automotive-related demand, partially offset by smartphone seasonality.”

Research
Imec’s Arnaud Furnemont, vice president of Compute & Memory Technologies, points to three main drivers pushing the demand for more research on memory and storage. Imec also discussed the recent breakthrough that drives toward high-density 3D-DRAM as the main computer memory. (More information on 3D-NAND flash and FeFETs are available in Imec’s data storage roadmap.)

Recent additions to Semiconductor Engineering’s technical paper library include:

Find more new technical papers in the chip industry here.

Ukraine Support
Advantest is donating ¥90 million (~US $0.716 million) for crisis relief efforts for people impacted by the war in Ukraine. Renesas is donating €1 million to the UN Refugee Agency to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

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Newsletters
Semiconductor Engineering’s April Test, Measurement and Analytics Newsletter was published this week and can be found here.
Top features include:

Find the latest Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials newsletter here.



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