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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

More ATE consolidation; Applied expands; GSA awards.

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Test
There is more consolidation in the ATE business. In October, Cohu completed the acquisition of Xcerra, a supplier of ATE and other products. Then, Astronics this week entered into an agreement for the sale of the intellectual-property and certain assets associated with its semiconductor test business to Advantest for $185 million in cash. The sale additionally includes a $30 million earn-out opportunity based on achieving certain levels of revenue in 2019.

Advantest has launched a new module for its EVA100 measurement system that enables testing of high-power ICs. With the new HVI (high-voltage VI source and measurement) module, chipmakers can ensure the reliability of power devices in various applications, such as AC/DC and DC/DC converters, motor controllers, LED drivers and gate drivers.

Fab tools
Applied Materials posted strong revenue, operating income and earnings per share in its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Oct. 28. In addition, Applied Materials has announced plans to open the so-called Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META Center). The goal of the META Center is to speed up the development of new chipmaking materials and process technologies. Scheduled to open in 2019, the center is located at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) campus in Albany, New York.

On top of that, Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, has announced a new co-investment initiative with Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development organization. The goal of the initiative is to invest in New York startups.

And not to be outdone, Applied Materials and National University of Singapore (NUS) have established the Applied Materials-NUS Advanced Materials Corporate Lab in Singapore. The goal of the lab is to accelerate the discovery of new materials for future generations of semiconductors.

Infineon has acquired Siltectra. The startup has developed a technology to process crystal materials efficiently. Infineon will use the technology to split its silicon carbide (SiC) wafers, thus doubling the number of chips out of one wafer.

Plessey and EV Group are collaborating to develop GaN-on-silicon technologies for microLEDs. MicroLEDs are the key optical technology for next-generation display applications.

Chipmakers
Spin Memory, an MRAM developer formerly known as Spin Transfer Technologies, has announced separate agreements with Applied Materials and Arm in the field of MRAM technology.

GlobalFoundries and indie Semiconductor have released a new generation of customized microcontrollers on GF’s 55nm Low Power Extended (55LPx) automotive-qualified platform.

SK Hynix has developed a 16Gb DDR5 DRAM, the industry’s first DDR5 to meet JEDEC standards. The technology is based on a 1Ynm process.

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) will honor Lisa Su, president and chief executive of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), with the prestigious Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award at its annual awards event on Dec. 6.



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