Week In Review, Manufacturing, Test

ASML DUV fears; Samsung rally; IBM, TEL 3D-IC stack breakthrough; new IC job training legislation.


The U.S. is attempting to restrict sales of ASML’s deep ultra-violet (DUV) litho systems to China, according to a report from Bloomberg. The U.S. has been working to limit China’s access to advanced technology for some time, and it has already limited sales of extreme ultra-violet (EUV), which is used to develop chips at the most advanced process nodes. DUV, in contrast, is used for older-node chips, including many of the chips that are in short supply globally today. The underlying concern is that fabs can continue churning out chips using DUV down to at least 7nm, and maybe a couple nodes beyond that, by pairing DUV with multiple patterning. 

Chip inventories rose in South Korea in May, an indication that demand for consumer electronics may be slowing. Still, Samsung’s better-than-expected Q2 earning guidance helped rally semiconductor stocks.

Global semiconductor sales rose in May 2022 to $51.8 billion, an 18.0% increase over May 2021’s numbers. May sales numbers were 1.8% higher than April 2022 sales, according to Semiconductor Industry Association’s (SIA) monthly report, citing stats from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS). WSTS estimates the worldwide semiconductor market will grow by 16.3% in 2022 and 5.1% in 2023. Logic will grow 20.8%, analog 19.2%, and memory 18.7%. Optoelectronics will stay flat (+0.3 percent) year over year, says WSTS.

IBM Research and Tokyo Electron (TEL) hit a milestone in their effort to simplify the 3D-chip stacking process. They have created a new 300 mm module that can use a standard silicon wafer for a carrier wafer instead of glass wafer. An infrared laser is used to debond (detach) the 3D stacked chip from the silicon carrier wafer without damaging the chip.

Clean-water tech company Gradiant acquired design and Taiwan-based design and construction firm WaterPark Environment Corp. WaterPark specializes in water technologies for semiconductor and microelectronics advanced manufacturing. The acquisition will have a combined client list that includes GlobalFoundries, Micron, Intel, TSMC, UMC, AUO, and Chimei, according to a press release.

Infineon Technologies and Oxford Ionics are working together to develop trapped ion quantum processors, which have ion traps that hold or trap ions in electrical fields. Using a laser on the ions can excite the ion to release a photon. The processor uses Oxford Ionics’ electronic qubit control (EQC) technology on Infineon’s ion trap chip technology. The goal is to have a production ready and extendible quantum computer that has a stable, decent error rate. “The role of Infineon is to take the ground-breaking work of Oxford Ionics to scale properly towards meaningful qubit counts and low error rates. Infineon’s ion traps can enable that in conjunction with our predictable, repeatable, and reliable manufacturing and assembly capabilities,” said Stephan Schaecher, director of new application, innovation, and quantum computing at Infineon Technologies Industrial Division.

China’s Xiaomi has started making smartphones in Vietnam.

A bill to improve and fund education of a semiconductor workforce in the United States was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives late last week. H.R.8251 the CHIPPING IN Act of 2022 (Creating Helpful Initiatives to Produce Personnel in Needed Growth Industries) will authorize the National Science Foundation to fund educational institutions, K through 12 and colleges— some of which will be historically black colleges and minority-serving schools — and non-profits that advance microelectronics education and workforce development. Some funding is proposed for Robert Noyce teacher scholarships.  The bill, sponsored Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., has bipartisan political and industry support from the American Automotive Policy Council, the American Semiconductor Academy Initiative, Intel, and SEMI. (It is not suprising that the representative from an automotive-industry state is the bill’s sponsor.) Click here for one page summary of the act. The bill is now in the House’s Science, Space, and Technology; Education and Labor committee.

Infineon Technologies
and Delta Electronics reported details of their partnership in wide bandgap (WBG) devices (SiC/GaN) materials. Delta’s 1.4 kW server power supply uses Infineon’s CoolSiC MOSFET. Delta’s 1.6 kW Titanium gaming power platform uses Infineon’s CoolGaN technology with EiceDRIVER gate driver ICs.

Semiconductor materials company Entegris completed its acquisition of CMC Materials. The company now has four divisions — microcontamination control, specialty chemicals and engineered materials (which includes test), advanced materials handling, and advanced planarization solutions — a new division for end-to-end CMP solutions and electronic chemicals businesses. 

Business and Startups
Check out Semiconductor Engineering’s Business & Startups page. Find the latest chip industry stock chart, monthly detailed startup funding reports (including a deep-dive into China’s startups), profiles of new startups, as well as the latest business news.

Upcoming Events
Find upcoming chip industry events, including:

  • SEMICON West/DAC: July 11-14 (San Francisco, Calif./Hybrid)
  • International Symposium on Failure Analysis and Material Testing- FAMT2022: July 22 (Erlangen, Germany/Hybrid)
  • SPIE Optics & Photonics 2022, August 21 – 25, 2022 (San Diego, Calif.)
  • SPIE Photomask Technology + Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, September 25 – 29, 2022 (Monterey, Calif.)
  • SPIE Photonics Industry Summit 2022, September 21, 2022 (Washington, DC).

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