Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

CHIPS Act progress; Samsung 5nm; new U.S. plants; China manufacturing viability; Keysight’s new acquisition; DRAM decline; Intel’s order delay; research.


The U.S. is aiming for the creation of two new advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities with “a robust supplier ecosystem” supported by the $52.7 billion CHIPS Act. Included is an $11 billion investment in semiconductor research and development, along with the creation of a new public-private partnership called the National Semiconductor Technology Center. This follows more than a dozen appointments of semiconductor industry experts to the team overseeing the funding and distribution of the government funding.

This renewed focus on domestic chip production, boosted by new tax incentives and subsidies, continues to drive additional investments in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing facilities. Microchip announced an $880 million investment in silicon and silicon carbide production capacity at its Colorado Springs facility, and EMP Shield announced a $1.9 billion investment to create a new semiconductor manufacturing plant in Burlington, Kansas.

Meanwhile, the president of Kyocera said U.S. export controls will make manufacturing in China no longer viable for companies producing there and exporting abroad, according to Fortune. Key members of China’s most influential scientific body hope to thwart the U.S. chip ban by amassing a portfolio of patents covering the next generation of chip making, according to Bloomberg.

Samsung‘s 5nm process technology will be used in Ambarella’s new CV3-AD685 automotive AI central domain controller. “Samsung brings 5nm EUV FinFET technology to automotive applications for unprecedented ADAS and vision processor performance,” said Sang-Pil Sim, executive vice president and head of Foundry Corporate Planning at Samsung Electronics.

Keysight announced the acquisition of Cliosoft to expand its EDA software portfolio.

The memory chip industry is undergoing an historic decline in demand, with two of the worst quarterly drops on record in the past two quarters, according to Bloomberg.

Intel delayed a planned order for the delivery of 3nm chips from TSMC, originally scheduled for this year, until Q4 2024, according to numerous reports.

Server DRAM will overtake mobile DRAM in supply this year, comprising 37.6% of annual total DRAM output, according to a new report by Trendforce. Additionally, Enterprise SSDs will become the largest application segment of NAND flash memory market by 2025.

KeySight announced a wireless emulation test platform for all cellular IoT technologies, including RedCap.

Fractilia uncorked the latest addition to its Fractilia Automated Measurement Environment (FAME) portfolio, designed specifically for use in high-volume manufacturing (HVM) fab environments.


Physicists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison directly measured, for the first time at nanometer resolution, the fluid-like flow of electrons in graphene. The technique offers new opportunities for the development of very-low resistance materials for increased electrical transport efficiency.

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba and collaborating partner UNISOKU, created a nanoscale, fast scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)  for measuring the movement of electrons in nanostructures at high temporal and spatial resolution.

A research group at Nagoya University in Japan has developed a new etching method to improve smartphone circuit performance called “wet-like plasma etching,” that combines the selectivity of wet etching with the controllability of dry etching.

 Further reading

 Check out our February Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials newsletter, including these top stories:

  • Managing Thermal-Induced Stress In Chips
  • Devices And Transistors For The Next 75 Years
  • 2D Semiconductor Materials Creep Toward Manufacturing
  • Process Innovations Enabling Next-Gen SoCs And Memories

Read our February Test, Measurement & Analytics newsletter for these highlights and more:

  • Hunting For Hardware-Related Errors In Data Centers
  • Bump Reliability Is Challenged By Latent Defects
  • Ramping Up IC Predictive Maintenance
  • Zero Trust Security In Chip Manufacturing

Upcoming events in the chip industry:

  • SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning, Feb. 26 – Mar. 2 (San Jose, CA)
  • IMAPS: Device Packaging Conference (DPC)-Mar. 13-16 (Fountain Hills, AZ)
  • International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS): Mar. 26-30 (Monterey, CA)

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