Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

SEMI’s ISS recap; ATE concerns; trouble at Russian foundry?


Trade and fab equipment
The SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) this week opened with the theme “Golden Age of Semiconductor: Enabling the Next Industrial Revolution.” The annual three-day conference gave the year’s first outlook of the global electronics manufacturing industry. Click here for a recap.

SEMI and Imec are joining forces to drive innovation and deepen industry alignment on technology roadmaps and international standards. This will also add technology depth to SEMI’s five vertical application platforms including Smart Transportation, Smart MedTech and Smart Data. The two organizations will co-produce SEMI Think Tanks, extend SEMI’s International Standards platform to non-CMOS technologies, identify and fill gaps in technology roadmaps, and tighten Imec’s engagement with SEMI in European workforce development efforts.

Mike Russo has joined SEMI as vice president of global industry advocacy, based in the company’s Washington D.C. office. Reporting to SEMI President and CEO Ajit Manocha, Russo oversees SEMI’s government relations program and advocacy efforts.

KLA-Tencor is changing its name to KLA Corp. “Our old name and identity have served us well since KLA and Tencor merged in 1997,” said Rick Wallace, president and chief executive of KLA. “Our new, simplified name and more contemporary identity will better reflect and more effectively communicate our vision of the future to new employees and new customers—while retaining the strength of our industry-leading brand. Our new brand is designed to signify our confidence in technology’s ability to drive positive change in the world, lifting global society through many avenues including IoT, AI, and other technologies that connect us. KLA’s products and solutions play a key role in enabling these devices and experiences.”

Cree has signed a multi-year agreement to produce and supply its silicon carbide (SiC) wafers to STMicroelectronics. The agreement governs the supply of a quarter billion dollars of Cree’s 150mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers to STMicroelectronics.

Packaging and test
Chiplet vendor zGlue has released its cloud-based chip design software ChipBuilder. The company also launched a multi-project 3D-IC prototyping service in partnership with TSMC and ASE.

Veeco announced that the world’s largest outsourced assembly and test (OSAT) provider has purchased multiple Veeco AP300 lithography systems. Complementing the OSAT’s previously installed Veeco tools, the AP300 was selected based on its industry-leading uptime and performance with lower total cost of ownership (CoO).

Yoshiaki Yoshida, president of Advantest, presented his New Year’s address for 2019. “2018 was a wonderful year for Advantest. In 2019, we can expect the continuation of a situation best described as uncertain and unpredictable. The world economy is expected to grow again this year, but the risk of an economic downturn is large, and we need to keep a close eye on US-China trade friction,” Yoshida said.

Russian foundry vendor Angstrem-T has fallen into debt, causing the company to be taken over by VEB, according to a report from Reuters. VEB is a Russian development bank. Angstrem-T provides foundry services based on 130nm and 90nm technologies, with a prospect to shift to the 65nm node.

Samsung has reported its results. The company saw a drop in profits amid a downturn in the memory business, according to a report from Reuters.

Chinese DRAM maker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit has pleaded not guilty to U.S. charges alleging that it stole trade secrets, according to a report from Reuters.

Market research
Worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $476.7 billion in 2018, a 13.4% increase from 2017, according to preliminary results by Gartner. Gartner also released its chip rankings in terms of sales for the year. In 2018, Samsung was on top again, followed by Intel.

TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory services firm–announced that global revenues for semiconductor manufacturing and packaging materials are expected to grow 3.1% year-over-year (YoY) in 2019 to $50.4 billion, of which 58% represents semiconductor fab materials. Steadily increasing demand for memory chips in 2018 lifted total materials market revenues to US$48.9 billion in 2018, while the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2023 is forecast at 4.3%.

“Chinese imports of flake graphite (excluding intermediate spherical graphite products produced from flake) increased dramatically from 6.7kt in October 2018 to more than 10.0kt the following month,” according to Roskill.

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