Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Foundry rankings; ex-GF CTO joins Intel; NuFlare takeover.


Chipmakers and OEMs
TrendForce has released its projected foundry rankings for the fourth quarter of 2019. TSMC remains in first place, followed by Samsung, GlobalFoundries and UMC, according to the firm. “TrendForce projects the foundry industry’s 4Q19 revenue performance to exceed previous expectations,” according to the firm. “Nonetheless, the ongoing U.S-China trade war and uncertainties in the electronics market ensure that foundries are cautious to react against market shifts in the near future. In light of these developments, foundries are expected to adjust their inventory levels in 1H20 according to leftover stock.”

Intel has named Gary Patton, formerly the chief technology officer at GlobalFoundries, as its corporate vice president and general manager of design enablement, according to a report from Reuters. Patton recently left GF.

TowerJazz and Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, have developed a technology platform that utilizes memristor devices. The platform features analog memory storage and computing capabilities, based on TowerJazz’s 180nm CMOS technology.

Cisco has entered the merchant chip business. It rolled out a new semiconductor technology and has started supplying switch chips to Microsoft and Facebook.

This comes from Appleinsider: “Japan Display could receive another cash injection of up to 90 billion yen ($830 million), as part of an ongoing financial bailout effort to keep the Apple LCD —and possible OLED —supplier alive.”

Fab tools
Hoya has made an unsolicited $1.4 billion bid to acquire NuFlare, a supplier of e-beam mask writers and other equipment. Here’s one report on the subject.

Startup proteanTecs has announced the addition of Keith Morton as vice president of worldwide sales. Morton was most recently vice president of semiconductor sales at ANSYS.

Market research
Global semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales will drop 10.5% to $57.6 billion in 2019, but it will stage a recovery in 2020, according to SEMI. The forecast shows equipment sales registering a 5.5% increase to $60.8 billion in 2020 and continued expansion into 2021, according to SEMI.

Memory is back. The fastest-growing products for 2020 is NAND flash with DRAM in third place, according to IC Insights. Automotive—special purpose logic is projected to be the second fastest growing market in 2020. “The strong anticipated market growth for the two memory segments is not a big surprise given the complete market collapse that these two segments experienced in 2019,” according to IC Insights. “The 2020 NAND flash market is expected to rise by 19%, a solid follow-up to the 27% decline in 2019. Similarly, the 12% gain forecast for the DRAM market is a strong turnaround from 2019.”

Intel released a new study, saying that there is a “serious skills gap that most Western industrial production training programs and government investment initiatives fail to address.”

Hiring in the U.S. technology sector bounced back in November after two months of modest employment gains, according to CompTIA, a technology industry association.

Here’s the latest in the U.S.-China trade wars: “President Donald Trump signed off on a phase-one trade deal with China, averting the Dec. 15 introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs on about $160 billion of consumer goods from the Asian nation,” according to a report from Bloomberg.

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