Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

TSMC in Germany and 3nm predictions; JCET XDFOI enters HVM; South Korean tax break for chip companies; Intel CES announcements; Israel supports integrated photonics; JUMP 2.0 funding; NAND flash prices.


TSMC is in advanced talks with key suppliers about setting up its first potential European plant in Dresden, Germany, according to Nikkei Asia. The company held a 3nm volume production and capacity expansion ceremony at its Fab 18. TSMC also is building 3nm capacity at its Arizona site, as well as opening a global R&D Center in the Hsinchu Science Park in the second quarter of 2023, to be staffed by 8,000 R&D personnel. In addition, TSMC is preparing for its 2nm fabs, to be located in the Hsinchu and Central Taiwan Science Parks, with a total of six phases proceeding as planned.

South Korea plans tax breaks up to 25% on big chip firms’ CapEx in order to remain competitive. (Reuters reported up to 35%.) “We’re in a chip war,” said Samsung executive Yang Hyang-ja. “Technology supremacy is a way that our country can take the lead in any security-related agenda, such as diplomatic and defense issues, without being swayed by other nations,” she told Bloomberg News.

JCET announced that its XDFOI high-density multi-dimensional heterogeneous integration Chiplet technologies have entered the stage of high volume manufacturing (HVM) as planned, and the HVM of integrated packaging at 4nm chips for international customers have been achieved synchronously, with a maximum packaging area of about 1500mm².


Intel made several announcements at CES, including the introduction of the Intel Core i9-13980HX, the first 24-core processor for a laptop and the highest clock speed for the laptop market.

Renesas announced its first development kit that includes support for the Matter smart home connectivity protocol. Renesas also said it will offer Matter support on all future Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low-Energy (LE) and IEEE 802.15.4 (Thread) products, including products from recently acquired Dialog Semiconductor and Celeno Communications.

Huawei said its 2022 revenue remained flat, suggesting that its sales decline due to U.S. sanctions had come to a halt. Rotating chairman Eric Xu wrote in the company’s annual New Year’s letter “U.S. restrictions are now our new normal, and we’re back to business as usual.” The letter was addressed to the staff and released to the media.


The Israel Innovation Authority has earmarked NIS 40 million (∼U.S. $11.3 million) for the establishment of a consortium to support the development of integrated photonics technology.

SkyWater announced the signing of a new $100 million three-year senior secured revolving credit facility that expands the company’s available borrowing capacity. SkyWater expects to use the new credit facility for general corporate purposes, which may include the funding of working capital or supporting internal growth initiatives.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will ask U.S. President Joe Biden for support in financing clean energy projects and attracting semiconductor investment when the two meet in Mexico City next week, according to Bloomberg.

106 companies collectively raised $2.8 billion in December 2022, including six rounds of $100 million or more. The largest, at a massive $500 million dollars, will support manufacturing of 12-inch monocrystalline silicon polished wafers and epitaxial wafers. Details are available in the December Startup Funding Report.

Market Research

About three-fourths semiconductor executives expect the industry’s supply chain challenges to ease by 2024, but companies need to be prepared to withstand other market pressures by focusing on investments that will help drive future growth, according to a new study from Accenture.

QoQ decline in NAND flash ASPs will narrow to about 10% to 15% as suppliers’ production cuts take effect, according to TrendForce. Regarding price trends of different NAND flash products in 1Q23, prices of NAND Flash wafers are already at the cash cost level, so their decline will moderate sooner compared to other kinds of NAND flash products. Conversely, prices of enterprise SSDs will suffer the sharpest drop compared with other kinds of NAND flash products because they represent a major source of inventory consumption and offer a relatively high profit margin.


Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), along with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and industry and academic stakeholders, is kicking off the Joint University Microelectronics Program 2.0 (JUMP 2.0). Cornell will lead the $34 million SUPeRior Energy-efficient Materials and dEvices (SUPREME) Center, which will bring together leading researchers from 14 higher education institutions. SUPREME is one of seven centers funded by SRC’s JUMP 2.0  consortium.

Researchers demonstrated “epigraphene,” a graphene nanoelectronics platform that has the potential to succeed silicon nanoelectronics. “Graphene’s power lies in its flat, two-dimensional structure that is held together by the strongest chemical bonds known,” said co-author Walter de Heer of Georgia Tech. “In principle, more devices can be packed on a single chip of graphene than with silicon.”

eLight has published a review paper on the prospects for metal halide perovskite for next-generation optoelectronics.

Further reading

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

Check out a special report on copper interconnects and other stories in our Manufacturing, Packaging & Materials newsletter:

Upcoming events:

  • Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS 2023), Jan. 8-11, 2023 (Half Moon Bay, CA)
  • IPC 2023, Jan. 21-26 (San Diego, CA)
  • First Annual Chiplet Summit, Jan. 24-26, 2023 (San Jose, CA)
  • SPIE Photonics West, Jan. 28-Feb. 2, 2023 (San Francisco, CA)
  • Advanced Packaging for Medical Microelectronics, Feb. 2-3 (San Diego, CA)
  • ISS Europe, Feb. 15-16 (Vienna, Austria)

Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)