Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

U.S, Mexico, Canada unite to boost semiconductor output; TSMC considers Japan fab, SEMI elects new advisory board, PDF and proteanTecs partnership


Global semiconductor sales hit $45.5 billion during the month of November 2022, according to SIA’s January announcement. Year-over-year sales increased in November in the Americas (5.2%), Europe (4.5%), and Japan (1.2%), but decreased in Asia Pacific/rest of world (-13.9%) and China (-21.2%). Month-to-month sales were down across all regions.

The United States, Mexico and Canada vowed to tighten economic ties, including boosting semiconductor output. “We’re working to a future to strengthen our cooperation on supply chains and critical minerals so we can continue to accelerate in our efforts to build the technologies of tomorrow — right here in North America,” said President Joe Biden.

Canada may be hedging its bets. “Canada has a significant role to play in the semiconductor industry. What exactly that role is, is still somewhat to be determined,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, following the summit.

TSMC is considering building a second plant in Japan and is evaluating the possibility of a first in Europe, confirming an earlier Nikkei Asia report.

Japan is launching an ambitious program to bring back cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing, according to Foreign Policy. The initiatives are part of a broader strategy of greater “economic security” under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration.

India is said to be asking developing nations to commit to made-in-India semiconductor chips. “We are looking at this to ensure that the semiconductor chips that are manufactured in India have demand globally,” said a senior government official, noting the talks are at a “very initial and exploratory stage right now.”

PSMC will sign a cooperation agreement with India to assist in setting up factories and training engineers.

New technology

Samsung announced production readiness of a high-performance PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, the PM9C1a. Integrated with a new controller based on Samsung’s 5nm process and the company’s 7th-generation V-NAND technology, the SSD will elevate performance of PCs and laptops.

Intel and Nvidia have partnered to create an more energy-efficient server. Combining accelerated Nvidia Hopper systems with 4th Gen Intel Xeon scalable processors — including NVIDIA DGX H100 and 60+ systems from Nvidia partner aims to boost efficiency by 25x relative to traditional data center servers.

Intel uncorked its Xeon CPU Max Series, the only x86-based processor with high-bandwidth memory (HBM, and the Intel Data Center GPU Max Series). It contains more than 100 billion transistors and up to 128 Xe cores in a single package.

Test and analytics

PDF Solutions and proteanTecs announced a collaboration that combines their respective semiconductor analytics solutions. The partnership includes PDF Solutions’ Exensio data Analytics platform, advanced AI/ML models and DEX data exchange network with proteanTecs’ telemetry agents (chip sensors) with cloud/edge analytics based on machine learning. “Our offerings are very complementary,” said Uzi Baruch, chief strategy officer at proteanTecs. “We intend to collaborate together, targeting data center and automotive customers, offering combined solutions. Many of the leading semiconductor companies rely on PDF Solutions for their semiconductor big data analytics. With PDF Solutions’ advanced analytics, and proteanTecs’ silicon-proven deep data solutions, we can enable visibility into the device performance and software operations throughout its lifecycle.”

Read about screening for silent data errors using targeted electrical tests, and new metrology options at future process nodes, in the latest Test, Measurement & Analytics newsletter.

Market Research

Counterpoint Technology Market Research expects revenue for the foundry industry to drop 5% to 7% year over year in 2023, according to the Wall Street Journal. But despite a declining first quarter, TSMC still forecasts its full-year revenue will beat 2022 levels.

Meanwhile, the market for display driver ICs (DDIs) is in a better state in 1Q23, according to TrendForce. To effectively meet the demand for 2H23, DDI suppliers will need to finish arranging orders with their foundry partners by the end of 1Q23. TrendForce also reports that QoQ decline in DRAM ASP will moderate to around 13% to 18% for 1Q23.


Arizona State University has become the first school in the United States to offer three degrees in manufacturing engineering — a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and a newly launched doctoral degree.

MIT researchers and their collaborators demonstrated a hundredfold increase in light emissions from a type of electron-photon coupling, which is key to electron microscopes and other technologies. While most technologies are restricted to very specific ranges, this version is completely tunable. “Simply by changing the velocity of the electrons, you can change the emission frequency,” said paper co-author Charles Roques-Carmes.

Further Reading

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

Upcoming events:

  • IPC 2023, Jan. 21-26 (San Diego, 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)
  • SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning, Feb. 26 – March 2 (San Jose, CA)

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