Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing & Test

U.S. export bans affecting expansion and investment plans; Texas Instruments to build new plant in Lehi, UT; Semiconductor CMP Ancillaries market sees growth; MIT researchers discover new way to control atomic nuclei as qubits


The Biden Administration’s export bans for semiconductor manufacturing equipment are delaying expansion plans for Chinese chipmakers, Nikkei Asia reports. Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) has halted work on its second memory plant near Wuhan, and ChangXin Memory Technologies (CMTX) says its second production facility, slated to open in 2023, will be delayed until 2024 or 2025.

In an effort to avoid similar disruptions to their manufacturing operations, Samsung and SK Hynix are lobbying for new waivers to the export restrictions, MSN reports. Samsung received a one-year exemption to the new export rules last October. This lobbying effort comes amid increasing international tensions related to China’s semiconductor manufacturing sector, with ASML this week reporting the theft of confidential technical information related to its advanced lithography equipment by an ex-employee in China, according to Bloomberg.

U.S. export controls are further impacting where international companies are focusing on future expansion and investments. Major American equipment suppliers, including Applied Materials, Lam Research, and KLA all have been relocating non-Chinese staff from China and increasing production capacity in Southeast Asian nations such as Singapore and Malaysia, reports Nikkei Asia. Intel is also looking to increase its investment in Vietnam for chip testing and packaging by $1 billion, according to Reuters. German President Steinmeier toured the Infineon fab in Kulim, Malaysia, to highlight Infineon’s €2 billion investment in a new facility to manufacture compound semiconductors.

Other companies are turning their investment attention to the U.S and EU nations, offering incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing. TSMC approved a capital injection of $3.5 billion in its TSMC Arizona subsidiary, as well as general capital appropriations of nearly $7 billion for fab construction and advanced technology upgrades company-wide.

In the U.K., semiconductor companies are threatening to move their operations overseas to take advantage of government funding support if the UK government fails to produce its own semiconductor manufacturing investment plan. The CHIPS Act, signed by President Biden last year, includes $52 billion in federal incentives for new semiconductor manufacturing.


A new strategic partnership between Amkor Technology and GlobalFoundries will provide test and assembly services at Amkor’s site in Porto, Portugal. GlobalFoundries will transfer its 300mm bump and sort lines from its Dresden plant to the Porto operations to create the first at-scale back-end facility in Europe. Both companies plan to collaborate on future projects in Portugal.

Startup microchip toolmaker Unisers raised $14 million, led by Intel Capital, to develop advanced defect-detection tools.


Texas Instruments chose Lehi, Utah for its $11 billion, 300mm wafer fab expansion. The new facility will be next to the company’s existing 300-millimeter plant. Once completed, the two facilities will operate as a single fab.

Infineon is beginning construction on its new fab in Dresden, Germany for analog/mixed signal technologies and power semiconductors. The 5 billion euro plant is expected to start production in 2026.

Japan’s chip venture Rapidus is considering the Hokkaido city of Chitose in Northern Japan for its first manufacturing facility, according to Reuters. Hokkaido governor Naomichi Suzuki visited the Rapidus headquarters on Thursday for discussions on building the facility in his prefecture. Japan has committed $525 million (¥70 billion) for the joint venture with Sony and NEC. Rapidus plans to begin mass production of advanced logic chips around 2027.

Intel released two new desktop workstation processors, the Xeon W-3400 and the Xeon W-2400, code named Saphire Rapids.

South Korean chip company Rebellions rolled out a new AI chip, according to Reuters.

Qorvo licensed Adeia’s hybrid bonding technology for its connectivity and power solutions.  

Arctic Semiconductor, formerly SiTune Corporation, announced the first shipments of its 5G RF silicon chipset, IceWings, for 5G wireless radios.

Nine new RF integrated passive devices are now available from STMicroelectronics. The devices combine antenna impedance-matching, balun, and harmonic-filter circuitry optimized for the company’s STM32WL wireless MCUs.

MediaTek released its 4nm chipset series, Dimensity 7000, optimized for photography and gaming applications in new 5G smartphone devices.

Market Research

The total RF front-end market is expected to reach about US$26.9 billion in 2028 with a CAGR of approximately 5.8%, according to a new RF annual report released by Yole Group.

The market for Semiconductor CMP Ancillaries (pad conditioners, CMP rings, filters, and brushes) will reach US$1.55 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 6%, according to a new critical materials analysis by TECHCET. The market is expected to decline slightly this year and return to growth in the second half of 2023.


SIA President John Neuffer sent a letter to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, encouraging the inclusion of full funding for research and workforce programs authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.

Advancements in graphene research continue to benefit semiconductor manufacturing. Carnegie Mellon University professor Sheng Shen has developed a mechanically flexible copper/graphene “sandwich” that reduces thermal resistance between an electronic chip and its cooling system by more than 90%.

Researchers at MIT say they have a new way to control atomic nuclei as qubits, which may extend stored information coherence from fractions of a second to several hours. The method uses beams of light from two slightly different colored lasers to flip the nuclear spin a certain way by matching the difference in laser frequencies to the transition frequencies of the nuclear spin.

Scientists at Penn State have developed a new method for creating 2D oxide materials aimed at high-speed electronic applications, reports Phys.org. The team used a technique called confinement hetroepitaxy, or CHet, to create 2D oxides just a few atoms thick to serve as an insulating layer between electrically conducting materials.

Further reading

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

Managing Thermal-Induced Stress In Chips
Heterogeneous integration and increasing density at advanced nodes are creating some complex and difficult challenges for IC manufacturing and packaging.

Devices And Transistors For The Next 75 Years
A panel of experts tackles the potential of 2D materials, 1,000-layer NAND, and new ways of recruiting talent.

2D Semiconductor Materials Creep Toward Manufacturing
TMDs improve electron mobility in very thin channels, but volume manufacturing remains challenging.

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

Hunting For Hardware-Related Errors In Data Centers
Why tracking defects is so difficult in the fab, and what’s being done to change that.

Bump Reliability Is Challenged By Latent Defects
Automated solutions are in the works, but they will take time to develop.

Ramping Up IC Predictive Maintenance
Data centers and automotive chips begin using on-die circuitry to predict silicon failures.

Upcoming events:

  • International Solid State Circuits Conference, Feb. 19-23 (San Francisco)
  • IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, Feb. 25 – March 1 (Montreal)
  • DVCON US 2023 (Design & Verification), Feb. 27 – March 2 (San Jose, CA)
  • SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning, Feb. 26 – March 2 (San Jose, CA)
  • SPIE: Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XL, Feb. 27 – March 1 (San Jose, CA)


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