Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

Samsung plans huge fab complex in Korea; new fab processes; revenues down at top-10 foundries; SiC market to grow 41% this year; new U.S. export restrictions; quantum chip operates at near-zero Kelvin; ‘magic solvent’ discovery creates stronger thin films.


Samsung announced plans to invest $230 billion (300 trillion won) over the next two decades to construct the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing complex in South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province, reports AP. The complex will consist of five new semiconductor plants producing memory and logic chips.

Chips will be the enabling engines, requiring massive investments in new technology, materials, and manufacturing processes, from the leading-nodes to mature processes that can be leveraged in new ways. But how to continue building them will require substantive changes across every manufacturing and packaging process.

At the halfway mark of its expansion project at its Gresham, OR facility, Microchip announced new plans to hire 300 new workers, build two new cleanrooms, and add 160 new tools over the next few years.

Mitsubishi Electric will construct a new, $700 million, 200mm manufacturing facility in the Shisui area of Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan in a bid to quintuple production of SiC power semiconductors for electric vehicles and other expanding markets.

Toppan, meanwhile, said it will open a new plant for transparent barrier films in the Czech Republic by the end of next year.

Total revenue of the top 10 foundries fell by 4.7% year-over-year for Q4 2022, and is expected to drop even further for Q1 of 2023, according to a new analysis by Trendforce.

The market for SiC power devices will grow 41% year-over-year to $2.28 billion says Trendforce.

The U.S. government briefed companies on a plan to further restrict chipmaking exports to China. The plan could double the number of machines requiring special export licenses, Bloomberg reports.

A new documentary series on the microelectronics industry will appear on PBS’ Roadtrip Nation in April. The new series, supported by the SEMI Foundation, follows three aspiring STEM graduates across the US as they explore how semiconductors shape the world around us. Watch it online here.


ASE announced its most advanced fan-out-package-on-package (FOPoP) solution that reduces electrical path length by 3X and enables bandwidth density by up to 8X to 6.4 Tbps.

JCET is strengthening its capability in multi-physics test platforms with a one-stop validation platform for the experimental validation of chips, packages, modules, and final products. The platform supports the coordinated development of products across the supply chain, helping companies that design, manufacture, package, and test IC’s achieve a closer level of cooperation.

ProteanTecs and BAE Systems are collaborating to enable a zero trust supply chain for defense and critical infrastructure applications that require stringent safeguards against counterfeit devices.

High numerical aperture EUV exposure systems are coming — as soon as 2025 by some estimates. Though certainly a less profound change than the introduction of extreme ultraviolet lithography, high-NA lithography still brings a new set of challenges for photoresists and related materials.

Chipmakers have begun to shift to predictive maintenance for process tools, but the hefty investment in analytics and engineering efforts means it will take some time for smart maintenance to become a widespread practice.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland spun out SemiQon. The startup is building a quantum processor chip made from silicon semiconductors. “Our technology allows us to fabricate quantum processors in a way that supports scaling up manufacturing efficiently while also lowering costs. The chips we manufacture also enable the quantum computer to operate at warmer temperatures – thus requiring only a fraction of the energy needed for alternative solutions,” said Himadri Majumdar, CEO of SemiQon.


Stronger thin films are now possible thanks to a new ‘magic-solvent’ developed by researchers at Cornell University. The new all-dry polymerization technique uses reactive vapors to create thin-films with enhanced properties, such as mechanical strength, kinetics, and morphology.

The University of South Florida is introducing a new fully online Semiconductor Technology and Manufacturing graduate certificate program. The program focuses on semiconductor materials and device physics, manufacturing/fabrication processes and ability to design semiconductor-based devices/circuit/systems.

Further reading

Our entire March Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials newsletter can be found here.

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

  • Metrology Strategies for 2nm Processes
  • Test Challenges Mount as Demands for Reliability Increase
  • Standards: The Next Step for Silicon Photonics

Upcoming events in the chip industry:

  • International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS), Mar. 26 – 30 (Monterey, CA)
  • International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD), Mar. 26 – 29 (online)
  • Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference, Apr. 17-19 (Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC), May 1-4 (Saratoga Springs, NY)

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