Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

S. Korea slashes chip production; Japan restricts equipment exports; China’s security probe of Micron; Samsung and AMD extend IP license; Fraunhofer inspection technology spinoff; NIST reopens NanoFab doors; meminductors.


South Korea slashed chip production in February by 17.7% compared to the previous month — 41.8% year-over-year, and the sharpest drop since 2008 — according to figures from South Korea’s National Statistics Office. Inventories were up 33.5%, while exports dropped by 41.6%.

China launched a security probe into U.S. memory chipmaker Micron in apparent retaliation for U.S. restrictions on chipmaking equipment sales to China.

Japan announced it will restrict exports of 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in support of the U.S. trade policy limiting equipment sales to China. Japan did not specifically mention China, but said it will require export permissions for all regions, reports Reuters.

Kyocera has acquired 37 acres for a new smart factory at the Minami Isahaya Industrial Park in Isahaya City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Kyocera will invest approximately $466 million in the facility, which is expected to begin production in 2026 of fine ceramic components used in semiconductor-related applications as well as semiconductor packages.

Samsung Electronics and AMD signed a new multi-year IP licensing agreement extension to bring multiple generations of AMD Radeon graphics solutions to an expanded portfolio of Samsung Exynos SoCs.

Nova published its first Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Insight Review, detailing the company’s ESG strategy and its principles. “We are working towards embedding ESG principles into our operating model, business management and decision-making processes,” said Gaby Waisman, president and CEO. The review reflects a strategic process outcome that identified the significant ESG topics for Nova and sets clear goals and milestones for the next few years.

JCET Group likewise released its 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report (ESG report), providing comprehensive details of the practices of JCET’s adherence to the international and professional management concept of continuously creating value through good corporate governance.

DIVE Imaging Systems GmbH is a new inspection system company created by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS (Fraunhofer IWS), reports Photonics.com. The scientists formed DIVE to roll out a high-performance, highly flexible inspection system that features integrated hyperspectral sensor technology, AI, and special illumination techniques. The system uses a hyperspectral camera that can distinguish up to 1,000 wavelengths of light.


Infineon changed the name of its Industrial Power Control (IPC) Division to Green Industrial Power (GIP) to better represent its position with the decarbonization and digitalization trends that are key growth drivers for the business. Already well known for its power semiconductors for electric motors in the EV market, this shift will help it achieve growth in renewable energies, energy grid expansion, and charging infrastructure.

Diodes Inc. announced a new SiC MOSFET for higher efficiency and power density for applications such as industrial motor drives, solar inverters, data center and telecom power supplies, DC-DC converters, and EV battery chargers.

Denso Corp. developed its first inverter with SiC semiconductors, which significantly reduce power loss compared to silicon power semiconductors.


NIST is reopening its NanoFab to universities, researchers and industry, beginning May 15, following the easing of Covid restrictions at the federal research institution.

Researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University identified a new circuit element known as a meminductor. Resistors, capacitors, and inductors have been around for many years — the earliest capacitors date back to the 1740s, the first inductor to 1831, and the first resistor to 1959 — but memristors and the memcapacitors only have been around for 15 years. These newer circuit elements are known as the mem- versions of their classical counterparts, and their current and voltage properties are dependent on previous values of current or voltage in time, like a memory.

GlobalFoundries and the Georgia Institute of Technology announced a new partnership to expand collaboration on semiconductor research, education, talent, and workforce development.

Further reading

See our Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials newsletter for these feature articles:

  • Tech Forecast: Fab Processes To Watch Through 2040
  • Getting Smarter About Tool Maintenance
  • New Challenges Emerge With High-NA EUV

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:

  • User2User 2023: Electronic design community to share their real-world experiences using Siemens EDA tools, April 13 (Santa Clara, CA)
  • Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference, Apr. 17 – 19 (Antwerp, Belgium)
  • 2023 CMC Conference: Critical Materials Council, Apr. 18 – 20 (Austin, TX)

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