Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

Chip sales to rebound in Q3; EUV in Japan; new fab investments; Micron adopts EUV; Infineon takes over AIMS5.0; democratization of silicon tech.


TECHCET is forecasting semiconductor precursor revenues, both for high-ƙ metal dielectrics and low-ƙ dielectrics, will increase in the second half of 2023, rebounding from the current zero percent growth rate. Wafer start volumes are expected to rebound in 2024 with expansions in 2nm and 3nm logic devices.

SEMI also predicts the global slump in semiconductor sales will end this quarter, giving way to a gradual recovery in Q3. The report indicates quarter-over-quarter improvements, but elevated inventories will continue to dampen silicon shipments and fab utilization rates will remain significantly lower than levels registered last year. In addition, semiconductor equipment sales continue to decline in parallel with chipmakers’ capital expenditure adjustments.

Samsung will build a new $222 million facility in Japan for the development of a prototype chip, reports Nikkei Asia. The new fab will be constructed near its existing research and development site in Yokohama, and may be eligible for Japanese subsidies of up to $72 million.

Micron announced it will invest up to ¥500 billion ($3.6 billion) in EUV lithography development for its Hiroshima fab — the first facility in Japan to use EUV — where it will fabricate its next generation DRAM, the 1-gamma (1γ) chip. The company plans to begin EUV processing in 2025 in Taiwan and Japan.

Kyocera announced plans to spend $2.9 billion on new production facilities and investments to support the production of cutting-edge artificial intelligence semiconductors, according to Nikkei Asia.

On Semiconductor is considering investing $2 billion to boost production of SiC devices to help extend the range of electric vehicles, Reuters reported. The chipmaker is considering the expansion in either the U.S., the Czech Republic, or Korea.

The European Chips Act Commission launched a pilot system to monitor the semiconductor supply chain and allow stakeholders to raise awareness of any critical disruption. The goal is to gather information needed to establish a precise assessment of risks and quickly react to any potential crisis situation via the European Semiconductor Expert Group.

Morris Tanenbaum, inventor of one of the first silicon transistors, has died at age 94.


The United Kingdom and Japan signed a semiconductor partnership accord at the G7 global summit to improve domestic production of semiconductors in both countries, pledging to exchange skills and pursue new developments, reports the Guardian.

KLA and imec signed an MOU to establish the Semiconductor Talent and Automotive Research (STAR) initiative, focused on developing the talent and infrastructure necessary to connect automotive, semiconductor, and innovation research initiatives in Europe (Belgium), the United States (Michigan) and Asia (Japan).

On Semiconductor signed an MOU to establish the onsemi Silicon Carbide Crystal Center (SiC3) at Penn State’s Materials Research Institute (MRI). It will focus on boosting efficiency in EVs, EV charging, and energy infrastructure. Onsemi will fund the center with $800k per year over the next 10 years.


Samsung announced development of the industry’s first 128-gigabyte (GB) DRAM to support Compute Express Link (CXL) 2.0, expected to accelerate commercialization of higher-speed, next-generation memory solutions. Samsung also announced that it started mass producing 16-gigabit (Gb) DDR5 DRAM, which uses 12nm process technology.

proteanTecs announced the company’s die-to-die interconnect monitoring agents passed the pre-silicon IP assessment stage in the TSMC9000 quality program.

NXP Semiconductors announced a collaboration with TSMC to deliver the industry’s first automotive embedded magnetic RAM (MRAM) using 16 nm finFET technology.

Advantest and other members of the Research Association for Advanced Systems launched an advanced semiconductor design platform R&D project that aims to democratize access to silicon technology by enabling anyone to quickly design a dedicated chip and manufacture it with leading-edge semiconductor technology.


Infineon is taking over coordination of the wide-scope European research project AIMS5.0 (Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Leading to Sustainability and Industry 5.0), focused on improving resource consumption, quality, and resilience in manufacturing, optimizing the supply chain and reducing time-to-market. With 70 million euros in funding, AIMS5.0 is one of Europe’s major research projects.

Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have developed an innovative new atomic force microscope (AFM) that is more compact, simpler, and cheaper than existing technologies with equal precision. Unlike traditional AFMs that use complex and compute intensive processing, scientists built an integrated circuit directly into the tip of the AFM to process the signal before it is sent to the servers, reducing cost, complexity, and time.

Further reading

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

  • Etch Processes Push Toward Higher Selectivity, Cost Control
  • Challenges Grow for Creating Smaller Bumps for Flip Chips
  • Managing Yield with EUV Lithography and Stochastics

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

  • How Metrology Tool Stack Up to 3D NAND Devices
  • Pinpointing Timing Delays Can Improve Chip Reliability
  • 3D Structures Change Wire Bond Inspection
  • Optimizing Scan Test for Complex ICs

Upcoming events in the chip industry:

  • European Test Symposium 2023, May 22 – 26 (Venice, Italy)
  • Semicon Southeast Asia, May 23 — 25 (Penang, Malaysia)
  • ECTC (Electronic Components and Technology Conference), May 30 – June 2 (Orlando, FL)
  • European Mask and Lithography Conference, June 19 — 21 (Dresden, Germany)
  • Design Automation Conference, July 9 – 13 (San Francisco, CA)
  • Semicon West, July 11 – 13 (San Francisco, CA)

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