Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

China’s gallium, germanium export restrictions take effect; Building Chips in America Act progresses; Intel, Analog Devices expansion in Oregon; PFAS-less surfactants; 3D-ICs; PUFs; antiferromagnets.


China’s restrictions on the export gallium and germanium took effect this week. Any Chinese company exporting gallium or germanium that could be used in military and civil applications (dual-use) must obtain a license from China’s Ministry of Commerce. China produces 60% of the worldwide supply of germanium and 80% of the world’s gallium, both of which have to be processed from other material.

As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the U.S. Senate passed the Building Chips in America Act with the Kelly Amendment, which streamlines federal reviews for chip manufacturing projects. The Semiconductor Industry Association applauded the legislation, “The Building Chips in America Act will help ensure these new facilities get up and running in an expeditious and environmentally responsible way, which will help maximize the CHIPS Act’s positive impact on America’s economic and national security.” It is now up to House and Senate negotiators hammer out the final NDAA passage, at which point they may or may not keep the amendment.

Foundries are working much more closely with EDA companies to reduce guard-banding through better tooling, increasingly through the application of AI/ML and much more detailed simulation, in addition to tighter integration of those tools with new process technology. The result has been a scramble among different groups to lobby for whatever margin is available in the design-through-manufacturing flow.

Fabs, OSATs

Analog Devices Inc. is investing $1 billion to expand its semiconductor wafer fab in Beaverton, Oregon, including increasing the cleanroom space to 118,000 sq-ft and manufacturing efficiency of products on its 180-nm process to almost double the output.  A new workforce training center — the Semiconductor Advanced Manufacturing University (SAMU) — will be located at the facility. SAMU will train groups of 25 students on semiconductor equipment maintenance in eight-week courses. ADI’s fab in Beaverton started in 1978 and is part of Washington County’s Silicon Forest.

Intel may also be planning an expansion at its Hillsboro fab, based on documents Intel filled with Oregon’s air quality board. Oregon’s Gov. Tina Kotek said she would give $90 million from Oregon’s Chips Act fund to Intel next month.

Infineon will build the world’s largest 200mm SiC fab in Kulim, Malaysia, to support accelerating global growth in automotive and industrial applications such as solar, energy storage, and high-power EV charging. The company will invest an additional €5 billion euros (~$5.5B) in Kulim during a second construction phase for Module Three.

TSMC held an inauguration event for its global R&D center, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where TSMC will house its R&D organization, which develops TSMC’s leading-edge process technology. The center will be ready for its 7,000 staff in September 2023.

Bosch opened a new semiconductor test center for chips and sensors in Penang, Malaysia. The test center has more than 18,000 square meters of clean rooms, office space, and R&D labs.


Foxconn will invest $600 million in India for iPhone components manufacturing in Karnataka state. Foxconn will also work with Applied Materials in Karnataka state to develop chip-making tools.

Draper joined the Intel Foundry Services (IFS) U.S. Military, Aerospace and Government (USMAG) Alliance.

Some of the startups in semiconductor manufacturing and equipment that announced funding in July were China’s Joysingtech Semiconductor, Aerotech, Using.AI, XIVI Technology, and Demark Precision Technology. From around the world, o9 Solutions (U.S.), CADDi (Japan), Motion G (Singapore), Saltworks Technologies (Canada), and FononTech (Netherlands).


Advantest added independent thermal control (ITC) device interface boards (DIBs) and engineering thermal chamber (ETC) to its MPT3000 solid-state drive (SSD) test platform.

DIC Corporation has developed environment-friendly surfactants that perform as well as conventional fluorosurfactants. The MEGAFACE EFS series does not contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).

The entire supply chain, from chipmakers to infrastructure providers, will need to work together to avoid fragmentation in the 6G technology market. The momentum behind 6G is strong. While the technology provides many benefits, the hurdles of successful deployment cannot be ignored.

Market Reports

TECHCET is forecasting that the photoresist market will rise in 2024, growing 7% to total US$2.57 billion. The market will continue to grow at 5-year CAGR of 4.1% (2022 – 2027). EUV and KrF are the fastest growing market segments.


Teams from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and imec argue that the clustering method used for 3D-ICs partitioning deserves careful consideration. The team implemented three clustering methods and found that “a circuit-blind, universal partitioning method is not the way to go.”

Chemnitz University of Technology, University of Passau, Technical University of Darmstadt, and Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS) explore using a unique physical unclonable function (PUF) based on the stochastic assembly of single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) integrated within a wafer-level technology. The PUF is robust enough to be used at a range of temperatures, including room temperature, and had a low number of unstable bits. It holds promise for lightweight and simple error correction.

Researchers from Argonne and other U.S. national laboratories and universities have collaborated to observe the motion of antiferromagnets, using ultrafast diffraction and microscopy techniques. The teams could directly visualize the spin-driven rotation at the nanoscale. The hope is that being able to control the motion may lead to nanodevices with precision motor control.

The Korean Society of Superconductivity and Cryogenics (KSSC) invalidated the results of a company’s claim for a room temperature superconductor. The Quantum Energy Research Centre was claiming it created a superconductor from lead, copper, phosphorus, and oxygen. The company also used other tech company names as supporters on its website without their permission. The website is now down.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a superconducting diode that acts a switch to more efficiently move current through electronic devices.


  • SPIE Optics + Photonics 2023, Aug 20 – 24 (San Diego, CA)
  • Hot Chips 2023, Aug 27 – 29 (Hybrid/Stanford University)
  • NVMTS 2023: Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium, Aug 30 – Sept 1 (Leuven, Belgium)
  • Strategic Materials Conference (SMC 2023), Oct 20 – 24 (San Jose, CA)
  • Semicon Taiwan Sept 6 – 8 (Taipei, Taiwan)

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