Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

More export controls; climate consortium; lithium fever in Salton Sea; ASE’s chip-first fan-out; Micron’s 1-beta DRAM; Japan’s EV batteries; 300mm red GaN microLEDs.


Nikkei Asia reports the U.S. is urging allies, including Japan, to restrict exports of advanced semiconductors and related technology to China. The U.S. holds 12% of the global semiconductor market, Japan has a 15% share, while Taiwan and South Korea each have about a 20% share. Some U.S. companies have called for other countries to adopt U.S.-style export curbs, arguing it is unfair for only American companies to lose out on Chinese business.

DuPont terminated its $5.2 billion acquisition of Rogers, a U.S. electronic materials maker, likely because of protracted delays in securing regulatory approval from China. The move raises concerns that more transactions may be thwarted due to geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China.

The German government plans to approve the purchase of Germany’s Elmos chipmaking operation by Silex, a Swedish company that is a subsidiary of Chinese group Sai Microelectronics.

Canada ordered three Chinese companies to divest their shares from domestic companies involved in extracting critical minerals, such as cobalt, lithium and nickel, citing national security concerns.

Some Chinese semiconductor makers reportedly contacted the United States embassy in Beijing after they were put on a trade watch list of the U.S. Commerce Department last month. Companies also are offering salary enticements to lure talent from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore, in light of restrictions on U.S. persons working for Chinese firms.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has installed the first phase of its new Crossroads supercomputer. In other exascale news, Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore announced a project to investigate the application of Cerebras Systems’ Wafer-Scale Engine technology to next-generation AI computing applications. The engine powers the fastest AI supercomputer, the Cerebras Cs-2, which utilizes 850,000 AI cores. The three-lab program aims to accelerate advanced simulation and computing applications to improve the maintenance and monitoring of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

SEMI announced the 65 founding members of the Semiconductor Climate Consortium, which aims to accelerate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across the semiconductor value chain. The members include Samsung Electronics, AMD, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Advantest, ASE, KLA, Lam Research, TEL, Brewer Science, GlobalWafers, and JSR.

California’s Salton Sea is the site of a new gold rush, only this time they’re searching for lithium.


ASE announced the industry’s first Fan-Out Chip on Substrate Chip First (FOCoS-CF) with encapsulant-separated redistribution layer (RDL), which addresses some of the die placement and design rule related issues seen with traditional reconstituted wafer processing. Together with its Chip Last family (FOCoS-CL), the packages improve performance in HPC for AI and networking applications. The chip first approach enables improved chip-to-package interaction, improved high frequency signal integrity, and reduced mechanical stress risk over the chip edge at RDL. Both approaches are part of the VIPack platform.

Micron is shipping qualification samples of its 1β (1-beta) DRAM technology to select smartphone manufacturers and chipset partners and has achieved mass production readiness with its most advanced DRAM technology. Its low-power double data rate 5X (LPDDR5X) mobile memory device delivers top speed grades of 8.5 gigabits per second. Also, Boise television station KTVB has a detailed look at Micron’s expansion plans, including schematics, based on its zoning application. Among the new details is a 4.85 million-square-foot four-story fab in Boise, Idaho. Micron will save nearly $284 million under a proposed 49-year property tax deal with New York State’s Onondaga County for its planned $100 billion computer chip plant.

China’s BOE Technology Group will invest 29 billion yuan ($4 billion) in a 600,000-square-meter factory in Beijing, with an eye toward expanding into miniLED displays manufactured on panels for virtual reality (VR) headsets.

The SkyWater and BRIDG not-for-profit, public-private-partnership, completed phase one of its DoD-funded Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) technology development program. Through this program with BRIDG and imec, SkyWater has developed a baseline fabrication flow for silicon bridge interposers.

Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, talks about increased pattern density on chips, and why printing Manhattan shapes on a photomask is no longer sufficient and requires curvilinear masks.

GS Yuasa will enter the market for electric-vehicle batteries as early as next year, shifting focus from hybrids to fully electric models.

MICLEDI Microdisplays  demonstrated a bright 630nm wavelength red GaN microLED with full-width-half-max (FWHM) in the range of 50nm. The bright red emitter joins the company’s green and blue microLEDs optimized for 300mm wafer line production.

KLA announced that its Board of Directors appointed Robert Calderoni as chair, effective immediately. With more than 30 years’ experience in executive roles in technology, Calderoni formerly served as interim president and CEO of Citrix Systems, CEO of Ariba, president of SAP AG’s cloud business, and CFO of Avery Dennison, with prior roles at Apple and IBM.


Siemens Digital Industries Software added scalable, on-demand, high performance simulation capabilities to Siemens Xcelerator as a Service (XaaS) with the launch of Simcenter Cloud HPC software. As part of the ongoing collaboration between Siemens and Amazon Web Services (AWS), the new service is hosted on AWS, optimized for Simcenter solver technologies, and managed by Siemens.

Renesas introduced a new ASIL b PMIC for automotive camera applications.

Cleaning is critical to yield and reliability, but cleaning what you can’t see requires new approaches, materials, and equipment.


Global semiconductor sales for the month of September 2022 were down 0.5% compared to August 2022, and 3.0% lower than in September 2021, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization. Worldwide sales of semiconductors totaled $141 billion during the third quarter of 2022, a 6.3% drop from Q2 2022.

Worldwide silicon wafer shipments reached a new record of 3,741 million square inches (MSI) in the third quarter of 2022, increasing 1.0% quarter-over-quarter and growing 2.5% from the 3,649 MSI recorded during the same quarter last year, SEMI reported.

Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.7% to total $591.8 billion in 2023, up from $490.3 billion in 2022, according to Gartner. This would exceed the 18.8% forecasted growth for 2022.

A research team led by Aalto University has demonstrated a spectrometer that fits on a microchip.

Princeton University and five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have joined in a research collaboration. Princeton and Howard are using computational modeling to optimize microchannel heat sink designs. The Princeton and Jackson State project examines the dielectric performance of polymer nanocomposite heterostructures for high energy storage capacitors.

A group of researchers at MIT is urging more caution when interpreting neural network models. In an analysis of more than 11,000 neural networks that were trained to simulate the function of grid cells — key components of the brain’s navigation system — the researchers found that neural networks only produced grid-cell-like activity when they were given very specific constraints that are not found in biological systems.

Further reading

Check out our Test, Measurement & Analytics and Manufacturing, Packaging, & Materials newsletters for these highlights and more:

Upcoming events:

  • MNC 2022, 35th International Microprocesses and Nanotechnology Conference, Nov. 8-11 (Tokushima, Japan)
  • International Supercomputing Conference SC22, Nov. 12-18 (Dallas, TX)
  • Electronica 2022, Nov. 15-18 (Munich, Germany)
  • Semicon Europa, Nov. 15-18 (Munich, Germany)
  • Materials Research Society, Nov. 27-Dec. 2 (Boston, MA)
  • Nepcon South China, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 (Shanghai, China)
  • IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, Dec. 3-7 (San Francisco, CA)
  • First Annual Chiplet Summit, Jan. 24-26, 2023 (San Jose, CA)

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