Week In Review: Semiconductor Manufacturing, Test

Intel Foundry chief to step down; European Chips Act, Chinese plans; Netherlands in talks with U.S. about export restrictions; Cadence-UMC mmWave reference flow; Advantest debuts DR-SEM.


With the European Council’s adoption of its negotiating mandate for the European Chips Act, member states and the Czech Presidency of the Council have reached a critical milestone in supporting Europe’s efforts to advance manufacturing and supply of critical components, while bolstering R&D capacities for development of next-generation semiconductor innovations, according to SEMI.

China has enlisted tech giants Alibaba and Tencent to aid its efforts in designing semiconductor chips, according to the Financial Times. The Chinese government has set up a consortium of companies and research institutes, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to create new chip intellectual property.

A meeting of the Asia Pacific Group sub-section of the Trilateral Commission provided insight into the greater regional response to U.S. export controls, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.

The New York Times ran a profile of U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. The department is expected to lead the work of reviewing and approving CHIPS grants, with any award of more than $3B requiring approval by President Biden. The Times called her “the most important phone call in Washington that many chief executives can make.”

Randhir Thakur, senior vice president and president of Intel Foundry Services, will leave the company at the end of Q1 2023, according to numerous reports.

Foxconn is enticing workers to return as Apple faces a supply crunch. Workers have been protesting pay delays and Covid lockdowns.

The Netherlands is in talks with the U.S. government about export restrictions for semiconductor equipment to China. ASML has not held licenses to ship to China since 2018.

Canada launched its Indo-Pacific strategy this week, saying it would tighten foreign investment rules to protect intellectual property and prevent Chinese state-owned enterprises from snapping up critical mineral supplies.

Routing around U.S. Sanctions, Huawei is building a new manufacturing supply chain across China, from Beijing to its home base of Shenzhen, according to Nikkei Asia.

The parent firm of Russia’s Yandex wants to cut ties with the country to shield its new businesses from the fallout of the war in Ukraine, according to the New York Times.

Taiwan’s economy ministry proposed a 25% tax break for technology R&D, seeking measures to retain its leading position in semiconductor manufacturing.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is offering a webinar on Dec. 6 on how to improve export controls enforcement using data science and AI.


Cadence and UMC announced that customers are adopting their certified mmWave reference flow. Mutual customer Gear Radio Electronics successfully taped out a low noise amplifier IC on the first pass, leveraging UMC’s 28HPC+ process technology and the Cadence RF solution.

The Samsung Foundry Forum and the Samsung Memory Tech Day are now available on demand.

OpenLight today announced the general availability of its process design kit (PDK). The OpenLight PDK is ready to be used with the Synopsys photonic IC design solution, and includes indium phosphide active optical elements on-chip that can be directly used by Synopsys OptoCompiler and simulated with the Synopsys OptSim photonic simulator.


The General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM), at its 27th meeting, created new system of units (SI) designations to express the world’s largest and smallest measurements. The standard designations particularly apply to data densities, expanding from yottobytes (1024 B) to RB, ronnabytes (1027 B) and QB, quettabytes (1030 B).

Fig. 1: New SI designations. Source: CGPM


Advantest made several recent announcements including:

Market Research

The SIA and the Boston Consulting Group published a free report entitled, The Growing Challenge of Semiconductor Design Leadership, which identifies key challenges and opportunities for the U.S. semiconductor design sector. The report calls for an investment tax credit for design to complement the tax credit for manufacturing provided by the CHIPS and Science Act.

Global semiconductor equipment billings rose 9% from the Q2 to Q3 of 2022, and 7% year-over-year to US$28.75 billion, according to SEMI’s Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Statistics (WWSEMS) Report. “Semiconductor equipment revenue growth in the third quarter remained in line with positive forecasts for 2022,” said Ajit Manocha, SEMI president and CEO. “The 9% quarter-over-quarter increase in equipment spending for Q3 reflects the semiconductor industry’s determination to bolster fab capacity to support long-term growth and technology innovation.”

Techcet announced that total deposition material revenues, including sputtering targets, ALD/CVD precursors, and metal chemicals, will approach US$3.9 billion in 2022 and over US$4.1 billion in 2023. Metal plating alone is expected to grow from US$1.1B in 2022 to $1.3B by 2026. Growth drivers include increased use of advanced packaging with RDL and copper pillars as well as multilayer BEOL metalization in logic, buried power rails and backside copper distribution. Techcet forecasts a slight slowing in the market for 2023, but overall strong market growth through 2026.


Arizona State University will be working with higher education institutions in Mexico, along with industry partners, to boost the production of semiconductors in North America. The CHIPS and Science act includes $500 million for international cooperation.

Purdue University and GlobalFoundries announced a new strategic partnership to strengthen and expand collaboration on semiconductor research and education.

A Nature paper describes how vanadium dioxide glass could be used to store memory. Manipulation of structural—rather than electronic—states could provide a path to ultrascaled low-power functional devices, but the electrical control of such states is challenging, according to the authors.

Further reading

Check out our Test, Measurement & Analytics Newsletter for these highlights and more:

Read a special report on semiconductor investments, as well as imec’s prospects for microfluidics, in our Manufacturing, Packaging & Materials newsletter:

Upcoming events:

        • IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, Dec. 3-7 (San Francisco, CA)
        • Ansys IDEAS Digitial Forum, Dec. 6 (virtual)
        • NeurlPS, Nov. 29-Dec. 9 (New Orleans/Hybrid)
        • RISC-V Summit, Dec. 13-14 (San Jose)
        • Semicon Japan, Dec. 14-16 (Tokyo)
        • Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS 2023), Jan. 8-11, 2023 (Half Moon Bay, CA)
        • First Annual Chiplet Summit, Jan. 24-26, 2023 (San Jose, CA)

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