The Week In Review: Manufacturing & Design

Slow PCs; DSA buy; Obama’s committee; hi-tech talk; tool downturn; Bacus recap; ATE shipments.


A new study reveals that a majority of Americans are making some costly miscalculations regarding the performance of their existing PCs. The survey reveals that Americans lack financial savvy when faced with slow computers.

Germany’s Merck KGaA, a pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company, announced an agreement with AZ Electronic Materials, under which Merck KGaA would acquire AZ. This would further expand Merck KGaA’s materials and specialty chemicals business. AZ sells electronic materials and is developing DSA technology. (Merck KGaA is not related to U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck.)

President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee “2.0,” part of a continuing effort to maintain U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness. The new Steering Committee includes Ajit Manocha, CEO of GlobalFoundries, and Mike Splinter, executive chairman of the board of Applied Materials.

Bob Halliday, chief financial officer of Applied Materials, gave a presentation at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference. He talked about Applied’s pending acquisition of TEL and other subjects.

SEMI projects that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment will fall 13.3% to $32 billion in 2013. In 2014, all regions except “rest of the world” are expected to have strong positive growth, resulting in a global increase of 23.2% in sales.

In a video, Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, recaps the hottest trends at Bacus, including breaking news, compelling papers, panel discussions, and highlights of the annual eBeam Initiative members meeting and survey results.

Soitec has reached high-volume manufacturing of its new Enhanced Signal Integrity (eSI) substrates, enabling cost-effective and high-performance radio-frequency (RF) devices.

Advantest has installed its T2000 tester at Toyota for evaluating and mass producing integrated power ICs used in next-generation hybrid cars. In addition, Advantest has entered a new market segment by selling a V93000 tester to Avago for use in testing optical transceiver devices.

Printing technology supplier DEK announced that ASM Pacific Technology entered into an agreement to acquire DEK.

SK Hynix and Micron Technology benefited the most from the strong memory market, propelling them both into the top five for the first time in the chip rankings in 2013, according to Gartner.

IDC offered the first of its annual predictions for the coming year in the IT industry. IDC’s predictions were influenced by the 3rd Platform, the industry’s emerging platform for growth and innovation built on the technology pillars of mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics, and social networking.

Toshiba has entered into an agreement with OCZ Technology Group to acquire substantially all the assets of OCZ Technology’s SSD business.

Look for a proxy fight at TriQuint. Starboard Value owns 7.9% of the outstanding common stock of TriQuint. In a letter to the chipmaker, Starboard reiterated its beliefs that the company is undervalued.

Fujitsu Semiconductor and Transphorm will integrate their gallium-nitride (GaN) power devices businesses. Fujitsu will take a minority equity position in Transphorm.

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