The Week In Review: Oct. 11

DRAM demand soars; IP madness; emulation; designed in India; Nano Utica; more Applied-TEL; MEMS award; solar installation.

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By Mark LaPedus & Ed Sperling
Demand is running high for DRAMs, thanks to last month’s fab fire at Hynix’ China plant. “The impact from Hynix’ fab fire seems to be far more extensive than we had originally thought. We now think the factory is most likely up at the earliest by May/June 2014, which certainly provides robust pricing support for DRAM. Hynix is in the process of converting some NAND capacity (at least 30-40K wafers/month) to DRAM to alleviate the loss in DRAM capacity, which bodes well for overall NAND pricing,” said Jagadish Iyer, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. “As we analyze the situation at Hynix, it is becoming increasingly more clear that full recovery of their damaged fab is likely to be more drawn-out than what we had originally thought and what most investors perceive. Our checks indicate that as much as up to 100 process tools have been impacted and the fab has likely suffered contamination, which needs to be addressed before mass production can even begin.”

Cadence introduced a new FastSPICE simulator, which improves throughput by up to 10 times. The company is positioning it for timing analysis on advanced-node, low-power mobile applications, integrating it with methodologies and PDKs. Cadence also rolled out new high-performance data converter IP for the 28nm process node. The company says the IP cores can be combined to form a complete analog front-end solution. And it introduced audio DSP IP from its Tensilica acquisition, with support for Dolby Digital Plus with DS1. The technology is aimed at devices with very small speakers. The company added an IP core for DTS neural surround, as well, which upmixes compressed video for cars and A/V receivers.

Despite a drop in global television unit demand in 2013, the semiconductor market for TVs is forecast to increase by an estimated 7% to $13.1 billion, according to IC Insights.

That adds perspective to Mentor Graphics‘ announcement of  emulation support and verification IP for HDMI 2.0, the new 4k ultra-high-definition connectivity spec for video and audio.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that six companies will invest $1.5 billion to create ‘Nano Utica,’ the state’s second major hub of nanotechnology research and development. The public-private partnership, to be spearheaded by the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY CNSE) and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), will create more than 1,000 new jobs on the campus of SUNYIT in Marcy. Research and development to be conducted includes chip packaging and lithography development.

ARM opened a new design center in Noida, India, focused on planar and finFET technology. This is the company’s second design center in India.  ARM also extended its partnership with Taiwan’s MediaTek, which is licensing Cortex A-50 processors and Mali GPUs.

Applied Materials recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire rival Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) in a stock deal valued at around $9.3 billion. Here’s a new presentation on the deal from Applied and TEL.

Benedetto Vigna, executive vice president and general manager of STMicroelectronics’ Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, is the recipient of the European SEMI Award 2013. The Award, which recognizes Vigna’s outstanding contribution to the “MEMS revolution,” was presented during the Semicon Europa Executive Summit in Dresden, Germany.

Fondation Énergies pour le Monde (Energy for the World Foundation), has just finished installing a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system from Soitec in southern Madagascar.

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers priced less than $100,000 will grow 49% in 2013 to reach a total of 56,507 units, according to Gartner.