In the News

Kulicke & Soffa Expands Operation in China

WILLOW GROVE, PA – Kulicke & Soffa Industries, Inc., a supplier of semiconductor wire bonding assembly equipment, recently announced the expansion of its Suzhou, China plant; increasing manufacturing capabilities to produce both dicing hub blades and test sockets in addition to its existing capillary and cantilever probe card product lines. The facility has dedicated over 20,000 sq. ft., and K&S has invested nearly $8 million U.S. in new equipment and technology to make both of these China manufacturing lines state-of-the-art in unit output and quality.

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Citing a need to be closer to their growing test socket customer base in Asia, Oded Lendner, senior VP, Package Test Business Unit, says expansion allows this company to exceed the growing local demand in China and the Pacific Rim. This new,“full-line” manufacturing capability will now be the largest K&S facility of all its test socket manufacturing sites.

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The facility will have over 1,000 employees, with room to grow. Additionally, K&S China plans to increase technical application capabilities and engineering expertise to further support the local Chinese semiconductor market growth.

Companies Collaborate to Develop Test Programs in Taiwan Application Engineering Center

SAN JOSE, CA – Electroglas Inc. and Teradyne, Inc. have joined forces to provide an integrated solution for developing test procedures with proven correlation for SoC devices by installing an Electroglas EG6000 300-mm wafer prober in Teradyne’s Application Engineering Center in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

The EG6000 is a 300-mm production wafer prober, designed for high-volume manufacturing, which uses precision direct-drive technology to achieve high accuracy for testing delicate SoC device technologies effectively.

“The aim of this integration and the involvement at the Teradyne engineering center is to give customers the opportunity to evaluate the product and develop their test processes in a safe, cost-effective way,” said Ying Shiau, senior VP of Asia Sales, Electroglas. “We are pleased to be a part of this effort, demonstrating the benefits to customers of expert companies working together to overcome the challenges found in semiconductor test.”

PennWell Acquires Small Times Magazine

TULSA, OK – PennWell Corporation announces the acquisition of Small Times magazine, a business publication covering fast-emerging nanotechnology, MEMS, and microsystems markets; rounding out the publications of the Advanced Technology Division, headquartered in Nashua, NH.

“The addition of Small Times magazine brings yet another leading technology and applications publication to PennWell’s portfolio of prominent technology and energy magazines, such as Laser Focus World, Lightwave, and Oil & Gas Journal,” said Robert F. Biolchini, PennWell president and CEO.

“We have been covering nanotechnology in many different application areas, but Small Times offers an established publication focusing exclusively on this evolving technology across multiple applications.” said Dave Janoff, senior VP of the Communications & Optoelectronics Group. Janoff will oversee the Small Times team. Patti Glaza, CEO of Small Times, will join PennWell as VP and Group Publisher.

From biotech and defense to telecom and energy, Small Times addresses key issues in the industry’s development, along with market intelligence. Founded in 2001, the publication is published nine times annually for a circulation of 28,000. The acquisition also includes the magazine’s associated trade conference and exhibition, NanoCommerce; the magazine’s website,; newsletters; and research services.

Editor-in-Chief, Candace Stuart, may be reached by e-mailing [email protected].

Carsem Appoints New GM

SCOTTS VALLEY, CA – Carsem, a provider of turnkey packaging and test services to the semiconductor industry, announced the appointment of M.H. Toh as general manager of the Carsem S-Site factory. Prior to joining Carsem, Toh was the assembly operations director for National Semiconductor in Melaka, Malaysia and has an extensive background in assembly and test operations.  

“I am pleased to join the Carsem team and look forward to helping with the company’s continued success as one of the world leaders in contract assembly and test services,” stated Toh. He fills the position vacated by Alex Khor, who retired in June this year.

IMAPS Synopsis

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Projected industry growth, offshore migration of manufacturing, challenges caused by rapid developments in technology, and advances in nanotechnology dominated industry discussion at the 2005 International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (IMAPS) symposium and exhibition in Philadelphia.

Offering his viewpoint on the changing world for semiconductor assembly was keynote speaker C. Scott Kulicke, CEO and president of Kulicke and Soffa Industries. Kulicke’s predictions included a shift to application-specific packages. He stressed the importance of communication within the industry’s infrastructure for companies to succeed.

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Discussions surrounding the migration offshore focused on lower labor costs and high level of education available outside of the United States. Research by Prismark Partners indicates that China graduated more than 200,000 engineers last year, while U.S. engineering graduate numbers were much lower.

Bill McLean of IC Insights was confident the industry is on an upward trend, citing the cell phone industry as an area of tremendous growth. Aatish Salvi of NanoBusiness predicted nanotechnology would make its initial mark in the memory-packaging sector.

The microelectronics industry faces challenging times as it becomes less regional and more global. During his acceptance speech, Dr. Peter Barnwell, recipient of IMAPS’ Daniel C. Hughes Jr. Memorial Award, suggested these challenges are, in fact, opportunities. “We need to grasp them and not be frightened of them,” said Barnwell, adding that he was delighted IMAPS has become a global society – moving forward into the future.

Intermec and Symbol Settlement – Good News for RFID Industry

NATICK, MA – Symbol Technologies and Intermec Technologies, two competitors in the field of automatic identification & data capture (AIDC), have agreed to work together to settle all outstanding litigation, with RFID taking center stage.

Intermec and Symbol have been embroiled in litigation since June 2004, when Intermec filed a patent infringement suit against Matrix, an RFID systems developer later acquired by Symbol.

Under the recent agreement, RFID patent infringement claims between the two companies were dismissed. In addition, Symbol joined Intermec’s Rapid-Start Licensing Program, requiring them to pay royalties to Intermec for using Intermec’s RFID patents. In turn, Intermec will file for dismissal of its RFID lawsuit.

All RFID-related disputes are now considered resolved. The companies have agreed to put other legal battles on hold for 90 days while they try to reach compromises. Both entities are committed to resolving all IP issues.

The settlement is good news for the industry. Research conducted by Venture Development Corporation (VDC), an independent technology market research and strategy consulting firm, indicates that the question of IP ranks high among factors restraining adoption of RFID. The potential for litigation fostered uncertainty among vendors and users regarding whom and how much they would have to pay for the use of key RFID patents. With some of those concerns now seemingly resolved, both a real and psychological impediment to wider RFID adoption has been overcome.

Motorola Cuts 1900 Jobs Worldwide

SCHAUMSBURG, IL – Motorola Inc. has cut 1900 jobs in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., in an effort to improve operating efficiency. However, the company’s overall workforce will remain at about 68,000 since it added staff in marketing and engineering.

“This is about operating more efficiently and delighting our customers. It’s not about a significant change in head count,” noted Jennifer Weyrauch, spokeswoman for Motorola.

Among the affected sites are Motorola’s manufacturing plant in South Korea, which will become a design center, and a distribution and service center in Elgin, IL, which is being sold to Communications Test Design Inc. of West Chester, PA.

MEMS Tools Initiative Partnership

CARY, NC – Coventor Inc. and MEMS Exchange recently announced the formation of a strategic alliance to help researchers and companies identify and develop MEMS- and nanotechnology-based products.

MEMS Exchange provides foundry and consulting services. Its 54 individual foundries collectively offer implementation solutions for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), micro- and nanotechnologies. Coventor provides software tools for the development of MEMS, microfluidics, and semiconductor process applications.

This partnership improves the interaction of the MEMS Exchange design with the foundry services organization. MEMS Exchange now has access to Coventor’s suite of MEMS software products, simpifying the design, communication, and content exchange for all of its customers.


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