Tag Archives: letter-wafer-business

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Swedish silicon carbide (SiC) wafer manufacturer Norstel AB. After closing, ST will control the entire supply chain for a portion of its SiC devices at a time of constrained global capacity and positions itseIf for a significant growth opportunity.

ST will acquire 55% of Norstel’s share capital, with an option to acquire the remaining 45% subject to certain conditions, which, if exercised, will result in total consideration of $137.5 million, funded with available cash.

“ST is the only semiconductor company with automotive-grade silicon carbide in mass production today. We want to build on our strong momentum in SiC, both in volume and breadth of applications for industrial and automotive, targeting continued leadership in a market estimated at more than $3 billion in 2025,” said Jean-Marc Chery, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics. “The acquisition of a majority stake in Norstel is another step forward strengthening our silicon carbide ecosystem: it will boost our flexibility, improve yield and quality, and support our long-term silicon carbide roadmap and business.”

Norstel, headquartered in Norrkoping, Sweden, was founded in 2005 as a spinoff of Linköping University. It develops and manufactures advanced 150mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers.

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) today announced a number of technical updates leading to best-in-class 300mm silicon (Si) photonics-based multi-project wafer (MPW) performance for the Department of Defense-sponsored initiative led by SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly). Complementing these developments, AIM Photonics’ Si photonics process design kit (PDK) continues to advance, enabling industry-leading performance as a result of AIM Photonics’ library of both active and passive high-performance photonic components, as well as interfaces, schematics, and models for the development of optical modules and systems.

“AIM Photonics is proud to continue to provide the most advanced capabilities to this growing industry, which is critical to our national technological and economic strength. Our best-in-class MPW offerings are a testament to our deep bench of experts and collaborators who support our more than 100 signed partners and other interested collaborators,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO and SUNY Polytechnic Institute Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology. “Combined with our recent announcement that our Multi-Project Wafer processing time has decreased from 130 days in 2016 to fewer than 90 days, AIM Photonics remains focused on achieving impactful, world-class quality and repeatability to drive development and commercialization of the advanced technologies that will shape our world.”

AIM Photonics’ superior MPW performance is the result of new, ultra low-loss waveguides, featuring attenuation that is less than .25 and .10 dB/cm for 220nm silicon and 220nm silicon nitride (SiN), respectively, in addition to around 1dB/facet edge coupler for both transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) polarization. With only 90-day fabrication time for full actives to be processed on 300mm silicon on insulator (SOI) wafers, and using the same toolset that produces 14nm and smaller circuits, these capabilities also enable easy transfer to similar high-volume equipped foundries if needed.

The MPW also features fusion bonding of the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) and an active interposer to allow for the entire design area to be utilized for photonics or metal routing, in addition to lasers that can be soldered into pockets and deep trenches for coupling. As part of AIM Photonics’ MPW offering, its passive interposer also features a 100µm-thick Si substrate with a through-silicon-via (TSV) SiN waveguide with three front-side and one back-side metal wiring levels, in addition to pockets for laser and PIC chips, which can be flip chip soldered in deep trenches for edge or evanescent fiber coupling.

With a comprehensive set of silicon PIC component libraries and by leveraging SUNY Poly’s process capabilities, AIM Photonics’ PDK now consists of more than 50 reliable photonics components, including passive components such as waveguides, edge couplers, and layer transitions, in addition to active devices such as C, C+L, and O Band photodetectors; microdisk switches and modulators; thermo-optic phase shifters and switches; and variable optical attenuators, among others, that are verified by top university and industry experts. Combined with data that can be obtained from a 14nm toolset to validate designs, this information can also help those working with AIM Photonics to achieve top-tier performance.

Key features of the latest AIM Photonics Analog Photonics/SUNY PDK include:

  • O Band modulation, detection and coupling support.
  • C+L Band modulation, detection, filtering, switching, monitoring and coupling support.
  • Single-level and Multi-level modulation format support at 50Gbps, namely NRZ and PAM-4.
  • Continued multi-vendor Electronics-Photonics-Design-Automation (EPDA) support with integrated EPDA PDK flow for hierarchical design and system-level simulation.

The combined PDK and MPW offering provides unmatched access for all customers[1] to PIC systems, especially for small to medium-size companies that desire a reduction in the time to market, as well as lower product development risk and investment. By incorporating the design, verification, and process development within the PDK, such companies are able to quickly and efficiently modify their designs as they simultaneously reduce their cost per gigabit.

“Companies operating within the integrated photonics space face a number of challenges as they seek to provide cost-effective, high-quality products. With AIM Photonics’ continually updated PDK, as well as our best-in-class, cost-effective MPW that offers a broad component library, we are thrilled to assist the industry, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises, with the capabilities and technical expertise they require to provide innovative and timely solutions to current technological challenges,” said Dr. Douglas Coolbaugh, AIM Photonics COO and SUNY Polytechnic Institute Associate VP for Photonics Development.

AIM Photonics will also be offering new incentives to parties interested in the most recent upcoming MPW runs. These incentives will be available at the AIM Photonics Booth #4425 Hall EF (North) during Photonics West 2019 in San Francisco, CA, February 5th – 7th or can be requested from AIM Photonics by contacting the MPW team at [email protected].

AIM Photonics is leveraging SUNY Poly’s state-of-the-art facilities for three total full-build/passive MPW runs that incorporate the latest PDK, with on-demand Active/Passive PIC; Passive PIC; Passive Interposer; and Active Interposer MPW runs scheduled throughout 2019. To ensure space for all interested parties, AIM Photonics is accepting reservations for these MPW runs; those interested in participating should contact[email protected]. Interested parties can also sign up for the 2019 runs by visiting the AIM Photonics’ website at the following link: http://www.aimphotonics.com/mpw-schedule/. PDK and MPW fab access is solely available through the AIM Photonics MPW aggregator, MOSIS. Please contact MOSIS for access to the most current PDK version release at the following link: www.mosis.com/vendors/view/AIM.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research, today announced the global semiconductor industry posted sales of $468.8 billion in 2018, the industry’s highest-ever annual total and an increase of 13.7 percent compared to the 2017 total. Global sales for the month of December 2018 reached $38.2 billion, a slight increase of 0.6 percent over the December 2017 total, but down 7.0 percent compared to the total from November 2018. Fourth-quarter sales of $114.7 billion were 0.6 percent higher than the total from the fourth quarter of 2017, but 8.2 percent less than the third quarter of 2018. All monthly sales numbers are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average.

“Global demand for semiconductors reached a new high in 2018, with annual sales hitting a high-water mark and total units shipped topping 1 trillion for the first time,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. “Market growth slowed during the second half of 2018, but the long-term outlook remains strong. Semiconductors continue to make the world around us smarter and more connected, and a range of budding technologies – artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, among many others – hold tremendous promise for future growth.”

Several semiconductor product segments stood out in 2018. Memory was the largest semiconductor category by sales with $158.0 billion in 2018, and the fastest growing, with sales increasing 27.4 percent. Within the memory category, sales of DRAM products increased 36.4 percent and sales of NAND flash products increased 14.8 percent. Logic ($109.3 billion) and micro-ICs ($67.2 billion) – a category that includes microprocessors – rounded out the top three product categories in terms of total sales. Other fast-growing product categories in 2018 included power transistors (14.4 percent growth/total sales of $14.4 billion) and analog products (10.8 percent growth/total sales of $58.8 billion). Even without sales of memory products, sales of all other products combined increased by nearly 8 percent in 2018.

Annual sales increased substantially across all regions: China (20.5 percent), the Americas (16.4 percent), Europe (12.1 percent), Japan (9.2 percent), and Asia Pacific/All Other (6.1 percent). For the month of December 2018, year-to-year sales increased in China (5.8 percent), Europe (2.8 percent), and Japan (2.3 percent), but fell in Asia Pacific/All Other (-0.7 percent) and the Americas (-6.2 percent). Sales in December 2018 were down compared to November 2018 across all regions: Japan (-2.2 percent), Asia Pacific/All Other (-3.1 percent), Europe (-4.9 percent), China (-8.1 percent), and the Americas (-12.4 percent).

“A strong semiconductor industry is critical to America’s economic strength, national security, and global technology leadership,” said Neuffer. “We urge Congress and the Trump Administration to enact polices in 2019 that promote continued growth and innovation, including robust investments for basic scientific research, long-overdue high-skilled immigration reforms, and initiatives that promote free and open trade, such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We look forward to working with policymakers in the year ahead to further strengthen the semiconductor industry, the broader tech sector, and our economy.”

For comprehensive monthly semiconductor sales data and detailed WSTS Forecasts, consider purchasing the WSTS Subscription Package. For detailed historical information about the global semiconductor industry and market, consider ordering the SIA Databook.

The intelliFLEX Innovation Alliance announced today that Mark Majewski, a 30-year veteran of the Canadian technology industry and former geographic director at a major semiconductor company, has succeeded Peter Kallai as CEO.

Mr. Majewski has extensive experience in the electronics and technology industries in Canada, having overseen the generation of hundreds of millions of dollars at STMicroelectronics while running its East Central U.S. and Canada regions. He’s also been a key leader at several startups, volunteers as a mentor at the RIC Centre and Haltech, and most recently was the technology lead for business development at Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

Mr. Majewski’s goal as CEO is to unite the growing critical mass of Canadian printable, flexible and hybrid electronics (FHE) companies and research with the country’s electronics and semiconductor industries. With his decades of technology experience, Mr. Majewski has the breadth of contacts, experience, and knowledge to successfully position intelliFLEX and its members alongside this massive industry.

“I’m honoured to have been named the next intelliFLEX CEO. I’ve taken this role because I believe in FHE and its future,” says Mr. Majewski. “All electronics players in Canada who want to expand their capabilities should be looking at this technology as it goes mainstream. Not only does FHE open the doors to new products and applications, it also has incredible value in augmenting and improving everyday electronics products that already exist.”

Indeed, as microelectronics and semiconductor companies hit the limits of Moore’s Law for integrated circuits, mainstream companies are searching for new ways to produce electronic components more efficiently for new and existing applications.

That’s where printable, flexible and hybrid electronics come in: FHE, which represents a $31.6B global market opportunity, uses next-generation additive and manufacturing electronics technologies that can help all electronics players in Canada. This strategy has already been embraced in the U.S. where a cross-pollination of mainstream electronics, FHE, and semiconductors is occurring.

“I’ve cherished the opportunity to work with intelliFLEX,” said outgoing CEO Peter Kallai, who founded intelliFLEX and will remain involved by supporting Mr. Majewski during the transition period and sitting on the board of directors. “However, what we need to do is move the organization into the mainstream electronics industry and be the rising tide of the ecosystem that lets all our members sail further, faster and easier.

“We needed a professional from that industry, with the right background, to do that. And I strongly believe Mark will take intelliFLEX to the next level.”

At the same time, intelliFLEX will also move its head office from Ottawa to the Greater Toronto Area. This will help the organization be physically closer to the heart of Canada’s electronics industry, of which the majority is located in Toronto. Seventy-five per cent of intelliFLEX members are in either Ontario or Quebec.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research, today announced the addition of Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) as an SIA member. Broadcom Chief Legal Officer Mark Brazeal is expected to be elected to the SIA board of directors at the association’s next board meeting on April 4.

“We are thrilled to welcome Broadcom, a leading player and valued voice in our industry, into the SIA tent,” said John Neuffer, SIA President and CEO. “The semiconductor industry is foundational to America’s economic and innovation base. Broadcom, headquartered in San Jose, California with over 11,000 employees in the U.S., will greatly strengthen SIA’s work to advance government policies that promote growth and innovation.  We are excited about the knowledge and experience Mark Brazeal will bring to the SIA board.”

In his current role at Broadcom, Brazeal is responsible for the legal, governance, and compliance functions across the company. Previously, he served as the Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President, IP Licensing for SanDisk Corporation through 2016. Before joining SanDisk, Brazeal spent 15 years at Broadcom Corporation, most recently as the Senior Vice President and Senior Deputy General Counsel.

“Semiconductors are at the heart of the greatest technological breakthroughs of our time,” said Brazeal. “I look forward to representing Broadcom on the SIA board and collaborating with my colleagues to promote smart government policies that will help us maintain the blistering pace of semiconductor innovation and move our great industry forward.”

Intel names Robert Swan CEO

January 31, 2019

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) today announced that its board of directors has named Robert (Bob) Swan as chief executive officer. Swan, 58, who has been serving as Intel’s interim CEO for seven months and as chief financial officer since 2016, is the seventh CEO in Intel’s 50-year history. Swan has also been elected to Intel’s board of directors.

Intel Corporation has named Robert Swan as its chief executive officer. His promotion was announced Jan. 31, 2019. Swan, who previously served as the company’s chief financial officer and interim CEO, is the seventh CEO to lead the company based in Santa Clara, Calif. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Todd Underwood, vice president of Finance and director of Intel’s Corporate Planning and Reporting, will assume the role of interim chief financial officer as the company undertakes an internal and external search for a permanent CFO.

“As Intel continues to transform its business to capture more of a large and expanding opportunity that includes the data center, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, while continuing to get value from the PC business, the board concluded after a thorough search that Bob is the right leader to drive Intel into its next era of growth,” said Chairman Andy Bryant. “The search committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of a wide range of internal and external candidates to identify the right leader at this critical juncture in Intel’s evolution. We considered many outstanding executives and we concluded the best choice is Bob. Important in the board’s decision was the outstanding job Bob did as interim CEO for the past seven months, as reflected in Intel’s outstanding results in 2018. Bob’s performance, his knowledge of the business, his command of our growth strategy, and the respect he has earned from our customers, our owners, and his colleagues confirmed he is the right executive to lead Intel.”

“In my role as interim CEO, I’ve developed an even deeper understanding of Intel’s opportunities and challenges, our people and our customers,” Swan said. “When I was first named interim CEO, I was immediately focused on running the company and working with our customers. When the board approached me to take on the role permanently, I jumped at the chance to lead this special company. This is an exciting time for Intel: 2018 was an outstanding year and we are in the midst of transforming the company to pursue our biggest market opportunity ever. I’m honored to have the chance to continue working alongside our board, our leadership team, and our more than 107,000 superb employees as we take the company forward.”

Swan is a proven leader with a strong track record of success both within and outside Intel. As interim CEO, Swan has managed the company’s operations in close collaboration with Intel’s senior leadership team. Swan has been Intel’s CFO since October 2016. In this role, he led the global finance, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, IT and corporate strategy organizations. Prior to joining Intel, Swan served as an operating partner at General Atlantic LLC and served on Applied Materials’ board of directors. He previously spent nine years as CFO of eBay Inc., where he is currently a director. Earlier in his career, he was CFO of Electronic Data Systems Corp. and TRW Inc. He also served as CFO, COO and CEO of Webvan Group Inc., and began his career at General Electric, serving for 15 years in several senior finance roles.

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $2.11 billion in billings worldwide in December 2018 (three-month average basis), according to the December Equipment Market Data Subscription (EMDS) Billings Report published today by SEMI. The billings figure is 8.5 percent higher than the final November 2018 level of $1.94 billion, and is 12.1 percent lower than the December 2017 billings level of $2.40 billion.

“December billings of North American equipment manufacturers ended 2018 on a positive note,” said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI. “Spending for logic and foundry offset the decline in memory investments for the month.”

The SEMI Billings report uses three-month moving averages of worldwide billings for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Billings figures are in millions of U.S. dollars.

(3-mo. avg.)
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018 (final)
December 2018 (prelim)

Source: SEMI (www.semi.org), January 2019

SEMI publishes a monthly North American Billings report and issues the Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Statistics (WWSEMS) report in collaboration with the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ). The WWSEMS report currently reports billings by 24 equipment segments and by seven end market regions. SEMI also has a long history of tracking semiconductor industry fab investments in detail on a company-by-company and fab-by-fab basis in its World Fab Forecast and SEMI FabView databases. These powerful tools provide access to spending forecasts, capacity ramp, technology transitions, and other information for over 1,000 fabs worldwide. For an overview of available SEMI market data, please visit www.semi.org/en/MarketInfo.

SEMICON Korea 2019 opens tomorrow with electronics industry growth drivers artificial intelligence (AI), Smart manufacturing, and MEMS and sensors in the spotlight. Expected to draw 50,000 attendees, the January 23-25 exposition and conference gathers industry leaders and visionaries for insights into the latest technologies, innovations and trends in the electronics industry.

With Smart applications expected to spur strong memory growth and Korea accounting for the overwhelming share of the global memory market, the prospect of substantial memory expansion bodes well for the region. SEMICON Korea, the premier Korean microelectronics industry event with more than 2,000 booths from nearly 500 companies, provides opportunities to Connect, Collaborate and Innovate in high-growth areas of microelectronics including:

  • AI
  • Smart manufacturing
  • Metrology and inspection
  • MEMS and sensors
  • Test

SEMICON Korea 2019 showcases industry leaders offering a vision of the future of semiconductors:

  • Eunsoo Shim, senior vice president, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), Samsung ElectronicsOn-Device Artificial Intelligence
  • Walden C. Rhines, CEO emeritus, Mentor, a Siemens Business – Domain Specific Processors Drive Changing Outlook for Semiconductor Memory
  • Myung-Hee Na, distinguished engineer, IBM ResearchThe Era of AI Hardware

At the SEMICON Korea SEMI Technology Symposium (STS), in-depth presentations by industry experts focus on semiconductor manufacturing processes, the latest trends, next-generation semiconductor roadmaps and the industry’s strategic direction.

SEMICON Korea launches a Workforce Pavilion to attract the young talent critical to sustaining industry innovation and growth. In the Meet the Experts mentoring program, more than 600 college students will meet with industry experts to explore career paths in microelectronics. Tutorials will enhance university students’ understanding of semiconductor manufacturing and related technology trends, covering areas including lithography, ferroelectrics, plasma and etching, cleaning and CMP, and packaging.

To help SEMI members companies develop new business, SEMICON Korea offers the Supplier Search Program (SSP). This year, industry heavyweights Samsung, SK Hynix, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Lam Research, Micron, Sony and Toshiba will seek new business opportunities as they meet with more than 100 suppliers.

For more event information, please click here.

Soitec (Euronext Paris), a designer and manufacturer of semiconductor materials, announced today an expanded collaboration with Samsung Foundry to ensure the volume supply of fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) wafers. This agreement extends the current  partnership and provides a solid foundation for both companies to strengthen the FD-SOI supply chain and guarantee high-volume manufacturing for customers.

With the leadership from the two companies, today FD-SOI is one of the standard technologies for cost-effective, low-power devices used in high-volume consumer, 4G/5G smartphones, IoT, and automotive applications. The agreement is built on the existing close relationship between the companies and guarantees wafer supply for Samsung’s FD-SOI platform starting with 28FDS process.

“This strategic agreement validates today’s high-volume manufacturing adoption of FD-SOI,” said Christophe Maleville, Soitec’s Executive Vice President, Digital Electronics Business Unit. “Soitec is ready to support Samsung’s current and long-term growth for ultra-low power, performance-on-demand FD-SOI solutions.”

FD-SOI relies on a very unique substrate whose layer thickness is controlled at the atomic scale. FD-SOI offers remarkable transistor performance in terms of power, performance, area and cost tradeoffs (PPAC), making it possible to cover low-power to high-performance digital applications with a single technology platform. FD-SOI delivers numerous unique advantages including the ability to mitigate process, temperature, voltage and aging variations through body bias, near-threshold supply capability, ultra-low sensitivity to radiation, and very high intrinsic transistor speed, making it most likely the fastest RF-CMOS technology on the market.

“Samsung has been committed to delivering transformative industry leading technologies.  FD-SOI is currently setting a new standard in many high-growth applications including IoT with ultra-low-power devices, automotive systems such as vision processors for ADAS and infotainment, and mobile connectivity from 5G smartphones to wearable electronics,” said Ryan Lee, Vice President of Foundry Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “Through this agreement with Soitec, our long-term strategic partner, we hope to lay the foundation for steady supply to meet high-volume demands of current and future customers.”

IC Insights is in the process of completing its forecast and analysis of the IC industry and will present its new findings in The McClean Report 2019, which will be published later this month.  Among the semiconductor industry data included in the new 500-page report is an analysis of the correlation between IC market growth and global GDP growth.

Figure 1 depicts the increasingly close correlation between worldwide GDP growth and IC market growth through 2018, as well as IC Insights’ forecast through 2023.

Figure 1

Over the 2010-2018 timeframe, the correlation coefficient between worldwide GDP growth and IC market growth was 0.86 (0.91 excluding memory in 2017 and 2018), a strong figure given that a perfect positive correlation is 1.0.  In the three decades previous to this timeperiod, the correlation coefficient ranged from a relatively weak 0.63 in the early 2000s to a negative correlation (i.e., essentially no correlation) of -0.10 in the 1990s.

IC Insights believes that the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions, leading to fewer major IC manufacturers and suppliers, is one of major changes in the supply base that illustrates the maturing of the industry and has helped foster a closer correlation between worldwide GDP growth and IC market growth.  Another reason for a better correlation between worldwide GDP growth and IC market growth is the continued movement to a more consumer driven IC market.  IC Insights believes that 20 years ago, about 60% of the IC market was driven by business applications and 40% by consumer applications with those percentages being reversed today.  As a result, with a more consumer-oriented environment driving electronic system sales, and in turn IC market growth, the health of the worldwide economy is increasingly important in gauging IC market trends.