Taiwan's government lifts ban on China fabs News & Analysis 3/29/2002 Post a comment TAIPEI, Taiwan -- After months of delay, Taiwan's government has finally lifted a ban on 200mm wafer investments in China, although with several conditions.
Taiwan's government will let semiconductor companies build a total of three fabs before 2005 using current-generation production equipment, Premier Yu Shyi-kun said at a press conference late tonight. Facilities that operate with new manufacturing equipment won't be allowed for at least two years from now, he added.
Agilent plans major upgrade of SoC chip testers News & Analysis 3/28/2002 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- During a series of presentations here this week, Agilent Technologies Inc. gave a sneak preview of plans to upgrade its IC testers for cutting-edge communications semiconductors, system-on-a-chip products and other devices.
Centillium sees stronger demand for DSL chips in Japan News & Analysis 3/28/2002 Post a comment FREMONT, Calif.--Centillium Communications Inc. here said a strong pickup in demand for digital subscriber line (DSL) products in Japan has caused the company to re-evaluate its chip inventory, which had been previously written down in value because it was believed to be obsolete or excessive for market conditions.
Advanced Energy buys German supplier of power systems for fab tools News & Analysis 3/28/2002 Post a comment FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- In a move to strengthen its European presence in chip fabs and other manufacturing facilities, Advanced Energy Industries Inc. today announced it has purchased Dressler HF Technik GmbH in Stolberg, Germany, which is a privately-held supplier of radio-frequency power systems for plasma-based equipment and processes.
Foundry hikes capex plans by nearly $1 billion News & Analysis 3/28/2002 Post a comment TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s chairman said that his company will sharply increase capital spending this year, called on the government to remove restrictions on investment in China, and repeated a pledge to invest $20 billion at home.
TSMC, the largest pure-play foundry house worldwide, is set to boost its capex this year to $2.57 billion, 56% more than the $1.65 billion target forecast months ago, chairman Morris Chang said during a visit today to Taiwan's Premier
Zarlink to sell U.K. plant to X-Fab and receive foundry services News & Analysis 3/28/2002 Post a comment PLYMOUTH, England -- Canada's Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. today announced it has found a buyer for its wafer fab here. X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG of Erfurt, Germany, has agreed to buy the facility for $30 million--$12 million in cash on closing of the transaction and $18 million in secured notes payable over three years, the two companies said.
Alpha Industries cuts forecast due to weakness in wireless systems News & Analysis 3/28/2002 Post a comment WOBURN, Mass.--Alpha Industries Inc. today lowered its forecast for revenues in the current fiscal quarter to $28 million and it predicted an adjusted net loss of $0.11-to-$0.13 per share because unexpected weakness in wireless infrastructure markets and delays in orders for radio-frequency (RF) semiconductors used in handsets.
The SPI-5 Spec: A Tutorial News & Analysis 3/28/2002 Post a comment Recently ratified, the SPI-5 specification will play an important role in the development of emerging 40-Gb optical systems. Richard Cam of PMC-Sierra takes us on a tour of this hot new spec.
Infineon executive urges memory makers to standardize News & Analysis 3/27/2002 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- During a speech here, the top U.S. executive for Munich-based Infineon Technologies AG pulled no punches and urged memory device makers to adopt standards in order to change an ongoing pattern of confusion and "island solutions" in the PC and semiconductor markets.
Infineon executive urges chip makers to adopt more standards News & Analysis 3/27/2002 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- During a speech here, the top U.S. executive for Munich-based Infineon Technologies AG pulled no punches and urged memory device makers to adopt standards in order to change an ongoing pattern of confusion and "island solutions" in the PC and semiconductor markets.
Applied launches fast inspection tool for 100-nm, below copper processes News & Analysis 3/27/2002 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Applied Materials Inc. today rolled out a new high-speed wafer inspection system for 100-nm (0.10-micron) and below process technologies. The CompassPro system uses several new features, including what Applied calls All Optical Dynamic Range and Multi-Perspective Grain Suppression technologies, to quickly identify yield-impacting defects at lower cost and at higher speeds.
Taiwan's ChipMOS is latest to plan assembly/test factory in Shanghai News & Analysis 3/27/2002 Post a comment SHANGHAI -- Taiwan's ChipMOS Technologies (Bermuda) Ltd. today announced plans to build an IC test and assembly factory in the Shanghai Qingpu Industrial Zone to serve China's growing manufacturing base for integrated circuits as well as chip modules, displays, ink-jet print head modules, and other subsystems.
SpeedFam-IPEC posts $10.4 million loss in quarter News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment CHANDLER, Ariz.--SpeedFam-IPEC Inc. today reported a 2.7% sequential decline in revenues to $25.1 million in its fiscal third quarter, ended March 2, compared to $25.8 million in the prior three-month period. The company's revenues were 57% lower than $58.8 million in the quarter last year.
PDA chip content to 'inch up' in 2002, says report News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Unit shipments of personal digital assistants (PDAs), also known handheld computers, are expected to grow from 12.1 million systems in 2001 to about 50 million units in 2006, according to a new report from iSuppli Corp.
TRW raises bar in laser sources to enable EUV beta tools News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Raising the bar for next-generation lithography (NGL) sources, TRW Inc.'s Cutting Edge Optronics subsidiary here today demonstrated a 1500-watt laser module for an NGL technology called extreme ultraviolet (EUV). The new laser has been integrated with a xenon jet target and is producing EUV output. Cutting Edge has demonstrated one 1500-watt module thus far, but it plans to develop and integrate three modules in a compact enclosure, which will produce a total of 4500 watts of
New breeds of multi-chip packages in the wings News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- New generations of higher density, smaller stacked multichip packages (MCP) are needed to meet the exploding memory needs of servers, switches and routers, and new high speed data handheld phones and PDAs, the first Jedex conference heard Monday.
Memory chip makers demur on 400MHz DDR-I News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment Santa Clara, Calif. -- Three major DRAM makers -- Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor and Infineon Technologies -- told the Jedex conference here Monday that they didn't plan to make 400-MHz speed memory in the DDR-I standard.
ChipPAC inks backend pact with China's Grace as assembly battle heats up News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment SHANGHAI -- U.S.-based ChipPAC Inc. today announced a non-exclusive manufacturing alliance with silicon foundry startup Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. here to provide backend chip-assembly and final testing services for wafer fab customers. The agreement follows a similar pact between Grace and Amkor Technology Inc. announced two weeks ago, and another alliance between ChipPAC and Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC).
"Better Design Productivity" Pervasive at Board-Design Show News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment The recent Silicon-Valley based PCB Design conference and exhibition concentrated on new tools and tool enhancements to help board engineers and designers improve existing design methodologies. TechOnLine's Jim Lipman discusses how the show's exhibitors concentrated on new tool bundles, Web-based collaborative design, and enhanced design functionality for mainstream board designers.
JEDEC describes new DDR-II specs, says first parts due out in late 2002 News & Analysis 3/26/2002 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- During the JEDEX conference here on Monday, representatives from the DRAM and PC markets outlined some of the first public details, specifications and updates for a second-generation, double-data-rate SDRAM standard called DDR-II.
The proposed DDR-II standard has been in the works for months and is supposed to replace existing DDR SDRAMs or DDR-I. The "mainstream DRAM" market is also supposed to migrate from the 200/266-MHz versions of DDR SDRAMs in the market today, to t
JMAR plans to significantly increase X-ray stepper throughput News & Analysis 3/25/2002 Post a comment SAN DIEGO--JMAR Technologies Inc. today said it was on schedule with plans to demonstrate an integrated compact X-ray source with a newly-developed X-ray stepper for gallium-arsenide (GaAs) processes using lithography feature sizes below 130 nm (0.13 micron) and 150-mm (6-inch) substrates.
ESEC replaces CEO with former Siemens Semiconductor chief News & Analysis 3/25/2002 Post a comment CHAM, Switzerland -- Chip-assembly tool supplier ESEC Group today announced its board had replaced the company's chief executive officer after a disagreement about strategies to turnaround the struggling company. ESEC named Jürgen Knorr--former head of the Siemens Semiconductor Group in the 1980s and 1990s--as its new CEO.
Xilinx looks to ease path to custom FPGAs News & Analysis 3/25/2002 Post a comment Several years after exiting the FPGA-to-ASIC conversion business, Xilinx Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) has come up with a "no-risk" alternative for customers who want a lower piece price for higher volume orders, the company said.
TI's new DSP cuts cost of multiple/accumulate function in half News & Analysis 3/25/2002 Post a comment HOUSTON -- Texas Instruments Inc. today announced it has expanded the scope of its TMS320C64x series of digital signal processors to address low-power consuming applications with a DSP chip that cuts the cost of multiply/accumulate functions in half, compared to its nearest competitors.
Samsung VP sees paradigm shift in memories due to new applications News & Analysis 3/25/2002 Post a comment SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- At the JEDEX conference today, an executive from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. insisted the memory market is alive and well despite the current IC downturn, saying that a new class of digital applications will "digest" and propel the need for existing and next-generation devices in the market.
Toshiba claims smallest four-chip stacked flash/SRAM package News & Analysis 3/25/2002 Post a comment TOKYO -- Toshiba Corp. today said it is offering the industry's smallest multi-chip package for stacked memory in portable phones. The four-chip NOR flash/SRAM memory products measure 10-mm long and 7-mm wide, combining 8 megabits of static RAM and 32 Mbits of pseudo SRAM with two 64 Mbits of nonvolatile flash memories.
EMS providers upgrading services in Mexico News & Analysis 3/25/2002 Post a comment
The need to justify Mexico's rising labor costs has EMS providers driving new-product-introduction (NPI), repair, and logistics services south of the border.
The stronger peso has steered several EMS companies to upgrade supply chain services in cities such as Guadalajara and Monterrey to differentiate their Mexican operations from lower- cost Asian contractors.
"The idea of Mexico being a place where only mature manufacturing is done is changing,"